News

9.14.2011

Dr. Charles Nemeroff Appointed to Lead Suicide Prevention Board

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of the Center on Aging at the Miller School and UHealth, and an internationally renowned expert in his field, has been appointed president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Florida Southeast Division.

In correspondence to Dr. Nemeroff announcing his appointment, Lorie F. Simmons, the foundation’s area director, and Michelle Legris Turner, its chair, wrote that they look forward to his expert contributions to help prevent suicide, “a major public health issue.”

Dr. Nemeroff has done extensive research on the causes and treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and suicide. His scope of research and clinical work also includes mood disorders, schizophrenia and the interface of physical illness and psychiatry. He currently serves on the AFSP’s board of directors as well as their scientific council. He is a past president of the national organization.

“The Miller School and UHealth are proud of Dr. Nemeroff’s appointment to lead an organization that does outstanding work in such a critical area,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “The board, its affiliates and countless families will benefit from his vast expertise in suicide prevention.”

As president of the organization, Dr. Nemeroff will guide the foundation’s core mission, which focuses on “understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.”

“I have been involved with the AFSP national organization since 1992, and it is a great honor to have been chosen to serve the Florida Southeast Division,” said Dr. Nemeroff. “With the reemergence of suicide as a Top 10 cause of death in the U.S., we have our work cut out for us.”

Last October, Dr. Nemeroff served as co-chair of the Out of the Darkness community walk for suicide prevention. About 1,000 people, including Miller School faculty and staff, participated in the walk at the Coral Gables campus, part of a nationwide effort to raise money for the foundation. He will also lead this year’s walk, scheduled for October 23 at Coral Gables campus.

Since joining UM, Dr. Nemeroff has been steadily raising the profile of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In March he was named director of the University of Miami Center on Aging, where he has begun expanding the center’s multidisciplinary approach to the study of aging. That same month he also spearheaded the opening of the University of Miami Hospital’s new Mood Disorders Unit for adults who are battling mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, the leading cause of suicide.

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