Skip to main content

Lanier receives $250K Humana Foundation award

by Matthew Smith

A $250,000 grant will help a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work researcher improve suicide prevention programs.

Paul Lanier, a professor and associate director of the Jordan Institute for Families, received one of four Humana Foundation Awards Health Equity Research Grants, the first of their kind offered through Humana Inc.’s philanthropic organization. The awards examine barriers to health equity with the hopes of removing the challenges that hinder a person’s access to healthy lifestyle choices.

Lanier’s project will research the potential for youth peer leaders to impact suicide prevention programs. Lanier will recruit high school peer leaders — mainly from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds — and harness their influence through social network and real life connections to share suicide prevention resources and tools.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity provided by the Humana Foundation to improve youth mental health,” UNC  School of Social Work Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Sheryl Zimmerman said. “Dr. Lanier is a nationally recognized expert in conducting rigorous research to improve children’s mental health services, and his research in prevention science will be enriched by this grant.”

Lanier was one of two Tar Heel researchers who received part of the $1,000,000 in awards. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow with UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health also received a $250,000 award to address food insecurity and loneliness.

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health and Yale University’s School of Medicine rounded out the award recipients.

Read more about the grants from the Humana Foundation.

Related stories

Grant combines people, big data to combat homelessness

A $252,000 grant secured by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work Associate Professor Hsun-ta Hsu will help develop a tool to combat homeless in rural regions.


UNC partnering on $81M dementia care workforce grant

School of Social Work faculty member and associate dean for research and faculty development Sheryl Zimmerman will lead part of an $81 million grant studying the dementia workforce.