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.
One-on-one consultation at no charge for VA and Community Providers who serve Veterans with specific questions about Suicide Risk Management.
Speak directly with staff psychologists and physicians about:
PsychArmor Institute’s FREE online course Helping Others Hold On provides tools and tips to recognize, understand, and combat suicidal feelings in Veterans. Course leaders Dr. Craig J. Bryan, Executive Director of the National Center for Veteran Studies at The University of Utah, and Carie Rodgers, Ph.D., Education Director of PsychArmor Institute provide an overview and discuss the coded language of suicide, the importance of sleep, and crisis response planning.
In honor of Transgender Awareness Month, Dr. Shelby Scott, Denver VA Clinical Psychologist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veteran Care Coordinator, spoke with Adam Hoffberg at the Denver VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC to provide a thorough introduction to this topic. Dr. Scott discusses specific clinical recommendations that can improve the way all VA providers serve our transgender Veterans, medical and mental health services provided by the VA, and how to get connected to additional VA and community resources!
This is the first part of a second trilogy on Zero Suicide. Sarah Brummett is the Director of the Office of Suicide Prevention for the State of Colorado. Sarah discusses how the Zero Suicide system approach looks when applied to a whole state. It is amazing.
From the 2017 Bridging the Divide Conference we had a short conversation with Richard T. McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Suicide Prevention Branch for SAMHSA.
At the Bridging the Divide Conference we chatted with Ursula Whiteside and she told us why Now Means Now and how caring messages can go such a long, long way
Live Through This #Stay...captured through the art, the lens, the stories of our lived experience. Adam caught up with Dese'Rae earlier this summer and this conversation is the result. I was listening in on the other line and she blew me away with her everything-ness. Adam would ask her about how she came up with this or that idea and Des would just say something like, "I got bored one day so I wrote this program/created this movie/started this movement." Yes, of course you did and we all benefited.
Sometimes it can feel like making real progress in mental health (and perhaps especially suicide prevention) is an overwhelming, sometimes impossible task. How can we counter the “bigness” of the job? Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder of Give an Hour, gives this advice: Go Simple. Offer simple actions, like donating an hour weekly. Play to individual’s strengths, and build big change by harnessing the collective power of many individual’s “small” contributions. Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction use this same strategy. “The Five Signs” help create a common language, and everyday way to talk about mental health in a way all people can relate. In this podcast, Barbara talks about some of the ways Give an Hour and Campaign to Change Direction gives individuals, workplaces, cities and states tools to make incremental changes that lead to big, positive change. Give an Hour began with a simple idea (provide free mental health services to Veterans, service members, and their families). But though its origins and methods may be simple, its goal is to bring about a fundamental shift: empower each of us to recognize and respond to emotional/mental suffering just as knowledgably and compassionately as physical.
Earlier this summer I called Dave and hit the record button. What followed was a chance to look forward into the future of suicide prevention based on 30 years of work and research in our chosen field of suicide prevention. Listening to Dave you can get the sense that we are on the cusp of dramatic changes in how we treat the individuals in our care.
We caught up with Leah Harris at the 2017 Bridging the Divide: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit in Denver earlier this spring. Her keynote address was titled "How I Went from Wanting to Die to Loving Life: A Resilience Journey." We continued the conversation in this summertime length podcast.
Adam Hoffberg discusses Chronic Pain with colleagues from the VA VISN 16 South Central MIRECC. Drs. Aruna Gottumukkala and Paul Sloan created a timely resource called the "Pocket Guide for Clinicians for Management of Chronic Pain." With the opiod epidemic raging in the background this podcast is ever so timely.
Melissa continues her community reintegration series with Amanda Burke from Team Rubicon. The Team Rubicon message is "Disasters are our business. Veterans are our passion." And you'll hear it in Amanda's voice as she describes her own journey and her continuing passion.
Meet Matt (human) and James (canine), who became friends through shared service - and maybe a little bit of fate. When Matt returned home to the States, after a stay at Walter Reed, he joined Warrior Canine Connection only reluctantly. In this interview, Matt shares his experience working through to the other side of TBI and PTSD, and the role James plays. As both a trainer, helping to prepare canines to work with other warriors, and having been paired with a canine of his own, Matt offers a unique and personal perspective about re-connecting to others and to self. Sometimes, the nudge to reengage and potentially to participate fully in further treatment may come from an unexpected source like a cold, wet (non-human) nose. Please join us for this podcast as Matt eloquently describes his friendship and work with James, and how Love Heals.
Recorded during the annual Bridging the Divide Conference put on each year by the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado we caught up with Sally Spencer-Thomas. Sally is doing exciting work bringing suicide prevention programs to the construction industry. Find out about her work and why this work with this population is important and timely.
Dr. Ahmendani joined the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in 2010. The Center for Health Services Research investigates ways to improve the quality, efficiency and equity of health care. This podcast discusses some of the the history of the zero suicide initiative and Henry Ford Health System, including recent research findings on suicide prevention in health systems.
Adam caught up with Julie at the AAS 2017 conference in Phoenix to chat about Zero Suicide. Julie is the Director of Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Dr. Goldstein Grumet provides strategic direction to improve the effectiveness of behavioral health, clinical care, and primary care providers to recognize and respond to suicide emergencies. She oversees the Zero Suicide initiative for SPRC, supporting the work of state and health care leaders who are implementing system-wide approaches to suicide prevention.
Tony Pisani, Ph.D. (University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide) discusses his model for suicide safer care, prevention-oriented risk formulation, and the need for a common framework for assessing, communicating, and responding to suicide risk for clinicians, patients, and the medical record. Dr. Pisani will be releasing new materials and training opportunities soon. To be notified when updates are available, please visit tonypisani.info.
Adam interviews Dr. Nathaan Demers, Director of Clinical Programs at Grit Digital Health. Nathaan and Adam discuss an online program Grit developed to reach the digital native!
Melissa McHarg interviews Michael Haynie, Ph.D. the Executive Director & Founder of Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. The conversation takes a close look at AmericaServes. The mission of AmericaServes is “to empower human services providers in the United States, and equip them with the technological and informational resources needed to efficiently and effectively guide service members, veterans, and their families to the most appropriate services and resources.” As Mike explains it, it is not so much that there are a lack of services for Veterans but there is not a community network to make those services available when and where they are needed. AmericaServes helps communities create strong service networks.
Veterans who present with PTSD and moral injury often report spiritual distress that places them at higher risk for suicide. In this podcast, we share up to date research on moral injury, spiritual distress, and empirically tested techniques for helping veterans use their own spiritual resources as an asset in their recovery. “Building Spiritual Strength,” a manualized group intervention for PTSD and moral injury, is described, along with resources for therapists who would like to learn new techniques for assisting veterans who are managing PTSD and moral injury.
Melissa McHarg takes the wheel as she interviews Roger Pipkins from Straight Scoop for Veterans. Straight Scoop shows what 2 guys can do to prevent Veteran Suicide.
This week we have invited the LGBT Care Coordinators from the Denver VA, Ana Balzar, MSW and Shelby Scott, PhD, to interview the Producer and Director of the film "The Camouflage Closet", Heliana Ramirez, LISW and Michael Nedelman. The film grew out of a group LGBT Veterans that Heliana was working with at the Palo Alto VA. Nine Veterans were given cameras to tell their stories; their resiliency, their strength and their efforts overcoming. An amazing quote from the podcasts comes when Heliana reports on research indicating that 75% of all Veterans with PTSD state that they have also experienced PTSD Growth.
We are dropping this special edition of the podcast because when you are working with folks from Team RWB it is just impossible to keep it all to ourselves! Melissa McHarg is in the host chair talking with Mike Greenwood and Caroline Angel. Team RWB is a nationwide organization with over 115,000 members, in over 200 locations and their mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. #ItsOurTurn #EagleUp Mike talks about how he came to join Team RWB while out running alone at the Air Force Academy. The camaraderie and sense of purpose lead him to help start a local chapter and later became the Northwest Regional Program Manager for Team RWB. Caroline Angel R.N., Ph.D is the Research Director for Team RWB. This research aspect is an activity of Team RWB that is of special interest to us at RMIRECC; will the science show that Team RWB has specific benefits for Veterans? Tune in.
Adam Hoffberg talks with Dr. Suzanne McGarity, a Clinical Research Psychologist here with Rocky Mountain MIRECC, and who recently moved to Denver from the Tampa VA. In honor of March being Brain Injury Awareness Month we wanted to discuss a recent paper of Suzanne’s that came out in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. The article is titled “Community Reintegration Problems Among Veterans and Active Duty Service Members With Traumatic Brain Injury.” The papers findings “highlight the ongoing rehabilitation needs of persons with TBI, specifically evidence-based mental healthcare, in comprehensive rehabilitation programs consistent with a chronic disease management model.”