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NAMI Honors Christine Yu Moutier, M.D., with Annual Scientific Research Award

12 Oct 2022 — 3 min read

By AFSP

Christine Yu Moutier, M.D.

Letter to United States Preventive Services Taskforce on Adult Suicide Screening

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is presenting the NAMI 2022 Scientific Research Award to Christine Yu Moutier, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for the past nine years, during a ceremony today at the National Press Club.

In addition to overseeing the research grant program of AFSP, one of the largest private funders of suicide and prevention research globally, Moutier is known for translating scientific research into practice for clinical and community-based applications used in programs and treatments. She has been involved over the years with numerous research grants and studies, including serving as co-investigator for the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression Study (STAR*D), a large National Institute of Mental Health trial on the treatment of refractory depression.

During her tenure at AFSP, Moutier has been tirelessly advocating for culture change around suicide prevention at the national level, briefing congressional committees, educating major media outlets and making the most of every opportunity to represent the latest science and those with lived experience.

Prior to her work at AFSP, she was on the faculty and served as assistant dean for student affairs and medical education at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. As co-founder of the San Diego Chapter of AFSP in 2006, she launched the Interactive Screening Program (AFSP’s signature intervention program for those at risk for suicide) for the UCSD health science community, which includes faculty, trainees, nurses, and all members of the clinical and non-clinical staff. The Interactive Screening Program has now been implemented by several hundred companies and health systems and has received recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the U.S. Surgeon General. 

“As a clinician and educator who has lost far too many students and colleagues to suicide, Dr. Moutier brings not just the rigorous approach of a scientist and academic to her work, but also a uniquely humanizing touch, driven by her passion and empathy,” Gillison said. “She helps prove that expertise comes in many different forms and our personal, lived experiences are critical to advancing the science.”

Gillison added: “Dr. Moutier and AFSP have been invaluable partners with NAMI in the cause of destigmatizing mental illness and mental health conditions, as well as education, support and advocacy on behalf of the millions of people nationwide who need help.”

In an interview for the new book “You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Health,” by NAMI Chief Medical Officer Ken Duckworth, M.D., Moutier stated: “Sharing my own story of vulnerability, healing, and finding solidarity with so many others has been profoundly transformative for me.”

Moutier also provided advice in the book’s section “Experts Answer the Most Frequently Asked Questions” about how to approach a person who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

The NAMI Scientific Research Award is supported by the Peter Corbin Kohn Endowment, recognizing the work of researchers who move our scientific understanding and treatment of mental illness forward.

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

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Media Contact: María de los Ángeles Corral, AFSP VP of Public Relations, 917-439-2946, [email protected]

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