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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.

Aug 23, 2017

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.