Research Studies

We are currently conducting several studies on different aspects of depression and suicide risk. Read more about our currently active studies below:

1. Brief-SfSL Psychotherapy Study

Recruitment ad for the Brief-SfSL Psychotherapy study
Project Lead: Dr. Sakina Rizvi
The current COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to poorer mental health, and made it more difficult to access services for suicide risk. There is an especially urgent need for support that can be offered remotely and rapidly across communities. To address this need, we are doing a research study on “Brief Skills for Safer Living” (Brief-SfSL), a single-session individual psychotherapy intervention for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts. This therapy will be provided by a psychotherapist via online videoconferencing. We will be testing whether the single session of Brief-SfSL has an effect on suicidal thoughts and mood during over 3 months. Please see the flyer for more information or contact the study coordinator at therapy@asrlife.ca.


2. Suicide Biomarker Study

Project Lead: Dr. Sakina Rizvi

The prevalence of suicide attempt among individuals with 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 Amanda at Amanda.Ceniti@unityhealth.to.


3. R3CODE Study: Researching Reward and Resilience in Concussion and Depression

Coming Soon image for the R3CODE Study: Researching Reward and Resilience in Concussion and Depression
Project Lead: Dr. Sidney Kennedy


The ASR and the CAN-BIND Program have launched an online research study of the interaction between depression and concussion (a.k.a. mild traumatic brain injury). We aim to better understand how these two conditions (both separately and combined) affect people’s experience of reward, as well as their resilience, particularly during COVID-19.

We are looking to hear from four different groups of people aged 18-70 across Canada and the United States:
1) Depression Group: People who have current depression, and no history of concussion/TBI
2) Concussion Group: People who have had a concussion in the past 3-24 months, and no psychiatric history
3) Depression & Concussion Group: People who have current depression AND who have had a concussion within the past 3-24 months
4) Comparison Group: People with no concussion/TBI or psychiatric history

Study participation involves completing online self-report questionnaires and computerized reward/cognitive tasks in a single online session (approximately 90 minutes total), completed when and where you want. In order to participate, you must be fluent in English and have access to a desktop or laptop computer to complete the study assessments. Participation in this study is completely voluntary.

Compensation is provided to eligible participants who complete the study ($20 CAD gift card)!

Please see the flyer for more information or contact the study coordinator at amanda.ceniti@unityhealth.to if you would like to be notified when recruitment opens.


4. Depression & Concussion Study

Project Lead: Dr. Sidney Kennedy

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. This study is currently on hold due to COVID-19.