Kimberly A. Van Orden, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will be honored with the Shneidman Award by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) for her outstanding contributions in research in suicidology. It will be presented at the AAS 52nd annual conference April 24 to 27 in Denver.
Van Orden, a clinical psychologist, came to URMC as a postdoctoral fellow in 2009 and joined the faculty in 2012. She is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS), which is one of only a few research centers around the world that focuses on suicide—the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds worldwide. She is the associate director of the CSPS postdoctoral fellowship in suicide prevention research. She also directs the HOPE (Helping Older People Engage) Lab, which focuses on developing and testing interventions to increase connectedness. Social isolation in its many forms is also strongly linked to suicide across the lifespan. She also contributed to the formulation, refinement and evaluation of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide and applies the ideas in this theory to develop and test effective strategies for helping individuals connect and contribute in ways that are meaningful for them to prevent the development of suicidal thoughts.
The Shneidman Award recognizes a person under 40 years of age, or not more than 10 years past their highest degree earned. It is named in honor of the late Edwin S. Shneidman, a renowned clinical psychologist who founded AAS in 1968.