Lisa   Wexler

Lisa Wexler

Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research


Working with rural Indigenous communities, Dr. Lisa Wexler’s participatory and applied research program aims to prevent suicide and promote wellness from multiple levels. Focused on strengthening local systems of support, PC CARES (Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide) (R01MH112458) brings together community members and service providers to learn from scientific research so they can strategically apply it to their lives. She co-leads the statewide Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience (ANCHRR) with Drs. Stacy Rasmus and Jim Allen (U19MH113138). ANCHRR identifies and describes the community level protective factors in 64 Alaska Native communities. The project strives to share and amplify these strengths across Alaska through annual Collaborative Hub meetings and on-going outreach and capacity building efforts. Additionally, Dr. Wexler is working with Dr. Rivkin in rural schools to incorporate Elder teachings and youth digital storytelling in the high school curriculum. Her school-based work also includes youth-led educational sessions focused on wellness, prevention and anti-bullying. Lastly, her current projects include an innovative, universal, family-focused screening in primary care clinics to restrict access to firearms.

Research Foci

  • Translating mental health research to community stakeholders and service providers to spark strategic, self-determined action
  • Describing and amplifying sources of strength and resilience in rural Indigenous communities that promote youth wellness
  • Upstream Alaska Native youth suicide prevention

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