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Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber


Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber is a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and her work is saving lives all over the globe. The former President of the American Psychiatric Association noted her work with the Columbia Protocol could be “like the introduction of antibiotics.” The U.S. Department of Defense said that her work is “nothing short of a miracle,” and that "her effective model of improving the world will help propel us closer to a world without suicide.” The CDC stated her work is “changing the paradigm in suicide risk assessment in the US and worldwide.”

Dr. Posner’s work has been noted in a keynote speech at the White House and cited in Congressional hearings, and she gave the lead presentation in a U.S. Senate forum on school safety after Parkland. The White House recently highlighted the Columbia Protocol app as helping to achieve the President’s mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. Jim Shelton, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, says her work has the potential to keep the 64 million children in our schools safe physically and mentally by helping prevent school violence.

Dr. Posner was awarded The Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service for her work saving lives across the nation.

She gave the invited presentation on tackling depression and suicide at the first European Union high level conference on mental health. Leadership of Israel’s national suicide prevention program articulated her work’s impact: “It’s not only saving millions of lives but in Israel it is literally changing the way we live our lives.”

The Columbia Protocol is policy across all 50 states, national agencies, and most countries. Dr. Posner was recognized as one of top 20 most impactful scientists from Columbia University across all areas of medicine over the past 10 years, and her scholarly work has been included in the compendium of the most important research in the history of the study of suicide. Through her advocacy she has helped change local, national, and international policy, which in turn has contributed to reductions in suicide across all sectors of society.

The U.S. FDA has characterized her work as “setting a standard in the field” and a lead article in The New York Times called it “one of the most profound changes of the past sixteen years.”

Her work has become a central part of employee wellness efforts across the globe, saving the lives of our caregivers and frontline workers from Department of Homeland Security to doctors and veterinarians. She gave the keynote to the annual summit of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, receiving the Mark W. Allam Lecture award.

Dr. Posner was honored with the “Angel Award” of New York’s “100 Socially Responsible” by City & State, the New York State Suicide Prevention Award, and the Anne Vanderbilt Award for Achievement Partnership with Children. She received The Spero Award for Excellence and Profound Commitment to Community Psychiatry and was awarded with the New York State Suicide Prevention Award. She is an international expert and spokesperson on suicide prevention and the treatment of depression, with appearances on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and numerous global media forums.

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