National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention


Michigan State University, Henry Ford Health, and Brown University are home to the leading investigators in the center. 

Content Warning: If you or someone you know needs help, please call, text, or chat with the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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In the United States, there is one death by suicide reported every 11 minutes. The research shows an increased risk of suicide in individuals involved in the justice system, with one in three men and one in eight women who died by suicide having spent at least one night in jail in their lifetimes.

Given ~10% of all suicides with known causes in the U.S. occur in the context of a recent criminal or legal stressor (often arrest and jail detention), reducing suicide risk after jail detention could have a noticeable impact on national suicide rates. Better coordination of care between county jails and healthcare systems is crucial to manage often severe problems encountered in this population, but it is difficult to achieve at scale. Jail detention may disrupt existing care and provide additional stressors1. High jail admission and discharge volumes (>10,000,000 per year), short jail stays (median of a few days), and understaffing mean that most of the U.S.’s ~3,100 county and local jails do not have capacity to coordinate care adequately. Outside jail, many justice-involved individuals are supported by professionals in publicly funded systems, who are typically unaware that their client was in jail and may drop the client for missing appointments. The resulting lack of care or fragmented care leads to unnecessary cycling in and out of jail and suicide-related morbidity and mortality.

The National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention (NCHATS) is a national research center funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) meant to build information bridges between healthcare organizations and justice systems to identify individuals at risk for suicide and connect them to care. NCHATS will evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of suicide prevention activities that bridge justice contacts and community care. Specifically, the Center uses contact with the justice system as a novel indicator of suicide risk in the general population and connects individuals at risk for suicide to community care.

References: [1] Mallik-Kane K. Health Care after Incarceration Accessed 10-9-20, 2020. 43. Changes in coding of suicide attempts or self-harm with transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Psychiatr Serv. Stewart, C, Crawford, PM, Simon, GE;68(3):215.

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NCHATS Advanced and Emerging Collaborating Scholars Opportunity

The NIMH-funded National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention (NCHATS) is soliciting applications from Advanced Collaborating and Emerging Scholars to capitalize on Center resources to enhance and/or extend their research program and that of the Center.

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Meet The Team

The center includes a diverse group of investigators with a broad range of expertise and experience leading very large, geographically distributed projects.

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Four Key Projects

The center is working on four key projects to sync screening and services in real-time utilizing data linkage and automation to improve mental health treatment. 

Feasibility-Pilot Funding Opportunity Program

Funding call.The National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention is soliciting small (feasibility/pilot studies) that capitalize on Center resources and extend the Center research program.

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Sign Up

Need help with your project? Click below to receive hands-on technical support through the center’s workstreams.

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The National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention includes a robust team of more than 100 stakeholders, 30 investigators, 15 institutions, and numerous consortium partners.

See who is working to improve health outcomes in justice populations.

To become a consortium partner, contact

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Contact Us

The NCHATS team is here to help. Learn more and find resources.

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