Lisa Wexler, PhD, MSW

Professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work
Clinical Professor in Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

Lisa Wexler

Professor Wexler's research focuses on three overlapping and complementary areas that address both scientific and community priorities: suicide prevention, wellness/resilience and praxis. Her research engages participants in all levels of the process, responds to cultural and community priorities, and builds on and promotes personal and collective assets. Currently, she is working with community partners and academics to pilot Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide (PC CARES) in Northwest Alaska (R34 MH096884) and test it in a larger trial in Bering Strait (R01 MH112458). PC CARES uses critical pedagogy to mobilize community members for collaborative and self-determined suicide prevention and wellness initiatives (for more information, see: pc-cares.org). Dr Wexler is also working with Drs. Rasmus and Allen (U19 MH113138) to identify vital community targets associated with reduced youth suicide risk within 3 rural and remote regions of Alaska. The study is a central component of a center called, Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience (ANCHRR), which  brings people together from across the state to share success, identify and promote community strengths and build local capacity for research. Her school-based intervention research utilizes Intergenerational Dialogue Exchange and Action (IDEA)—a participatory research method—to engage young people in efforts to find local strengths, skills and wisdom through cross-generational and community-based investigations that—through the effort--enhance youth possibilities for action and strengthen their social connections within and outside of their home communities. These various projects integrate Indigenous knowledge and participation in research to address local needs while maximizing the study’s public health impact.

Research Interests Include:

  • American Indian/Alaska Native Suicide Prevention
  • Indigenous Youth Resilience
  • Culturally-Responsive Behavioral Health Services
  • Participatory Research
  • Translating Research to Practice
  • Mixed Methods, Qualitative, and Digitally-Engaged Research Methods

Website | Email | Phone: 734-764-7806

Research Areas: Native, Indigenous, & Tribal PopulationsYouth Development & Engagement

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