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Hosted by a team of experts, Short Takes on Suicide Prevention breaks down the science behind preventing suicide, developing treatments that work and saving lives. Produced by the VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) for Veteran Suicide Prevention, this podcast is featured in the VA Podcast Network. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse or officially sanction any entities that may be discussed in this podcast, nor any media, products or services they may provide.

Sep 3, 2022

Searching for the meaning of life is only natural. A meaningful life leads to a sense of purpose, self-esteem and psychological well-being. How do life experiences that are unique to Veterans alter these feelings? In this episode, Dr. Edgar Villarreal speaks with VA researcher Dr. Adam Kinney and Army Veteran, Jeff Moe to find out. They discuss how Kinney’s research, on meaning in life among Student Veterans with combat exposure, relates to Moe’s life experiences. His journey from military to student life led to supporting others as a Student Veteran Outreach Coordinator with the VA VITAL program.

Transcript Episode 135 Short Takes

VITAL: VA Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership

Article Discussed: Protective factors that mitigate the indirect risk of combat exposure upon meaning in life: A longitudinal study of student veterans

Host: Edgar Villarreal, PhD, is a Psychologist and the Director of Education and Training at the VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention.

Guest: Jeff Moe, LCSW, is an OEF/OIF Veteran, Social Worker, and Advocate. He currently works as the supervisor of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Suicide Prevention Telehealth Program that specializes in providing mental health services to at-risk Veterans across most of Texas and parts of New Mexico. Previously, Jeff built on his experience as a Student Veteran and worked for eight years as a VA Student Veteran Outreach Coordinator at colleges and universities in the Austin, Texas area. While in this position, he worked collaboratively with Student Veterans, faculty, and staff to develop peer mentorship and other preventive programming while also providing counseling, health care enrollment, and other support services tailored specifically to Student Veterans.

Guest: Adam Kinney, PhD, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who completed his PhD in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University in 2019. While pursuing his PhD he collaborated with New Start for Student Veterans, a supported education program for student Veterans, to investigate factors influencing a range of clinical outcomes, including resilience, community reintegration, and academic performance. His current research focuses on improving care quality and associated outcomes for Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and sleep conditions.