Friday, August 3, 2012

Request for Information: Suicide Prevention Research

By Jane L. Pearson, PhD and Chelsea Booth, PhD

Jane L. Pearson, PhD, serves as the chair of NIMH’s Suicide Research Consortium and leads the NIH Support Staff for the Research Prioritization Task Force. Chelsea Booth, PhD, is a Presidential Management Fellow on rotation with NIMH’s Division of Services and Intervention Research. Booth provides staff support for the Research Prioritization Task Force.

As part of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the Research Prioritization Task Force is working to develop a research agenda that has the potential to reduce morbidity (suicide attempts) and mortality (suicide deaths) each, by at least 20% in 5 years and 40% or greater in 10 years, if implemented successfully. In order to achieve this goal, we are actively seeking input to identify types of research tools needed to support rapid advancement in suicide prevention research. As such, we have issued a Request for Information (RFI) inviting interested parties to contribute their specific ideas for inclusion in a collection of ways to facilitate suicide prevention research progress.

Specifically, we are asking interested parties to provide input on the following topics: a) the key methodological roadblocks that currently exist in suicide prevention research, and b) new paradigms and theoretical models with the potential to spark innovative research. A methodological roadblock is defined as a critical, unresolved challenge that is clearly limiting progress along an important suicide prevention research pathway. New research paradigms and theoretical models are novel ways of thinking about suicide behavior and avenues for prevention. However, we welcome input on any and all research-related topics on suicide prevention, such as research you would like to see done, information you would like to know more about that you think would be helpful in eradicating suicide, protective factors you think are important in preventing suicide, or lessons you and/or your community have learned about research in the past.

This RFI offers an opportunity for the community to identify and prioritize the critical “bottlenecks” that impede progress, to suggest solutions to one or more significant problems, and to nominate new paradigms for approaching this work.

We invite input from researchers, mental health professionals, suicide prevention and patient and family advocates, individuals who have survived a suicide attempt, suicide loss survivors, private and public mental health care providers and administrators, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and all other interested groups or individuals.

To submit your ideas and comments, please e-mail us at You will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions. We require no minimum or maximum length for your submission.  

This link will take you to the full text of the RFI. Please note, although the official announcement lists a response close date of April 27, 2012, we are still accepting input.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary and will be shared with scientific working groups convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, as appropriate. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in summaries of the state of the science, and any resultant solicitation(s). The NIH may use the information gathered to develop grant, contract, or other funding priorities and initiatives. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, NIH, or individual NIH Institutes or Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information.