This podcast is the beginning of a new occasional series where we interview Masters in Suicide Prevention.
Jerry Reed, PhD, MSW, Education Development Center’s Senior Vice President for Practice Leadership and Lead for the U.S. Division’s Suicide, Violence, and Injury Prevention Portfolio, shares his professional journey from the early days of his career experience to his current position of being a well-known leader and expert in the suicide, violence, and injury prevention fields.
Dr. Reed shares the background behind development of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) and the launch of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention that ranged from the 1990s to today. Dr. Reed speaks to the importance of how sharing stories of personal loss coupled with action requests truly moved forward national policy on suicide prevention and how these stories of individuals with personal lived experience with ideation and attempts continue to advance our policy and practice today.
Dr. Reed then explores ways to advance the 2012 revised NSSP, and thus reduce suicide, to include practical examples of what governments; businesses and employers; health care systems, injurers, and clinicians; schools, colleges, and universities; non-profit, community- and faith-based organizations; and individuals and families can do. The Zero Suicide initiative is explored as a very specific example for advancing Goal 8: Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.
Finally, Dr. Reed provided an overview of the major priorities of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in effort to advance the NSSP, particularly to reduce the national suicide rate by 20% by 2025. A national coordinated response with additional resources are needed to attain that goal. We should celebrate the progress and continue to intentionally focus on this issue with time and resources such that eventually any person can use any door to access services when in a time of distress.
Joe interviews Dr. Legarreta about the work she and her colleagues at the Salt Lake City office of Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention are doing regarding suicide prevention and chronic pain. In her latest paper Margaret looks at how catastrophic thinking patterns can increase suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Margaret explores the need to treat the mind/body connection in your clinical work.
In this podcast Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Bryann DeBeer, a suicide prevention researcher and clinical research psychologist at the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, and an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center. Dr. DeBeer discusses her interesting research which examines risk factors for suicide in Veterans. Her work also focuses on translating these findings into new actionable suicide prevention techniques. Adam and Dr. DeBeer talk about how these findings fit into clinical practice in order to help clinicians improve their work with clients at risk for suicide.
What is it about Lethal Means Safety (LMS) that makes a difference in suicide prevention? LMS is about increasing the distance between thoughts of suicide and action. In this week’s episode, we are joined by Dr. Joseph Simonetti, MD, MPH, physician and suicide prevention researcher with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC. Dr. Simonetti guides us through the fundamentals of lethal means safety, why it’s important, and provides suggestions on how to ensure that conversations about lethal means safety are Veteran-centered.
We focus specifically on firearms considering their disproportionate lethality and that firearm-related injuries account for more than 2/3 of Veteran suicides (more than in the general US population). During high-risk periods, temporary off-site storage of firearms may be the safest option by allowing an individual the opportunity to ride out an emotional crisis, connect with other resources, and for other evidence-based treatments to take effect. Dr. Simonetti dispels common misconceptions about discussing firearm safety in the context of collaborative mental health care. His poignant anecdote about what he does to help suicidal Veteran patients with easy access to loaded guns reminds us why lethal means safety is critical for effective suicide safe care.