Conwell Honored for Contributions to Suicide Prevention

April 23, 2008

The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) has presented its Louis I. Dublin Award to Yeates Conwell, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Founded in 1968, the American Association of Suicidology promotes research, public awareness programs, and training for professionals and volunteers in the understanding and prevention of suicide. In addition, the AAS serves as a national clearinghouse for information on suicide.

The Dublin award, granted annually since 1971, is given to an individual in recognition of a career of outstanding service and contributions to the field of suicide prevention as evidenced by leadership, dedication and creativity.

Conwell, co-director of the Center for the Study of Prevention of Suicide at the Medical Center, also designs and tests strategies for suicide prevention that are built upon the definition of risk factors for suicide and attempted suicide in later life. His work has incorporated the design, implementation, and testing of preventive, community-based strategies. He also collaborates with a wide range of investigators. Conwell recently led the creation of the Senior Health and Research Alliance, a partnership between health and human services providers focusing on the development of innovative and effective programs for identifying and treating elders in the community who are at risk for suicide and other related adverse outcomes.

Conwell’s work spans more than two decades. His large psychological autopsy study of suicides ages 18 and older in Monroe County, New York, resulted in numerous significant publications. He has conducted several National Institute of Mental Health sponsored case-control studies of suicide and attempted suicide among older adults that have yielded important data on the roles of mood, personality, social isolation, and firearm ownership. He also has been highly influential as a mentor.

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