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Sarah Spafford

Research Associate
College of Education


Sarah Spafford, PhD, MSuicidology is a Research Associate in the Suicide Prevention Lab. Dr. Spafford completed her doctorate in Prevention Science at the University of Oregon and her Masters in Suicidology through Griffith University’s Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention. Her research has focused on suicide prevention and mental wellbeing across the lifespan. As a suicidologist, she has expertise in suicide prevention training, evaluation, and organizational and statewide policy development. Her scholarship is centered on the continuum of care for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, support for care providers of suicidal individuals, and older adult suicide. Additionally, she has experience in evidence synthesis and curriculum development for suicide prevention courses.


2023, Ph.D., Prevention Science, University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
2018, MSuicidology, Suicidology, Griffith University (Brisbane, QLD)
2013, B.A., Psychology, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA)

Honors and Awards

2020 SOPHE/CDC Student Fellowship in Injury Prevention
2019 Raymund Fellowship, University of Oregon


Muruthi, J., Spafford, S., & Osa, M. L., DeLouize, A., Biritwum, R., Naidoo, N., Kowal, P., & Snodgrass, J. J. (2021). Suicidal ideation in older Ghanaian women: The roles of bodily pain, functional limitation, and chronic health conditions. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Advanced online publication.
Hawgood, J., Spafford, S. G., Evans, A., Webster, A., & Koo, Y. W. (2022). Suicide risk assessment fears, attitudes and behaviours of lifeline crisis supporters. Health & Social Care in the Community, 00, 1– 12.
Metcalfe, R. E., Spafford, S. G. & Ziring, A. (2021). Calling in for care: Best practices for telehealth administrations of adolescent suicide assessments. The Oregon Psychologist. Advanced Online Publication.