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Project Title

Unifying Immigrant Families for Youth Suicide Prevention (UNIFYSP)

Project Summary

Unifying Immigrant Families for Youth Suicide Prevention (UNIFYSP) is a multidisciplinary mixed-methods study funded in 2018 by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to address suicide in the Latinx immigrant community. The project is a multisite collaborative effort among faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Centro SOL, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Experts have raised concerns about the effects of the current political environment with respect to immigration policy and its potentially broad-ranging effects on the health of Latino families. Concerns raised have included decreased ability to engage families in needed health services, even when children qualify for those services.

This study aims to assess the association between parent immigration status and adolescent suicidal ideation and behavior.  Key questions:

1. With respect to suicide prevention, what are the educational and mental health needs of Latino youth from immigrant families in the current political context?
2. What recommendations do community members have for suicide prevention and mental health treatment interventions targeting this community?

The project is a yearlong project, which includes quantitative data analysis of national and statewide surveys and qualitative community-centered interviews to answer the research questions. To develop a strong network to address suicidality in the Latinx community, the project presents a suicide prevention summit.

Project Details


Principal InvestigatorFunder
Wilcox, Holly – PhDBloomberg American Health Inititive
DepartmentProject Start Date
Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co – Principal InvestigatorProject End Date
Platt, Rheanna – MD, MPH12/1/2019
Other Co – Principal InvestigatorsTeam Members
Polk, Sarah – MD, Sc.M
Alvarez, Kiara – PhD
Acosta, Jennifer – MPH
Guerrero Vazquez, Monica – MPH, MS
Rincon Caicedo, Mariana – BA



One of the key outcomes of the project is the UNIFYSP Summit taking place on May 8, 2019. Read more about this working meeting to build a multidiscriplinary network tackling youth suicide here

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