Barbara Stanley, Influential Suicide Researcher, Dies at 73

Health & Wellbeing

Dr. Stanley wrote more than 200 papers. She was president of the International Academy for Suicide Research and served on boards and committees of many professional organizations. She also continued her clinical practice, treating patients who struggled with suicidal feelings.

Ms. Morris, Dr. Stanley’s daughter, said that her mother was modest about her professional success but was always thrilled to hear from clinicians in far-flung places who had used the techniques she developed to help patients.

“She was deeply touched by that, no doubt,” she said in an interview. “She found it very, very, very meaningful and very passionate. The work was so fulfilling to her, both on a personal level and on a larger level, to have been of service.”

Barbara Hrevnack was born on Aug. 13, 1949, in Newark. Her father, John Hrevnack, worked as a tool-and-die maker, and her mother, Marie (Wnukowski) Hrevnack, worked in the claims department of an insurance company.

She earned a bachelor’s degree at Montclair State College and a doctorate in clinical psychology at New York University.

She married Michael Edward Stanley, a neuroscientist, in 1970, and the two published a number of research papers together on such topics as informed consent and borderline personality disorder. He died in 1993.

In addition to her daughter, Dr. Stanley, who lived in Chatham, N.J., is survived by her son, Thomas Stanley, and her siblings, John Hrevnack, Michael Hrevnack and Joanne Kennedy.

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