Early in 2019 I saw a simple tweet thanking the Armed Service Arts Partnership (ASAP) for their help in launching a book of poetry. Intrigued, I first wanted to know who was helping Veterans publish their poetry (and you can learn more about this great organization at www.asapasap.org) and then wanted to learn more about the author of the poetry, Jacquelyn Bengfort. So, I messaged her on Twitter and authors do what authors do, she wrote back. We were lucky to be in Washington DC to record most of this face-to-face with a short segment rerecorded over the phone. Jaci is fascinating and Adam does another great job getting the most from wonderful guest. Enjoy. And understand why saying 'Thank you for your service' is just the start of a long and long-lasting conversation.
The Coalition for Recovery and Innovation in Traumatic Brain Injury Care Across the Lifespan (CRITICAL) was developed in 2017 to advance patient-centered outcomes for adults living with moderate to severe TBI. The coalition consists of survivors of TBI and their caregivers as well as TBI professionals (clinicians, researchers, and advocates). Funded through a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, the CRITICAL aimed to 1) develop resources for empowering individuals with cognitive impairments to collaborate on research and 2) develop a national research agenda for improving the lives of those living with moderate to severe TBI. Adam spoke with Principal Investigator of the CRITICAL project, Dr. Nate Mohatt; Professor at Ohio State University and Director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation, Dr. John Corrigan; and 14-year traumatic brain injury survivor, Julia Terlinchamp. Dr. Mohatt, Dr. Corrigan, and Julia discuss their experiences with the project and give advice for those wishing to participate in patient-centered outcomes research.
Adam Hoffberg connected with this high-powered trio to talk about a study they did comparing safety planning intervention with follow-ups versus usual care of suicidal patients. The study changed policy and procedures at the VA, just saying. Greg gives a brief tutorial on safety planning, Barb talks about why follow-up care is important and Lisa discusses future implications.
Firearms can be one of the most divisive issues facing Americans today. But saving lives is a topic we can all get behind. Lethal means safety is a ripe frontier in suicide prevention with an emerging evidence base and growing support from all sides. Join host Adam Hoffberg as he interviews guest Dr. Michael Anestis from the Suicide and Emotion Dysregulation Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mike tackles common myths about the relationship between firearms and suicide, he provides context on how variants of means safety have played a key role in other public health phenomena, and challenges the counterarguments around means substitution. Dr. Anestis shares his vision of a collaborative, partnership-based path forward, explaining some of the hesitation many have entering into discussions about the role of firearms in suicide, and offers practical ways to approach this delicate issue. Mike brings an informed, even-handed, and optimistic perspective that with the right message we can reach gun owners and effectively prevent firearm suicides.
Transgender veterans appear to experience suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide, and die by suicide at rates that exceed that of the general population and their cisgender veteran peers. Adam Hoffberg spoke with Dr. Raymond Tucker, clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Louisiana State University, about his work that attempts to understand this increased risk. Dr. Tucker discusses his recent research regarding gender minority stress (e.g., discrimination, transgender shame, and fear one’s gender identity would be discovered) and their relationship to suicidal thoughts in transgender veterans. Dr. Tucker also discusses his research that indicates access to transition-related medical interventions, such as hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgeries, may protect transgender veterans from thoughts of suicide.
Dr. Lindsey Ann Martin, a medical anthropologist from the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas discusses with Adam the role of ethnographic methods in the field of implementation science at the recent 2018 D&I conference in Washington, DC. In this podcast, Lindsey talks about how she is using ‘periodic reflections’, a method developed by Drs. Erin Finley (San Antonio VA) and Alison Hamilton (Greater Los Angeles VA), to evaluate a facilitation strategy to implement video telehealth to home (VTH) for rural Veterans. Lindsey describes how ‘periodic reflections’ help her document the ‘emic’ or insider perspectives of external facilitators as they work to overcome barriers and challenges to VTH implementation for the delivery of mental health care. The goal of her evaluation work is to improve our understanding of the VTH facilitation process, and tailor it to the needs of rural sites. Lindsey will be presenting on this work as part of an upcoming Cyberseminar ‘Ethnography as a Catalyst for Innovation in Implementation Science: Dynamic Methods for Complex Interventions’ on January 15 at 3pm EST.
In this podcast Georgia interviews Dr. Chris Corona, post-doctoral fellow at the VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, to continue the discussion on moral injury. Moral injury is a relatively new concept and our understanding of how it relates to suicide risk is limited. Dr. Corona provides a thorough overview of moral injury and ways providers can assess and treat moral injury as well as sharing findings from current research on moral injury and suicide risk in a population of Veterans with substance use disorders and ideas for future research.
Lena Heilmann lost her sister Danielle to suicide in 2012. In response to this traumatic loss and as a way to honor her sister, Lena transitioned from her role as a college professor to working in suicide prevention. Now, as the Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Lena merges her lived experience with coordinating a SAMHSA Youth Suicide Prevention Grant. In this podcast, Lena talks about how her grief and loss survivor identity inform her work and her personal mission. Adam and Lena's conversation also addresses the role of upstream prevention efforts, an overview of suicide prevention work in Colorado, the importance of authentic interpersonal relationships, and how to prioritize self-care when working in the suicide prevention field.
This podcast release is coinciding with a HSR&D Cyberseminar "REACH VET: Applying Predictive Analytics to Clinical Practice." The HSR&D website will have a recording of the seminar. Adam speaks with Aaron Eagan, RN MPH, about the use of predictive analytics to identify Veterans at highest-risk of suicide and intervenes clinically to review and enhance care.
Dr. Michael Kauth is a clinical psychologist and has two major roles in the VA. He is Director of the VHA LGBT Health Program – a position shared with Dr. Jillian Shipherd – and he is also Co-Director of the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center. In addition, Dr. Kauth is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Recently he received The American Psychological Association, Division 18, James Besyner Award for Lifetime Achievement and later this week he and Dr. Shipherd will be receive the 2018 Achievement Award from the Gay/Lesbian Medical Association in Las Vegas. I have known Michael for almost 15 years beginning when he was the National Educational Director for MIRECC/CoE and I maintained the website. I caught up with Michael to reflect on his work and get his view of the future.
We recorded this podcast to coincide with a series of online trainings that Dr. Monteith is conducting and because this is a particular time in our country where sexual assault is on the minds of many. Lindsey discusses with Adam how we can take a public health approach to sexual violence, one where we can all take responsibility for ending the violence and helping victims heal. Her research of late has taken a qualitative approach where survivors are given a chance to speak in their own voice and make their own choices. She reminds us to listen with compassion and to believe what survivors are telling us.
I read Jess' piece, "Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide" in San Francisco during a rather desultory conference. The essay is a fresh look at a topic we all spend so much time thinking and talking about. For this podcast Jess came into our office at the new Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC, we sat by the window and talked. Jess had a lot of intriguing things to say about how we, society, think of mental health and how our collective inability to understand and accept differences places some of us on the margin and not part of the whole. And once we are on the margin how the credibility of our voices, our experiences are discounted. Tune in to the podcast to understand how listening to those with lived experiences can lead to a place where we trust what we are being told.
I went to Annmarie and Tracey's website, A Voice at the Table, and the banner shows a winter scene, bare trees in the snow. Then I started editing the recording that Adam did of these two wonders during the 2018 Bridging the Divide conference her in Denver. Listening to these two felt like coming in from the cold and sitting at the table in their kitchen. Laughing and talking big subjects and enveloped in warmth and fine company. Listen to this podcast and immerse yourselves in the power of the human spirit.
This podcast is an excellent example of the collaborative relationship between the VA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program and the VA Suicide Prevention Program in their mutual efforts to prevent both intimate partner violence (IPV) and suicide for those who have served. Dr. Bruce is the National Program Manager for the VHA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, which serves Veterans, their partners, and VA staff impacted by intimate partner violence. Dr. Franklin is the Executive Director, Suicide Prevention for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. And Dr. Monteith is a research/clinical psychologist with Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention.
Thank you for MIRECC’s, for your interest in the Sacred Bundle Project. We are a Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Tribal grantee, with the full name of our project being “Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle: R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Respect, Engaging, Supporting, Protecting, Empowering, Connecting, and Teaching) Project. We are primarily focused on youth suicide prevention concerning Native American/Alaskan Native individuals ages 10-24 years old. We work with 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan and spread the message that everyone is a #HealingHelper.
Adam Hoffberg interviewed Psychology Fellow Dr. Ryan Holliday about the research he is doing related to Military Sexual Trauma. This is a podcast that you could describe to your kids with something like, "Kids, I heard Doc Holliday’s original podcast before he became really big." You talk with Ryan and you just know he knows a lot (about evidence-based treatment, MST and PTSD) and isn't afraid to break it down for you. This podcast is also worth a listen if you want to hear Ryan try to get Adam to laugh. Apparently, it is not that easy.
In this podcast Adam Hoffberg and Dr. Katie Lewis discuss how daily social experiences operate as risk and/or protective factors against suicide. Dr. Lewis is a Research Psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center and a recent AFSP Young Investigator Grant recipient for her research, which utilizes ecological momentary assessment methods to study the social drivers of suicidal ideation in adults contending with complex chronic psychopathology. Adam and Dr. Lewis talk about the importance of studying the daily social experiences of individuals with chronic suicidal ideation, and the challenges (and benefits!) of implementing experience sampling research designs in active clinical settings.
What if we all woke up one day. Listening to Drs. Jessica Ribeiro and Joe Franklin is kind of like that; waking up to a new day and a new way to look at what we have assumed for so long when it comes to risk. Joe electrified the crowd at AAS with a keynote that introduced a new paradigm for suicide research. Later Jess continued the discussion by questioning "What We Risk by Maintaining the Status Quo About Suicide Risk". Here we had the chance to talk with both at once and listen has they riffed on their own work and their work in common.
While Adam was interviewing Dr. Elliott-Groves we both watched in awe as she started drawing out the concepts she was so clearly discussing. Emma is a member of the Cowichan Tribe, a First Nation people on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Taking an ecological approach to her work she brings the listener into a world view of community and relationships that helps better plan interventions.
Adam talks with Dr. Daniel DeBrule about a wholistic approach to suicide prevention. Dan is with the Houston VA and leads a program and research exploring how health and well-being team up for suicide prevention.
Adam sat down with Elvis Walden from StackUp.org. There was a social during AAS for folks involved in social media and these two gamers got to talking and one thing led to another and before you know it they produced a podcasts. What I like about Stack Up is they have built another community where people can get together and support one another. We have done a number of podcasts that feature Veterans finding and building community around a shared activity, this time gaming. And it works.
Marshall is a social media whiz who came to our attention at AAS. Marshall is a Religious Studies Major Randolph-Macon College and took a look at campus Greek Life as it relates to suicide and suicide prevention. Another examination of a community and it's response to suicide.
Dr. Sarra Nazem, Clinical Research Psychologist at Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention, hosts her first podcast with Elain de Mello, LICSW, and the Supervisor of Training & Prevention Services for The Connect Program. Sarra will soon be launching The VA Suicide Postvention Resource Center. She wanted to interview Elaine because of Elaine’s work in postvention and specifically with The Connect Program.
Adam sat down with Janet during the 2018 AAS conference this spring in Washington DC. Janet is, amongst other things, the Loss Division Chair for the American Association of Suicidology. Her journey began over 20 years ago when her brother died by suicide. Grief comes in many forms and is expressed many ways. Listen as Janet describes the journey she embarked upon with her own grief; how it lead to helping others on their journey.
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day takes place on November 17, 2018. Known as Survivor Day, the event, which is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. In 2017, there were close to 400 Survivor Day events in more than 20 countries.
Here to talk with us about Survivor Day, and how people can heal from a suicide loss, are Doreen Marshall, who is AFSP’s Vice President of Programs, and Brandon English, Director of AFSP’s Loss and Healing Programs.