MIRECC / CoE
Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention
Suicide is complex but it is also preventable. Beyond treating Veterans in crisis there are so many ways to tackle this. When you look at the topics we investigate, from gut bacteria to community gatherings, you see the possibilities.
- Podcast: Why We Need to Talk Firearm Safety When We talk about Suicide Prevention with Dr. Michael Anestis
- 13 February 2019 - Firearms can be one of the most divisive issues facing Americans today. But saving lives is a topic we can all get behind. Lethal means safety is a ripe frontier in suicide prevention with an emerging evidence base and growing support from all sides. Join host Adam Hoffberg as he interviews guest Dr. Michael Anestis from the Suicide and Emotion Dysregulation Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mike tackles common myths about the relationship between firearms and suicide, he provides context on how variants of means safety have played a key role in other public health phenomena, and challenges the counterarguments around means substitution. Dr. Anestis shares his vision of a collaborative, partnership-based path forward, explaining some of the hesitation many have entering into discussions about the role of firearms in suicide, and offers practical ways to approach this delicate issue. Mike brings an informed, even-handed, and optimistic perspective that with the right message we can reach gun owners and effectively prevent firearm suicides.
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- Publication: Access to Psychotropic Medication via Prescription Is Associated With Choice of Psychotropic Medication as Suicide Method: A Retrospective Study of 27,876 Suicide Attempts
- 7 February 2019 - RMIRECC PI Dr. Peter Gutierrez also participated in this paper that has as an objective, "Whether physical access to psychotropic medication via prescription (ie, prescribed access) is associated with use of psychotropic medication as a means of subsequent suicide attempt remains unclear. In a population of suicide attempters, we investigated whether prescribed access to any psychotropic medication increased the likelihood of using any psychotropic drug in a suicide attempt and whether prescribed access to a specific psychotropic drug type increased the likelihood of using that specific psychotropic drug type in an attempt." Read more
- Publication: PTSD symptom clusters and suicide attempts among high-risk military service members: A three-month prospective investigation
- 6 February 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Dr. Peter Gutierrez and Jetta Hanson participated in this paper. The objective states: "Suicide rates within the U.S. military are elevated, and the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been identified as one potential conduit for suicide risk reduction. Despite increased interest in examining whether PTSD symptom clusters differentially predict suicide-related outcomes, to our knowledge no study has examined this question utilizing a prospective design for which suicide attempts is the outcome. Thus, the present study assessed whether PTSD symptom clusters differentially predict suicide attempts at 3-month follow-up and examined the moderating role of combat exposure." Read more
- Publication: The Effect of Childhood Sexual Assault History on Outpatient Cognitive Processing Therapy for Military Sexual Trauma-Related PTSD: A Preliminary Investigation
- 24 January 2019 - RMIRECC Fellow Dr. Ryan Holliday participated in this paper that, from the abstract, "History of childhood sexual assault (CSA) may result in poorer emotion regulation and interpersonal functioning, potentially affecting the tolerability and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) have an increased incidence of CSA; however, research examining the role of CSA in EBTs for veterans with MST-related PTSD is limited. Data from 32 (9 male; 23 female) veterans with MST-related PTSD were used from a previously conducted randomized clinical trial examining the efficacy of an outpatient PTSD EBT (i.e., cognitive processing therapy [CPT]). Self-rated PTSD symptom severity was assessed at pretreatment, during treatment, and up to 6 months following treatment completion. Number of CPT sessions attended and treatment completion were also examined. Using a hierarchical linear modelling approach, results indicated both veterans with and without a history of CSA were found to benefit from CPT, and history of CSA did not significantly predict treatment response. Additionally, number of sessions attended and treatment completion did not significantly vary based on history of CSA. These preliminary findings provide support for the tolerability and efficacy of outpatient CPT in veterans with MST-related PTSD regardless of CSA history." Read more
- Publication: Relationship between traumatic brain injury history and recent suicidal ideation in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans
- 23 January 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Drs.Sarra Nazem and Lisa Brenner along with staff member Trisha Hostetter and former RMIRECC Fellow Robert Shura worked on this paper that was picked up by at least 4 news outlets. From the abstract, "This study evaluated whether a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) was associated with increased risk for recent suicidal ideation (SI) after accounting for demographics, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep quality. In terms of increased risk, we hypothesized that a history of lifetime TBI would be associated with increased recent SI when compared with no history of TBI; multiple injuries were also evaluated. Results support the assertion than an accumulation of injuries amplifies risk. Severity of injury and deployment injuries were not significant factors. Among those with a history of 1 TBI, sleep, and depression, which may also be injury sequelae, may be salient treatment targets." Read more
- Podcast: Gender Minority Stress with Dr. Raymond P. Tucker
- 16 January 2019 - Transgender veterans appear to experience suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide, and die by suicide at rates that exceed that of the general population and their cisgender veteran peers. I spoke with Dr. Raymond Tucker, clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Louisiana State University, about his work that attempts to understand this increased risk. Dr. Tucker discusses his recent research regarding gender minority stress (e.g., discrimination, transgender shame, and fear one’s gender identity would be discovered) and their relationship to suicidal thoughts in transgender veterans. Dr. Tucker also discusses his research that indicates access to transition-related medical interventions, such as hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgeries, may protect transgender veterans from thoughts of suicide.
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- Podcast: On Ethnography in Implementation Science with Dr. Lindsey Martin
- 9 January 2019 - Dr. Lindsey Ann Martin, a medical anthropologist from the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas discusses with Adam the role of ethnographic methods in the field of implementation science at the recent 2018 D&I conference in Washington, DC. In this podcast, Lindsey talks about how she is using ‘periodic reflections’, a method developed by Drs. Erin Finley (San Antonio VA) and Alison Hamilton (Greater Los Angeles VA), to evaluate a facilitation strategy to implement video telehealth to home (VTH) for rural Veterans.
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Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC (RMR VAMC)
1700 N Wheeling St, G-3-116M
Aurora, CO 80045
Salt Lake City
VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
500 Foothill DR
Salt Lake City, UT 84148