Notre Dame receives $4M grant for children’s suicide prevention research

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The National Institute of Health is awarding a $4 million dollar grant to a couple of Notre Dame faculty members.

The money will go towards work done by Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino, psychologists at the university. Both Beauchaine and Valentino study in the field of suicide prevention.

Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino of Notre Dame have received a 4-million-dollar...
Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino of Notre Dame have received a 4-million-dollar research grant for suicide prevention on Oct. 4, 2022.(WNDU)

The grant will support a 5-year-long project that hopes to help stop the country’s youth suicide epidemic.

“We are thrilled to receive the Transformative Research Award,” said Beauchaine, the William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Psychology and director of primary prevention at the Notre Dame Suicide Prevention Initiative. “The traditional pipeline for new interventions is 12 years long, at best. This is an amazing opportunity to fast-track these methods and technologies in order to reach far more adolescents at far lower cost — and hopefully save lives.”

Beauchaine and Valentino plan to enroll more than 200 Michiana kids between the ages of 13 and 17, who will be put into different test groups to try different therapy combinations.

The two therapies researchers will focus on are transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation, which is mainly used to treat therapy-resistant depression, and a smartphone app developed by the university called Ammerman, which they hope will combat social isolation.