Curious about the Veterans Crisis Line? Join us for an in-depth conversation with VCL Director Matt Miller about its purpose, history, and what the future holds. Matt takes us on a journey from VCL's initial launch in 2007, to right now, for the ribbon-cutting of the 3rd call center in Topeka, Kansas. We talk about how VCL has expanded to meet increasing demand, responding to over 2000 calls each day. Matt tells us about the services VCL offers, who can use them, and how responders are trained to support Veterans and their loved ones. He also walks us through what happens when someone reaches out to the VCL, and explains the follow-up process connecting Veterans with their local VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator. Matt demystifies the crisis line experience and encourages everyone to be familiar with how to contact the VCL before a crisis happens, including saving the number 1-800-273-8255 press 1 into your phone. Tune in to learn about the latest technological advances being pioneered by the VCL, as well as research and continuous quality improvement underway.
In this episode Georgia Gerard continues her exploration of spirituality and moral injury as she discusses the Warrior to Soul Mate Program with Clyde Angel, Chief, Chaplain Service and National Coordinator for the Warrior to Soul Mate Program at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Warrior to Soul Mate Program is based on a program created by the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills). Clyde and Georgia take a deep dive into relationships for returning warriors and a method to heal them.
Adam discusses the new website www.treatmentworksforvets.org with Dr. Brad Karlin. The website has two purposes. The first is to introduce Veterans to the idea of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, especially for insomnia and depression (others will be added later). Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBP) are treatments that have been shown to work; they have been tested and work. The other part of the website is for clinicians and focuses on Shared Decision Making, a process in which the provider sits down with the person interested in getting treatment and together they decide on what EBP is best for the individual. Best of all the website is free and open to everyone - Veteran and non-Veteran!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.