Research Initiatives

The research initiatives under the ASR Chair fall into several categories. To learn more about each initiative, click on the links below:

Intervention Research
Current initiatives are investigating:

  • changes in identified risk factors and known deficit areas for people with recurrent suicide attempts participating in a group intervention for people with recurrent suicide attempts
  • the process of transition from high to lower risk for people with recurrent suicide attempts
  • client experiences of intervention in a multidisciplinary urgent care program

Biomarkers of Suicide
The prevalence of suicide attempt in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is about 20%. Risk for suicide attempt can be increased by many things such as negative life events, genetics, and changes in the way the body and brain function. It is most likely caused by a combination of several of these factors. Currently, we are conducting a study to identify biological risk factors for suicide attempt. Please see the flyer for more information or contact Nicole at

Depression and Suicidality Following Concussion
It is known that those who have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI; also known as concussion) are at greater risk of depression and suicidality. However, there has been little research about how brain function differs in those with mTBI and depression, and there are no clear risk factors for development of depression and suicidality after mTBI. The goal of this study is to characterize the biological profile (e.g. brain activity, behavioural tests) of those with mTBI and depression, and identify factors that may predict risk of depression and suicidality following injury. Please see the flyer for more information or contact Amanda at

Desvenlafaxine and Reward in Depression
Coming soon.

Treatment Resistant Depression
Coming soon.

Relapse Prevention
Coming soon.

Recent Publications from the ASR Chair

Review of evidence for use of antidepressants in bipolar depression (2014)
A review of the recent literature revealed that antidepressant monotherapy is not recommended for bipolar depression according to evidence-based guidelines. Adjunctive treatment with an antidepressant should only be considered when mood stabilizer or atypical antipsychotic monotherapy has failed.
Read the paper here >

Help-seeking in transit workers exposed to acute psychological trauma: a qualitative analysis (2014)
This study focused on TTC workers’ experiences with traumatic workplace events, and the motivators and deterrents for seeking mental health treatment after these events. Multiple factors were found to influence whether treatment was sought, including support from family and friends as a motivator, and paperwork and interactions with management as deterrents. Guilt, anger, and disbelief were prevalent emotional responses following the traumatic event.
Read the paper here >

The perspectives of young adults on recovery from repeated suicide-related behavior (2009)
This study focused on the transition away from high-risk suicide-related behaviours in young adults aged 18-25 who had multiple past suicide attempts. These individuals reported three key stages in the pathway to recovery: (1) “living to die”, (2) ambivalent thoughts and turning points, and (3) small steps (termed “pockets of recovery”) toward life. It was seen to be a fluid pathway with ebbs and flows along the way to recovery.
Read the paper here >

Reducing potential risk factors for suicide-related behavior with a group intervention for clients with recurrent suicide-related behavior (2009)
Individuals with recurrent suicide attempts underwent a 20-week outpatient intervention. Following the intervention, participants reported significant reductions in suicide risk factors, including those of cognition, affect, and impulsivity.
Read the paper here >

Borderline personality disorder and childhood trauma: evidence for a causal relationship (Feb. 2009)
A review of the literature revealed evidence to support the idea that there may be a causal relationship between childhood trauma and development of borderline personality disorder later in life.
Read the paper here >