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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.

Apr 9, 2018

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.