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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Honors Two National Researchers at Event in New York

May 7, 2019 – 3 min read


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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Honors Two National Researchers at Event in New York  

NEW YORK (May 7, 2019) – The largest private funder of suicide prevention research, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), honored John Mann, M.D. and Gregory Simon, M.D. at its annual 2019 Research Awards Dinner last night at the Omni Berkshire Place Hotel in New York City. Dr. Simon received the Research Award for his work using artificial intelligence with electronic health records to identify individuals at risk for suicide. Dr. Mann received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to understanding the neurobiology of suicide throughout his distinguished decades-long career.

“As the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, we are proud to present these two honorees with their awards. Dr. Mann has spent his life making major contributions to our knowledge and understanding of about suicide and how to prevent it, specifically in regard to the neurobiology of suicide,” said Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, the vice president of research for AFSP. “Dr. Simon has facilitated the identification of individuals at risk for suicide in health care settings, as well as the application of machine learning to suicide prevention.”

Through Dr. Mann, many researchers who study suicide have improved their own studies, as he has been a mentor to many young investigators over his years in the field. The lifetime award is for a suicide prevention researcher whose career and work have had a significant and broad impact on the field of suicide prevention. This award is not awarded annually, though nominations are solicited each year. The research award is an annual award for a researcher or group of researchers who have completed significant research to advance a specific area of suicide prevention.

Gregory Simon, MD MPH

Dr. Simon’s research focuses on improving access to quality mental health care, especially for people with mood disorders or at risk for suicide. Through his work he aims to bridge research and mental health care. The specific areas his research include improving the provision of health care with medication and effective psychotherapy, evaluating peer support by and for people with mood disorders, identifying and reducing risk of suicidal behavior, cost-effectiveness of treatment, and comorbidity of mood disorders with chronic medical conditions.

Simon is an investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and a psychiatrist in Kaiser Permanente’s Behavioral Health Service. He is also a Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Simon completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Washington, residency training in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and psychiatry fellowship training in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at the University of Washington.

John Mann, MD

Dr. Mann’s research employs functional brain imaging, neurochemistry and molecular genetics to probe the causes of depression and suicide. He is The Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience (in Psychiatry and in Radiology) at Columbia University and Director, Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division (MIND) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Mann received his medical degree from the University of Melbourne, and then completed his internship and residency at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He was trained in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine and has a Doctorate in Neurochemistry.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.