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Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Research

Suicide and mental health are top health concerns that have been identified in our communities. One person dies by suicide every 12 minutes in the United States making it one of the leading causes of death1. Idaho has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation and is 50% above the national average1

Therefore, St. Luke’s is leading research studies focused on mental health and suicide prevention techniques in adults and adolescents.

Email us to subscribe to our study newsletter for updates.

1Stone DM, Simon TR, Fowler KA, et al. Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates — United States, 1999–2016 and Circumstances Contributing to Suicide — 27 States, 2015. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - MMWR - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018;67(22):617-624.

Suicide Prevention


The Suicide Prevention Among Recipients of Care (SPARC) trial will compare two proven kinds of follow-up support to help prevent suicide after people leave the hospital or clinic. The supports include safety planning with phone call follow-up support from a suicide prevention hotline versus safety planning with caring contacts text messages or email supports from a suicide prevention hotline.

  • Study Goal: The goal is to use the data to determine the most effective approach to prevent suicide in adults and adolescents.
  • Study Details: SPARC is a randomized controlled trial with 1,520 participants. 


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused increases in mental health concerns in our communities and healthcare workers.

In the Mental Health Among Patients, Providers, and Staff (MHAPPS) Study, St. Luke’s determined how many health care workers and patients were experiencing mental distress such as anxiety, loneliness, depression, stress, or suicidal thoughts. The MHAPPS study also compared two versions of text message support for patients and healthcare workers with mental distress to see which works better.

  • Study Goal: The goal is to determine how many healthcare workers and patients were experiencing mental distress and to determine the most effective approach to support people when mental health care resources are limited.
  • Study Details: MHAPPS includes a cross-sectional survey with 3,646 participants, a randomized clinical trial with 660 participants, and a longitudinal study with 1,084 participants followed for three years.
  • Study Results: Results for the clinical trial have been published, and other results are being analyzed. 


The Suicide Prevention Interventions to Guide Follow-up Care (SPRING) Trial will compare three types of follow-up care to determine the best way to support patients at risk for suicide at home. The SPRING Trial builds on the SPARC and MHAPPS studies and will compare two versions of a Caring Contacts text message intervention to enhanced usual care to reduce suicide risk.

  • Study Goal: The goal is to determine which of three types of follow-up care are most helpful for people at risk for suicide.
  • Study Details: SPRING is a randomized controlled trial with 849 participants.

Learn more about the SPRING trial at St. Luke's or visit


SPARC and MHAPPS are primarily supported through a research grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI®). SPRING is primarily supported by a research grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The St. Luke’s Foundation also provides financial support for these projects. If you would like to learn more about how to support these projects with a charitable gift, please contact the St. Luke’s Health Foundation at (208) 381-5355 or by email.

Publications to Date

Are you in distress or concerned about someone you know?

Are you in distress or concerned about someone you know?

Call or Text 988 for the Idaho Crisis & Suicide Hotline

The Idaho Crisis & Suicide Hotline provides 24/7 free and confidential crisis intervention, emotional support, problem-solving, and referrals to local resources for persons at risk for suicide and for those concerned about them. 

You do not have to be in crisis to call.

NOTE: The Idaho Crisis & Suicide Hotline is a member of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and is taking the 988 calls for Idaho as part of the national network of crisis call centers. It is a national line, but the people you'll speak to live here in Idaho.

Help is just a phone call or text away. Please call or text 988, or start an online chat now.

Articles & Resources

  • showing 2 of 2
  • Blog Post

    St. Luke’s awarded $3.4 million for Idaho suicide study

  • Blog Post

    St. Luke’s aims to help fill gaps in what science knows about preventing suicide with new studies