Katherine Ann (Kate) Comtois, PhD, MPH

Personal Statement

My career goal is to give suicidal clients and their clinicians the best chance to succeed. I have been working in the area of health services, treatment development, and clinical trials research to prevent suicide for over 20 years. My graduate training was in community/clinical psychology and focused on achieving clinical ends through prevention and other system interventions in socio-culturally diverse populations. I have developed and adapted interventions to improve care and clinician willingness to work with suicidal patients including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS), Caring Contacts, and Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS). I have developed an adaptation of DBT, Accepting the Challenges of Employment and Self-Sufficiency (DBT-ACES), a program to assist psychiatrically disabled individuals with borderline personality disorder find and maintain living wage employment. My research has been funded by NIMH, NIDA, the Department of Defense, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the State of Washington.

Dr. Comtois is the director for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Recovery (CSPAR) whose mission is to promote the recovery of suicidal individuals and the effectiveness and well-being the clinicians and families who care for them by conducting rigorous and ecologically valid research, developing innovative interventions, improving policies, systems and environments of care, and providing expert training and consultation. CSPAR faculty and staff seek a deep understanding of the cultures and settings in which we work that leads to meaningful and effective interventions ready for implementation.

In addition to clinical research, I founded the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC) and am the PI and Director of the Military Suicide Research Consortium Dissemination and Implementation core.  These organizations focus on disseminating and implementing innovative, evidence-based interventions in the systems that need them. Beyond my research, I have directed the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program and Psychotherapy Clinic at Harborview Medical Center since 1996 and have a long history of training and mentoring junior faculty, fellows, psychiatry residents, pre-doctoral psychology interns, undergraduate students, and post-bacalaureate trainees.


Severe Mental Illness , University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center , 1992-1994
Ph.D. , Clinical/Community Psychology , University of Maryland, College Park , 1992
MPH , Health Services , University of Washington, Seattle , 2009
M.A. , Clinical/Community Psychology , University of Maryland, College Park , 1990
B.A. , Psychology , Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick , 1986

Recent Publications

Proceedings of the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC) 2019: where the rubber meets the road: the intersection of research, policy, and practice - part 1.
(2020 Sep 30)
Implement Sci 15(Suppl 3): 76
Landes SJ, Kerns SEU, Pilar MR, Walsh-Bailey C, Yu SH, Byeon YV, Crane ME, Larson M, Bullock HL, Baumann AA, Comtois KA, Darnell D, Dorsey S, Fizur P, Lewis CC, Moullin JC, Pierson A, Powell BJ, Stanick CF, Wiltsey Stirman S, Franks RP

Prehospital Patient Care Protocols for Suicidality in Washington State.
(2020 Jun 23)
Prehosp Emerg Care
DeCou CR, Huppert T, Kume K, Veras P, Comtois KA, Rea T

Targeted Assessment and Context-Tailored Implementation of Change Strategies (TACTICS) to increase evidence based psychotherapy in military behavioral health clinics: Design of a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge implementation study.
(2020 Jun)
Contemp Clin Trials 93(): 106008
Rosen CS, Davis CA, Riggs D, Cook J, Peterson AL, Young-McCaughan S, Comtois KA, Haddock CK, Borah EV, Dondanville KA, Finley EP, Jahnke SA, Poston WSC, Wiltsey-Stirman S, Neitzer A, Broussard CR, Brzuchalski MA, Clayton MSP, Conforte LAM, Flores A, Hein J, Keith CF, Jinkerson CJ, Letendre M, Nofziger D, Pollick K, Santiago CK, Waggoner LCJ, Woodworth C, McLean CP, TACTICS Research Group.

Correction to: The Society for Implementation Research Collaboration Instrument Review Project: a methodology to promote rigorous evaluation.
(2020 Jan 3)
Implement Sci 15(1): 3
Lewis CC, Stanick CF, Martinez RG, Weiner BJ, Kim M, Barwick M, Comtois KA

Lived Experiences of Suicide Risk and Resilience among Alaska Native and American Indian People.
(2019 Oct 17)
Int J Environ Res Public Health 16(20):
Shaw JL, Beans JA, Comtois KA, Hiratsuka VY

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