As part of its mission, STAR-Center develops and disseminates new knowledge and strategies for preventing and treating suicidal behaviors, depression, and anxiety to teachers, mental health professionals, and the public.
STAR-Center travels throughout the Commonwealth providing specialized presentations to school districts, mental health and youth-serving organizations, as well as professional organizations on a wide range of topics dealing with at-risk youth, crisis prevention and intervention, postvention, and trauma and loss. STAR-Center has developed and conducts specialized webinars for physicians and primary care staff to assist providers on issues around medication management for teens and pre-teens, strategies for interviewing depressed youth, and psychoeducation for parents about depression and the importance of restricting lethal means. Professional trainings for mental health providers include suicide risk assessment, cognitive behavior therapy, and managing self-injurious behavior in depressed and suicidal youth. STAR-Center holds an annual conference in Pittsburgh, and offers other regional conferences.
Since 2008, STAR-Center has provided technical assistance for multiple Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grants awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). Over the years, these grants aimed to develop behavioral health screening in primary care (2008 – 2013), to address youth suicide prevention in schools (2014 – 2019), and most recently, in 2019, to establish and strengthen the transitions of care for identified youth at risk for suicide between and within systems. The technical assistance has included clinical trainings for behavioral health providers on evidenced based treatments for suicidal youth, webinars for physicians on medication management for depressed and suicidal youth, and trainings for school personnel to meet the requirements of Act 71. More information about Pennsylvania’s Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention grants can be found at https://www.preventsuicidepa.org/aboutgls/. Additional trainings developed by STAR-Center and the Garrett Lee Smith grant team are available at no cost through Prevent Suicide PA’s Online Learning Center at http://preventsuicidepalearning.com/.
If you are interested in scheduling a presentation or training for your school district, agency, or organization, please complete and submit a Training Request Form. Requests are reviewed and scheduled as permitted. If you have questions regarding our training, please contact us.
The STAR-Center Clinic provides in-depth training experiences for residents, research fellows, and clinical interns, in the assessment, management, and treatment of adolescents at high suicidal risk and with difficult to treat unipolar mood disorders.