Beyond Blue pays tribute to suicide prevention pioneer Dr Barbara Stanley

13 February 2023

The team at Beyond Blue is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Barbara Stanley, an American psychologist and researcher whose work has shaped suicide prevention globally. 

Dr Stanley, who passed away on 1 February, helped develop one of the greatest contributions to suicide prevention – known as the Stanley-Brown Safety Planning Intervention, in 2008 with research partner Dr Gregory K. Brown. This important work paved the way for people to develop their own step-by-step plan of coping strategies and supports to find a way through suicidal thoughts.  

Beyond Blue had the privilege of working with Dr Stanley on the development of Beyond Blue’s suicide safety planning application – the Beyond Now app. Along with Dr Brown, Dr Stanley endorsed the development of Beyond Now, consulted with the development team and shared her original Safety Net app to inform its design.  

Dr Stanley travelled to Australia from the United States for the launch of Beyond Now in 2015, to promote safety planning and to train clinicians in its use.  

Throughout her career, Dr Stanley maintained a strong connection with Australian colleagues and was always interested to be kept informed about the latest Beyond Now developments.  

Dr Stanley was a Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of the Suicide Prevention Training, Implementation and Evaluation (SP-TIE) program in the Center for Practice Innovations at New York State Psychiatric Institute. She wrote more than 200 papers and was president of the International Academy for Suicide Research.  

She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Morris, son Thomas Stanley, and siblings, John Hrevnack, Michael Hrevnack and Joanne Kennedy.  

The team at Beyond Blue offers its sincerest condolences to Dr Stanley’s family and all who knew her. 

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