Karen Lawrence Selected as Research Scholar: Project to Focus on Mental Health in Women Veterans

Karen Lawrence Selected as Research Scholar: Project to Focus on Mental Health in Women Veterans

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By Harriett Hendren

Dr. Karen Lawrence of the UK College of Social Work  has been selected as a scholar in the university’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program.

The program, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Nizagara, provides a mentored research experience focused on women’s health. BIRCWH will furnish funds for salary, research, and travel to present any findings. The appointment to the BIRCWH program is for one year starting in January with the ability for reappointment for a second year.

 

Lawrence, an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work, is interested in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions. She notes that “Women are the fastest growing subgroup of veterans and female veterans are at heightened risk for both depression and suicide.”

 

For her BIRCWH project, Lawrence will study veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The goal will be to identify factors, such as work and family, that can be used to tailor mental health services to female veterans, especially those for suicide prevention.

 

BIRCWH project mentors are Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom, Professor in the UK Department of Psychology, Dr. Brian Smith, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and Dr. Julie Cerel, Professor in the UK College of Social Work. The director of the BIRCWH program is Dr. Thomas Curry, Professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

 

For more about the program, go to Obgyn.med.uky.edu/bircwh.