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Bereavement Adaptation: Learning And Navigating Coping Essentials (BALANCE)


Our team intends to create and evaluate an interactive website that allows bereaved individuals to monitor and adjust their coping strategies after engaging with psychoeducational materials and practicing the use of effective strategies in virtual and real-life scenarios. Research indicates that increased suicidality following bereavement is associated with avoidant coping strategies (e.g., self-distraction, substance use, behavioral disengagement) while positive mental health outcomes are associated with other strategies (e.g., active coping, emotional support). Addressing avoidance amongst bereaved individuals can reduce grief symptoms and encourage active coping strategies, thereby reducing risk of suicidality. The interactive website will encourage users to discover the right "balance" of coping strategies that is effective for them.

Strategic Alignment with National Suicide Prevention Goals

CDC Suicide Prevention Strategies

As it is outlined in the CDC's "Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices," our project is aligned with the following strategies:

    • Strengthen Access and Delivery of Suicide Care

    • Identify and Support People at Risk

White House Priorities

As it is outlined in The White House "Fact Sheet: New Strategy Outlines Five Priorities for Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide," our project is aligned with the following priorities:

    • Increasing Access to and Delivery of Effective Care

    • Addressing Upstream Risk and Protective Factors

Selected References

  1. Bryant, R. A., Kenny, L., Joscelyne, A., Rawson, N., Maccallum, F., Cahill, C., ... & Nickerson, A. (2014). Treating prolonged grief disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(12), 1332-1339.
  2. Shear, M. K., Reynolds, C. F., Simon, N. M., Zisook, S., Wang, Y., Mauro, C., ... & Skritskaya, N. (2016). Optimizing treatment of complicated grief: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(7), 685-694.
  3. Wenn, J. A., O’Connor, M., Kane, R. T., Rees, C. S., & Breen, L. J. (2019). A pilot randomised controlled trial of metacognitive therapy for prolonged grief. BMJ Open, 9(1), e021409.