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HSR&D Researcher among Winners of 2022 Innovation in Acute Care Suicide Prevention Award

December 07, 2022

  Angie Waliski, PhD, NCC, LPCAngie Waliski, PhD, NCC, LPC

Congratulations to Angie Waliski, PhD, NCC, LPC, who, along with her colleagues Drs. Mike Wilson and Ron Thompson, has received the 2022 American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) “Innovation in Acute Care Suicide Prevention Award”!

Dr. Waliski is an investigator with HSR&D’s Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research in North Little Rock, AR. Her research, grounded in clinical expertise in trauma and counselor education as well as research skills honed during fellowship training, focuses on suicide prevention and assisting individuals who experience trauma.

The ACEP/AFSP Innovation in Suicide Prevention Award recognizes promising and innovative acute care activities related to suicide prevention that improve patient outcomes and the lives of patients and/or providers. Dr. Waliski’s team tested the feasibility of safety planning initiated in the emergency department at a teaching hospital, led by peers from the community with no formal medical training who provided support through compassion, empathy, and lived experience. Safety plans were then reviewed by a clinician prior to discharge. Findings revealed that participants were equally likely to embrace peer-delivered safety plans, and more likely to complete the programs led by peers, than those led by professionals.

“Enhancing access to treatment and services for mental health crises in the emergency department can save lives,” said Christopher S. Kang, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. “ACEP applauds the honorees for developing promising evidence that peer support can be a valuable complement to emergency physician-led care related to suicide provided in the emergency department.”

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