Julie Richards, MPH

“My hope is that ‘mental health’ becomes less about ‘mental’ and more about ‘health’ as we continue to learn how to integrate care for depression, alcohol and drug use into routine health care.”

Julie Richards, MPH

Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Areas of focus:

  • Suicide Prevention
  • Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Mental Health
  • Implementation Research


Julie Richards, MPH, has a particular interest in research designed to improve care for stigmatized conditions. She has applied these interests in a broad range of research projects related to

  • sexually transmitted disease,
  • depression,
  • smoking cessation, and
  • suicide and substance use.

Julie is also currently enrolled in the University of Washington Health Services PhD program, concentrating in Health Systems Research, and planning to complete the program in 2018.

Julie is currently engaged in research projects on suicide prevention as well as alcohol use, funded by NIMH, NIAAA, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She is a co-investigator on a project seeking to understand suicide attempts following patient reports of no ideation (SRG-0-150-13), and she helps manage Dr. Greg Simon’s large pragmatic trial of population-based programs to prevent suicide attempt (UH3 MH092201). She also manages Dr. Katharine Bradley’s recently completed trial of a collaborative care intervention for primary care patients with alcohol use disorders in the VA (R01 AA018702).

Julie is also involved in a large-scale project evaluating the implementation of routine annual screening for depression, alcohol, marijuana and drug use across all 25 Kaiser Permanente Washington primary care clinics (funded in part by AHRQ R18 HS023173-01) and data analyses evaluating whether clinical alcohol screening can be used to monitor drinking outcomes in HIV+ patients (R21 AA022866-012015).

Research interests and experience

  • Behavior Change

    Alcohol and drug misuse; tobacco cessation

  • Mental Health

    Depression; alcohol and drug use disorders; suicide prevention; self-management

  • Preventive Medicine

    Public and population health; screening effectiveness and uptake; evidence-based practice recommendations


Recent Publications

Williams EC, McGinnis KA, Tate JP, Matson TE, Rubinsky AD, Bobb JF, Lapham GT, Edelman EJ, Catz SL, Satre DD, Bryant KJ, Marshall BDL, Kraemer KL, Bensley KM, Richards JE, Skanderson M, Justice AC, Fiellin DA, Bradley KA. HIV disease severity is sensitive to temporal changes in alcohol use: a national study of VA patients with HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Apr 6. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002049. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Richards JE, Whiteside U, Ludman EJ, Pabiniak C, Kirlin B, Hidalgo R, Simon G. Understanding Why Patients May Not Report Suicidal Ideation at a Health Care Visit Prior to a Suicide Attempt: A Qualitative Study. Psychiatr Serv. 2018 Nov 20:appips201800342. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201800342 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Glass JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Richards JE, Lapham GT, Ludman E, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Parrish R, Williams EC, Lozano P, Bradley KA. Study protocol: a cluster-randomized trial implementing Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-related Care (SPARC trial). Implement Sci. 2018;13(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s13012-018-0795-9. PubMed

Lapham GT, Lee AK, Caldeiro RM, Glass JE, Carrell DS, Richards JE, Bradley KA. Prevalence of behavioral health conditions across frequency of cannabis use among adult primary care patients in Washington state. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Jul 10. pii: 10.1007/s11606-018-4558-8. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4558-8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Williams EC, McGinnis KA, Edelman EJ, Matson TE, Gordon AJ, Marshall BDL, Bryant KJ, Rubinsky AD, Lapham GT, Satre DD, Richards JE, Catz SL, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Bradley KA. Level of alcohol use associated with HIV care continuum targets in a national U.S. sample of persons living with HIV receiving healthcare. AIDS Behav. 2018 Jul 9. pii: 10.1007/s10461-018-2210-6. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2210-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


suicide prevention

Patient perceptions shine light on preventing unexpected suicide attempts

Julie Richards, motivated by clinical practice needs and lived experience, is researching suicide-related care.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

healthy findings blog

Team care for teen depression is found cost-effective

Dr. Evette Ludman describes how collaborative care pays off for adolescents who have depression.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

KPWHRI In the Media

Skin cancer screening

Does skin cancer screening work?

OUP blog, Nov. 1, 2016

Live Healthy

What’s the best treatment for depression?

Whether you try antidepressants, therapy, both, or neither, KPWHRI’s Dr. Gregory Simon points to 3 ‘active ingredients’ for feeling better.

Read about it in Live Healthy.