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Austen Riggs Center Clinician and Researcher Dr. Jane Tillman Receives Significant Grant for Suicide Study

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Stockbridge, MA – May 18, 2018– Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research, has received a significant grant from the Fund for Psychoanalytic Research through the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) for her work, “Follow Up to States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt Study.” In making this award, the review committee indicated that this was an important topic for study and may yield valuable information. 

According to Dr. Tillman, “Suicide is a significant public health problem. Despite a burgeoning research literature that focuses primarily on biobehavioral and diagnostic risk factors, there has been little effective translation of these findings into improved clinical care of suicidal patients.” 

Dr. Tillman’s new project is a follow-up study to the “States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt: A Mixed Methods Study,” conducted between 2009-2012 that examined protective and risk factor measures in four groups of adult participants: those without any history of suicidal ideation, those with a history of suicidal ideation, those who had attempted suicide, and those who had made a near lethal suicide attempt. 

The new study, part of a broader Suicide Research and Education Strategic Initiative at Riggs, led by Dr. Tillman, follows up with these participants to ascertain their clinical course and outcome. Data from the original study will be used to better understand the longitudinal course of psychiatric patients without any history of suicide and those with remitting versus persistent suicidal ideation and/or behavior. Dr. Tillman notes, “This longitudinal naturalistic study of psychiatric outcome in patients, those with and those without suicidal ideation and attempts, will allow us to better understand the psychological change and differential outcomes related to suicide that occur following residential treatment.”

The Fund for Psychoanalytic Research, which was established in 1976, is dedicated to the support of psychoanalytic research and scholarship, while nurturing the development of psychoanalytic investigators. The Fund’s goals are: to support basic and applied research involving psychoanalytic perspectives and observations; to support young scholars interested in psychoanalytic research; and to provide psychoanalytic scholars an opportunity to consult with experienced investigators around an idea, methodological issue, or existing dataset. 

In 2017 APsaA funded nearly a dozen new studies investigating the effectiveness of psychoanalytically informed treatments, totaling more than $130,000 in grants. The Fund for Psychoanalytic Research is part of the association’s ongoing commitment to supporting psychoanalytic research and encouraging future investigators.

About the Austen Riggs Center

Austen Riggs Center, a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment program, has been serving adults since 1919. Within a completely open setting, patients are provided immersion in an intensive treatment milieu that emphasizes respectful engagement. Individual psychodynamic psychotherapy is provided four times a week by doctors on staff. The Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center studies individuals in their social contexts through research, training, education, and outreach programs in the local community and beyond.

The Austen Riggs Center is located in Stockbridge, MA. For more information about its services, please call 413.298.5511 or 800.517.4447 or visit www.austenriggs.org.

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