Hunter College Psychology Professor Regina Miranda was awarded a grant from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Violence Research and Education to support her research on youth suicide.
“This grant was literally an answer to an unspoken need, and I want to express my deep gratitude to those who nominated me for this award,” Miranda said. “I hope that this award will enable us to work towards improving existing assessments of youth suicide risk, to better adapt them to the communities we have been studying — including Spanish-speaking populations — and to identify gaps in systems of care to improve outcomes among teens who present to emergency departments with suicidal thoughts or behavior.”
The Kaiser Permanente center — part of the huge, California-based health provider — awarded $3.2 million to seven researchers, 10 community-based organizations, and three national organizations for their innovative approaches to gun-violence intervention and prevention.
Miranda is director of Hunter’s Laboratory for the Study of Youth Cognition and Suicide, co-founder of the Youth Suicide Research Consortium, and director of Clinical Training of the Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her lab seeks to understand the characteristics of adolescents’ suicidal thoughts that predict risk of making a future suicide attempt, in order to improve clinical assessments and to understand how to change the circumstances that lead young people to consider ending their lives.
Her lab does so, in part, by interviewing teenagers and their families who seek medical care in New York City public hospitals, including those that serve zip codes with some of the highest poverty rates in the United States.
Located in Manhattan, Hunter College’s Psychology Department has been at the forefront of addressing urban problems such as gun violence — an urgent public health crisis and the leading cause of death among children and teens, especially among communities of color.
The Kaiser Permanente center hopes to foster a deeper understanding of the root causes of gun violence and its disproportionate impact in Black and brown communities by investing in the work of researchers of color and community organizations representing those with lived experience, according to Angelina Ruffin, the center's managing director.
“This is an incredible opportunity to effect real change that not only heals communities but also disrupts the systemic disparities and structural racism that got us here in the first place,” Ruffin said.