Department of Psychiatry plays key role in suicide prevention agreement

A historic suicide prevention agreement signed Nov. 8, 2012 by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and the Massachusetts National Guard is deeply rooted in the work and collective vision of the UMMS Department of Psychiatry and its faculty members. Led by Barry N. Feldman, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of Psychiatry Programs in Public Safety at UMMS, the collaboration involves the leadership and team work of physicians and academics, generals and other military personnel.

Said Feldman, “This partnership is about helping our military personnel get the care and services they need and deserve so we can help prevent such tragedies.”

Read the story from the signing at

Suicide Prevention Signing

At the signing:, from back row, left to right: Rep. Harold P. Naughton Jr., major, U.S. Army Reserve; Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray; Barry N. Feldman, PhD, director, Psychiatric Programs in Public Safety, UMMS; Gen. L. Scott Rice, Massachusetts National Guard adjutant; Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and UMMS Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD; and Coleman Nee, secretary, Massachusetts Veterans Services.

Other Psychiatry Department faculty members involved in the effort include: David Smelson, PsyD, vice chair of clinical research; Alan Brown, MD, vice chair, adult clinical services; William O'Brien, MSW, executive director, UMass Memorial Behavioral Health System; and Albert Grudzinskas, clinical associate professor. The effort has had the ongoing support of Department Chairman Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, and the participation of Ralph J. Seymour, MD, assistant professor and staff psychiatrist – Consultation & Liaison Service; Gerardo Gonzalez, MD, director, Addiction Pharmacotherapy Research; and Monika Kolodziej, PhD, assistant professor and co-chair of the Central Massachusetts Addiction Consortium.

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