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Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-3644

Fax: (585) 276-2065

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. He completed internship training at the Minneapolis Children's Hospitals and Clinics, and postdoctoral fellowships in Primary Care Family Psychology and in Suicide Research at the University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist.

Dr. Pisani developed and tested Commitment to Living: Understanding and Responding to Suicide Risk (CTL). CTL addresses common dilemmas, demands, and frustrations that sometimes accompany the rewarding experience of supporting individuals at risk for suicide in their journey toward recovery. Centered around a unifying framework for formulating and responding to suicide risk (Pisani, Murrie, & Silverman, 2014), CTL helps clinicians and administrators gain insight into where individual practice innovations fit in the overall flow of competent care for suicidal individuals. CTL is an evidence-based curriculum that has demonstrated improvements in assessment and documentation, based on objectively-rated samples collected from outpatient and inpatient clinicians across levels of experience. The workshop teaches core competencies in suicide risk assessment, documentation, and patient- and family-centered decision-making. Because CTL does not depend on any specific treatment protocol, busy clinicians in most settings can incorporate the model into patient care immediately after participating in the workshop. CTL is a core component of the New York State's efforts to support clinicians prevent suicide in high risk settings, and the workshop has been disseminated in health systems, service agencies, military installations, and schools around the country.

Dr. Pisani is a leader in national efforts to improve clinician education in suicide prevention. Dr. Pisani serves on the National Action Alliance Task Force for Workforce Preparedness and recently led a Curriculum Revision Task Force for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. His publications include a highly influential study examining the state of workshop education in the assessment and management of suicide risk (Pisani, Gould, & Cross, 2011) and an article documenting the development and efficacy of his own approach to workshop education (Pisani, Cross, & Watts, & Conner, 2012).


Dr. Pisani is devoted to reducing suicide among youth and young adults. To that end, he conducts research to develop and test public health interventions that will reach young people in their natural environments using preferred modes of communication and interaction. To this end, Dr. Pisani is involved in a number of projects involving the safe and ethical (Pisani et al, 2016) use of technology in prevention.

Dr. Pisani developed Text4Strength, an automated text messaging intervention for high school students that aims to build help-seeking skills, youth-adult connections, and emotion self-regulation (Pisani et al, 2012; Pisani et al, 2013). Text4Strength is being developed as an extension to Sources of Strength (Wyman et al, 2010), a school-wide, NREPP-certified suicide prevention program. Dr. Pisani is collaborating with high schools in New York State to test the efficacy of the text messaging component.

Dr. Pisani participates in a research team that has partnered with the United States Air Force to develop a suicide prevention program for young enlisted airmen (PI: Peter Wyman). Dr. Pisani contributes to intervention development team and leads the integration of text messaging and social network technologies into the program.

Dr. Pisani and colleagues were recently awarded a grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to conduct research with Crisis Text Line, the nation's largest crisis text provider. The service texts with more than 700 adolescents and young adults daily. Dr. Pisani's group will study the needs of these young people, the potential for crisis text a suicide prevention platform, and the effectiveness of the service.



PHD | University of Virginia

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

09/01/2001 - 06/30/2003
Fellowship in Psychology at University of Rochester School of Nursing

09/01/2000 - 08/30/2001
Internship in Psychology at Children's Hospitals & Clinics


2007 - 2008
Otto F. Thaler Teaching Development Award
Sponsor: Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
Location: Rochester, NY

2000 - 2001
Research Fellowship
Sponsor: Center for Children, Families, and the Law
Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

1996 - 1997
Hayes Scholarship for Graduate Study in Social Science
Sponsor: Bowdoin College
Location: Brunswick, Maine

Summa Cum Laude
Sponsor: Bowdoin College
Location: Brunswick, Maine

Phi Beta Kappa
Sponsor: Phi Beta Kappa Society, Alpha Chapter
Location: Brunswick, Maine

Philip C. Bradley Prize in Spanish Language and Literature
Sponsor: Bowdoin College
Location: Brunswick, Maine

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Journal Articles

O'Connor RC, Worthman CM, Abanga M, Athanassopoulou N, Boyce N, Chan LF, Christensen H, Das-Munshi J, Downs J, Koenen KC, Moutier CY, Templeton P, Batterham P, Brakspear K, Frank RG, Gilbody S, Gureje O, Henderson D, John A, Kabagambe W, Khan M, Kessler D, Kirtley OJ, Kline S, Kohrt B, Lincoln AK, Lund C, Mendenhall E, Miranda R, Mondelli V, Niederkrotenthaler T, Osborn D, Pirkis J, Pisani AR, Prawira B, Rachidi H, Seedat S, Siskind D, Vijayakumar L, Yip PSF. "Gone Too Soon: priorities for action to prevent premature mortality associated with mental illness and mental distress." The lancet. Psychiatry.. 2023 May 5; Epub 2023 May 05.

Pisani AR, Boudreaux ED. "Systems Approach to Suicide Prevention: Strengthening Culture, Practice, and Education." Focus : journal of life long learning in psychiatry.. 2023 Apr; 21(2):152-159. Epub 2023 Apr 14.

Hossain E, Rana R, Higgins N, Soar J, Barua PD, Pisani AR, Turner K. "Natural Language Processing in Electronic Health Records in relation to healthcare decision-making: A systematic review." Computers in biology and medicine.. 2023 Feb 10; 155:106649. Epub 2023 Feb 10.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Family dynamics and caregiving for an individual with disabilities
Book Title: Caregiving for individuals with disabilities
Author List: McDaniel, S.H.; Pisani, A.R.
Edited By: R. Talley; R. McCorkle; B. Walter
Published By: Oxford University Press 2010

Chapter Title: Family systems approaches to adolescent health and illness
Book Title: Textbook of Adolescent Healthcare
Author List: Spagnola, M Pisani, A.R. McDaniel, S.H.
Edited By: L. Alderman, R. Kreipe, & W. Rosenfeld
Published By: American Academy of Pediatrics 2010 in Elk Grove, IL

Chapter Title: An integrative approach to health and illness in family therapy
Book Title: Handbook of Clinical Family Therapy
Author List: Pisani, A.R.; McDaniel, S.H.
Edited By: J. Lebow
Published By: Wiley & Company 2005 in New York




Resolved to Make Change as a Family