Dr. Allen is best known for his work in agitation, suicide and emergency services. While at New York University School of Medicine, he was the architect of the model Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Bellevue Hospital, mentioned in New York Magazine’s “Best Hospitals in New York”. Currently he is director of research at the Colorado Depression Center, part of the National Network of Depression Centers, and a senior investigator at the VISN 19 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center.
Dr. Allen was a principal investigator in the NIMH Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder and a part of the STEP-BD Suicide Work Group. He developed and validated the Clinical Global Impression Scale for Schizoaffective Disorder. He has been a principal investigator for many clinical trials and led investigator training at more than 40 meetings in the US, Europe, South America, Russia, India and Asia. He received a NARSAD Independent Investigator award for the study of nicotine and agitation and was a principal investigator in the testing of inhaled loxapine for agitation. He was a co-chair of the NIH Emergency Medicine Roundtable and an author of their recommendations for emergency services research on suicide, agitation and delirium. He is now a co-investigator for the NIH Emergency Department Safety and Follow-up Evaluation study (ED SAFE).
He has served as president of the American Association and vice president of the International Association for Emergency Psychiatry, chair of the Am Psychiatric Assoc Task Force on Psychiatric Emergency Services, lead expert for the Expert Consensus Guideline for the Management of Behavioral Emergencies, and member of the American College of Emergency Physicians clinical policy committee, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration pharmacotherapy expert panel, the Expert Consensus Guideline for Bipolar Disorder, the Colorado Clinical Guidelines Collaborative Depression Program, the Colorado Governor’s Advisory Panel on Suicide and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado. He is currently working with an Am Association of Suicidology task force on improving the competency of mental health professionals in suicide risk assessment, is a member of the Military Suicide Research Consortium and is president of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, a Colorado suicide prevention organization. He has served as a consultant to the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He is the author or editor of three books, former editor of Emergency Psychiatry, a reviewer for the Cochrane Collaborative and is currently associate editor of General Hospital Psychiatry.
Dr. Allen hails from the Carolina Low Country and was raised on the Marine bases at Parris Island, SC and Quantico, VA. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and trained in psychiatry at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT, where he served as chief resident. He has served on the faculty at Cornell Medical School, NYU and is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is board certified in psychiatry with added qualifications in addictions and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.