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Seeking to Reduce Suicide Risk

Developing protocols for adolescent success after psychiatric hospitalization

Portrait of Maranccinni

Developing protocols for adolescent success after psychiatric hospitalization

Marisa Marraccini, PhD, has been awarded the 2022 Lightner Witmer Award, an honor bestowed by the American Psychological Association to recognize early-career achievement in the field of school psychology.

The APA’s Division of School Psychology (Division 16) presents the award annually to a young professional or academic school psychologist who demonstrates scholarship worthy of special recognition.

Marraccini pursues a research and practice agenda aimed at reducing suicide risk among adolescents, the second leading cause of death among school-aged youth in the United States.

Among her work, she has studied re-integration of adolescents into school environments following psychiatric hospitalization — a period during which they are at extremely high risk for making a suicide attempt. Nearly one-third are re-hospitalized with suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Marraccini has studied the practices of high schools across the country to help youth being re-integrated into school and has developed protocols for making those transitions successful.

Marraccini said receiving the Lightner Witmer Award was among the indications that work to help adolescents re-integrate into school after a psychiatric hospitalization was receiving greater attention among school psychologists and researchers.

“We have a lot more work to do,” she said. “We’ve planted seeds with this work over the past five to seven years. I feel like this is a mark that shows that the work is getting more attention and that we will continue to make more progress in this important work.”

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