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Professor of Social Work, University of Kentucky

Dr. Cerel is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. She is the director of the Suicide Prevention & Exposure Lab (SPEL) at the University of Kentucky and currently serves as the Interim Associate Dean of Research and the Constance Wilson Professor in Mental Health. Her research has focused on suicide exposure/bereavement, suicide attempt survivors and suicide prevention. She is a Past-President of the American Association of Suicidology.

She completed her PhD from The Ohio State University, an internship and post-doctoral fellowship from West Virginia University and a post-doctoral fellowship specifically in suicide prevention from University of Rochester. She has served as Research Division Chair and Board Chair of American Association of Suicidology.

She is the author of over 95 academic publications and co-author of Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved. Her work has been funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Patient Centered Research Initiative (PCORI), SAMHSA, SPAN-USA and AFSP. She is an Editorial Board Member for Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.


  • 2017–present
    Professor of Social Work, University of Kentucky

Professional Memberships

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist