Marnin Heisel, PhD

Dr. Heisel

Associate Professor
P: 519.685.8500 ext: 75981
F: 519.667.6584


Research Cluster Membership

Research Interests

  • Dr. Heisel is a Clinical Psychologist whose research focuses on the assessment and treatment of depression and suicide risk among older adults, and investigation of associated risk and resiliency factors. To date, this program of research has contributed a novel measure of suicide ideation among older adults (the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale GSIS), assessed the psychometric properties of existing measures of late-life depression and hopelessness, investigated cognitive and personality vulnerability to depression and suicide risk, explored meaning in life and other psychological resiliency factors, and included a psychotherapy treatment study for older adults at-risk for suicide. 
  • Other research interests include: test development, psychotherapy research, and clinical treatment evaluation. 


  • Specialized Honour's B.A. (Psychology) York University 1994
  • M.A. (Clinical Psychology) York University 1996
  • Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) York University 2001
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Suicide Studies) University of Toronto 2002

Recent Research Grants

  • Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, The University of Western Ontario
  • Scientist, LHRI, Health Outcomes & Health Services Program, and Aging, Rehabilitation & Geriatric Care Program
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester
  • Mindfulness to Improve Elders' Immune and Health Status (National Institute on Aging; 2006-2010)
  • Promoting Psychological Resiliency to Late-Life Depression & Suicide Risk (CIHR; 2007-2012) New Investigator Award

Publications (selected)

  • Friedman, B., Heisel, M.J., & Delavan, R. (2005). Validity of the SF-36 five-item Mental Health Index for major depression in functionally impaired, community-dwelling elderly patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53 (11), 1978-1985.
  • Heisel, M.J. (2006). Suicide and its prevention among older adults. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51 (3), 143-154.
  • Heisel, M.J., & Duberstein, P.R. (2005). Suicide prevention in older adults. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 12 (3), 242-259.
  • Heisel, M.J., Duberstein, P.R., Conner, K.R., Franus, N., Beckman, A., & Conwell, Y. (2006). Personality and reports of suicide ideation among depressed adults 50 years of age or older. Journal of Affective Disorders, 90 , 175-180.
  • Heisel, M.J., & Flett, G.L. (in press). Psychological resilience to suicide ideation among older adults. Clinical Gerontologist.
  • Heisel, M.J., & Flett, G.L. (2004). Purpose in life, satisfaction with life and suicide ideation in a clinical sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26 (2), 127-135.
  • Heisel, M.J., & Flett, G.L. (2006). The development and initial validation of the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14 (9), 742-751.
  • Heisel, M.J., Flett, G.L., Duberstein, P.R., & Lyness, J.M. (2005). Does the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) distinguish between older adults with high versus low levels of suicidal ideation? The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13 (10), 876-883.
  • Heisel, M.J., Links, P.S., Conn , D., van Reekum, R., & Flett, G.L. (in press). Narcissistic personality and vulnerability to late-life suicidality. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
  • King, D.A., Heisel, M.J., & Lyness, J.M. (2005). Assessment and psychological treatment of depression in terminally ill older adults. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 12 (3), 339-353.
  • Links, P.S., Eynan, R., Heisel, M.J., Barr, A., Korzekwa, M., McMain, S., & Ball, J.S. (2007). Affective instability and suicidal ideation and behavior in patients with borderline personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 21 (11), 72-86.
  • Links, P.S., Heisel, M.J., & Quastel, A. (2005). Is suicide ideation a surrogate endpoint for geriatric suicide? Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35 (2), 193-205.
  • Professional Guidelines: Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (2006). National Guidelines for Seniors' Mental Health: The Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide . Toronto , Canada : Author.