Lecture Series - MIRECC / CoE
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If you are a Veteran, patient or concerned family/friend in need of suicide prevention assistance, please call:

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press #1

The SRM Lecture Series is a free, live webinar offered on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 2-3pm EST. The lectures are designed for providers working with Veterans at risk for suicide. They cover a broad range of suicide prevention topics including best practices in suicide risk assessment, risk stratification, culturally competent suicide prevention interventions, and postvention practices.




1-hour CE only available for pre-registered providers who attend the live lecture.

The upcoming lectures are listed below. If you wish to view all of the webinars or specific lectures based on month, year or availability of recorded sessions, use the options below to filter the content as desired.

Presenter: Eric Elbogen, PhD, ABPP

Financial Well-Being and Suicide Risk in Military Veterans

September 142022  2:00 ET

Eric Elbogen, PhD, ABPP

Empirical research shows a link between financial strain and suicide risk. Addressing this should be a critical component of suicide prevention in Veterans. This month, Eric Elbogen, PhD, ABPP, will discuss the correlation between financial stressors and suicide risk, provide an overview of the unique financial needs and challenges of Veterans, and discuss available financial resources and targeted interventions that can be used to improve skills for achieving financial empowerment

Dr. Eric Elbogen, PhD, ABPP is a Clinical Psychologist at the VA and Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University. He ran a money management group at the VA for over a decade, and has been Principal Investigator of a randomized controlled trial of a recovery-oriented money management intervention for Veterans and of a nationally representative longitudinal survey of Veterans identifying a link between financial strain and suicidal ideation. Dr. Elbogen and colleagues also demonstrated a link between financial strain and suicide risk in the US general population and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recorded Lecture Coming Soon 
Presenters: James Haug, MD, and Erin Higgins, LCSW, LAC

Suicide Prevention in Veterans with Substance Use Disorders

August 102022  2:00 ET

James Haug, MD, and Erin Higgins, LCSW, LAC

Nearly 1 in 12 adults in the United States has a Substance Use Disorder. It is well known that substance use can elevate the risk for suicidal behavior. This presentation will review the specifics of how it increases risk. Our goal is to educate the audience on the correlation between substance use and suicide risk, address challenges in assessing individuals with concurrent substance use and suicide risk and offer treatment recommendations.

James Haug received his MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, serving as a chief resident in his final year. He returned to Colorado and completed a fellowship in addiction psychiatry at the University of Colorado. He is currently the Medical Director for Substance Use Disorder Clinics for Eastern Colorado Healthcare System. He is involved in medical student education and is the psychiatry liaison for the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships at the Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC.

Erin Higgins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Addictions Counselor with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention. She serves as Postvention Lead and is a consultant for the Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program. Prior to joining the MIRECC in 2020, she served as Program Manager for the Outpatient Substance Use Disorders Clinic at the Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Her clinical interests include suicide postvention, the intersection of substance use disorders with suicide risk, and using technology to improve suicide risk screening and interventions.

Recorded Lecture Coming Soon 
Presenter: Lauren Borges, PhD

Addressing Therapy Interfering Behaviors (TIBs) in the Context of Suicide Risk

July 132022  2:00 ET

Lauren Borges, PhD

Therapy interfering behaviors (TIBs) in those at risk for suicide can present as a barrier to successful treatment. This month, Lauren Borges, PhD, will discuss how therapy interfering behaviors (TIBs) can disrupt treatment and prevention efforts on the behaviors maintaining suicide risk.

Presenters: Pamela Steadman-Wood, PhD, ABPP and Kristen Dillon, PsyD, ABPP

Suicide Prevention and End of Life

June 82022  2:00 ET

Pamela Steadman-Wood, PhD, ABPP and Kristen Dillon, PsyD, ABPP

This live, knowledge-based webinar for healthcare teams will cover suicidality at end of life. This webinar will discuss the unique issues of desire for hastened death and suicidality at end of life. Participants will learn the differences between desire for hastened death and suicidality. Contributing and risk factors for both suicidality and desire for hastened death will be discussed. Participants will discuss practical approaches to risk assessment and interventions in the context of end of life.

Dr. Steadman-Wood is a board certified Geropsychologist. She is Chief of General Outpatient Mental Services at the Providence VA Medical Center and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University's Alpert Medical School. Her primary areas of interest are in the development and implementation of integrated geriatric behavioral health programs, geropsychology training and evidence-based psychotherapy competency training.

Dr. Dillon is a board certified Geropsychologist practicing in Hospice and Palliative Care at VA Bedford. She is the Geriatric Mental Health Champion for VISN 1. She provides care to Veterans and families in hospice, serves as a member of the palliative care consult team, manages the bereavement program and facilitates the hospice and palliative care rotation for psychology trainees.

Presenter: Lisa Brenner, PhD

Suicide Prevention among those with Neurologic Conditions

May 112022  2:00 ET

Lisa Brenner, PhD

Individuals with a history of neurologic conditions (e.g., stroke, TBI, ALS) have been identified as being at an increased risk for suicide. Data regarding risk, as well as factors associated with risk will be presented, as well as information regarding most prevalent mechanisms of suicide death. Strategies for intervention with these high risk cohorts will also be discussed. This month, Dr. Lisa Brenner, Director of the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) will discuss suicide prevention and intervention strategies for those with neurologic conditions.

Presenter: Ryan Holliday, PhD

Self-Directed Violence Classification System (SDVCS)

April 132022  2:00 ET

Ryan Holliday, PhD

Understanding and classifying suicidal thoughts and behaviors remains a challenge. In particular, misclassification can impact clinical care and surveillance which can result in decreased understanding of the issue and appropriate treatment considerations and planning. As such, utilization of a standard nomenclature (i.e., the Suicidal Self-Directed Violence Classification System [SDVCS]), developed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses such an issue. Understanding and utilization of the SDVCS is integral for several reasons. First, SDVCS allows for classification of self-directed violent thoughts and behaviors in an atheoretical, unbiased capacity. Additionally, classification is comprehensive and only falls into a single thought/behavior. Finally, classification utilizing the SDVCS is presently required within VHA.

Dr. Holliday is a Clinical Research Psychologist at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center for Veteran Suicide Prevention and an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. His clinical and research interests focus upon understanding the intersection of trauma, psychosocial stressors and mental health. He is further interested in translating these findings into evidence-based practice.

Presenters: Suzanne McGarity, PhD, and Christie Machan, LCSW

Recommendations for Postvention Processing Sessions

March 92022  2:00 ET

Suzanne McGarity, PhD, and Christie Machan, LCSW

Losing a patient to suicide can be emotionally taxing — both professionally and personally. Postvention services provide comprehensive support to help providers heal and cope following the loss of a patient. This month, SRM consultants Christie Machan and Dr. Suzanne McGarity will illustrate how to effectively conduct postvention processing sessions for providers.


Presenter: Jay Shore, MD, MPH

Suicide Risk Management for Rural Native Veterans

February 92022  2:00 ET

Jay Shore, MD, MPH

Rural Native Veterans often experience disparate mental health outcomes due to military service. This month, Dr. Jay Shore will present common mental health issues and how to provide mental health care to Rural Native Veterans including approaches in suicide risk management.

Presenters: BShana Bakken, PhD, CRC, Dan Bradford, MD, MPH and Timothy Smith, PhD

The Role of Psychosocial and Vocational Rehabilitation in Suicide Prevention

January 122022  2:00 ET

Shana Bakken, PhD, CRC, Dan Bradford, MD, MPH and Timothy Smith, PhD

Psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation programs and resources can promote recovery and reduce the risk of suicide among Veterans. This month, a panel of presenters (Bakken, Bradford and Smith) will discuss the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Services Section of the VHA's Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and how these programs include a prominent suicide prevention component.

Presenter: Erin Andrews, PsyD, ABPP

Suicide Prevention for Veterans with Disabilities

December 82021  2:00 ET

Erin Andrews, PsyD, ABPP

Disability is often portrayed through the medical model as an individual problem rather than as a diverse social, political, and cultural experience. This month, attendees will increase their awareness of the cultural aspects of disability, how these factors contribute to suicide risk among Veterans with disabilities, and learn to identify and challenge their own disability biases.

Presenters: Holliday, Stimmel, Stewart and Desai

Understanding and Navigating Elevated Suicide Risk when Working with Justice-Involved Veterans

November 102021  2:00 ET

Ryan Holliday, PhD; Matthew Stimmel, PhD; Katharine Stewart, LCSW; Alisha Desai, PhD

Veterans may experience difficulty readjusting to civilian life and have difficultly managing mental health issues, injuries, or trauma that may result in Veteran involvement in the criminal justice system. Research indicates that justice-involved Veterans may face various psychosocial stressors which can increase their risk for suicide. This month, a panel of presenters (Holliday, Stimmel, Steweart and Desai) will discuss how to navigate elevated suicide risk when working with justice-involved Veterans.

John Blosnich, PhD, MPH

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Sexual and Gender Minority Populations

October 132021  2:00 ET

John Blosnich, PhD, MPH

Recent research shows people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender experience high disparities in suicidal ideation and attempt. This month, John Blosnich, PhD, MPH will discuss suicide risk and prevention for sexual and gender minority populations. Understanding and considering the social environmental context of risk and protective factors for these populations is key to developing public health approaches to suicide prevention.

Patricia Watson, PhD

Supporting the Wellbeing of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Providers in the Context of COVID

September 82021  2:00 ET

Patricia Watson, PhD

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented, stressful environments for mental health professionals. This month, Patricia Watson, PhD, will review how providers can increase self-care and peer support using a flexible, evidence-informed framework. Dr. Watson will discuss ways to identify common stress reactions and risk factors for mental health and health care providers responding to extended public health crises, describe strategies for engaging in self-care and peer support and explain the core components of an evidence-based peer support intervention.

Lauren Borges, PhD

Targeting Suicidal Behavior in the Context of Moral Injury

August 112021  2:00 ET

Lauren Borges, PhD

During this month's lecture, Lauren Borges, PhD, will discuss how clinicians and health care teams can conceptualize and effectively target suicidal behavior in the context of moral injury. Following the webinar, clinicians and health care teams will be able to describe a conceptual model of moral injury and suicide risk, discuss Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Moral Injury (ACT-MI) as an approach to targeting moral injury and suicidal behavior and discuss the results of a case study where ACT-MI was applied to moral injury and suicidal behavior.

Rebecca Collins, LCSW

Emergency Department Care Plans

July 142021  2:00 ET

Rebecca Collins, LCSW

Rebecca Collins, LCSW, will provide an overview of ED care plans and how they can help ensure Veterans receive appropriate care to meet their invidual needs, including mental health and social needs. Ms. Collins will also discuss how creative communication methods help Veteran care teams identify recommendations for working with specific Veterans.

Joleen Sussman, PhD and Kelly Soberay, MA

Neurocognitive Disorders and Suicide

June 92021  2:00 ET

Joleen Sussman, PhD and Kelly Soberay, MA

Dr. Joleen Sussman and Kelly Soberay will present effective suicide prevention interventions for persons with dementia and their loved ones. They will discuss appropriate resources and education for persons with neurocognitive disorders and their caregivers.

Claire Hoffmire, PhD and Lindsey Monteith, PhD

Preventing Suicide Among Women Veterans: Research Findings to Inform Gender-Sensitive Care

May 122021  2:00 ET

Claire Hoffmire, PhD and Lindsey Monteith, PhD

Dr. Claire Hoffmire and Dr. Lindsey Monteith will present considerations for a gender-sensitive approach to suicide risk assessment and intervention with women Veterans. They will discuss findings that indicate there are important gender differences in Veterans' risk factors for suicide, including access to lethal means (e.g., firearms).

Laura Meyers, PhD, ABPP

Responding to Suicidal Ideation or Self-harm from a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Perspective

April 142021  2:00 ET

Laura Meyers, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Laura Meyers will review how to treat suicidal ideation and self-harm from a DBT perspective. Following this live, knowledge-based virtual training, clinicians and health care teams will be able to: identify how to effectively respond to suicidal statements from a DBT perspective, define the difference between "operant" and "respondent" behaviors and discuss the pros and cons of hospitalization.

Dr. Lisa Kearney, Acting Director of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL)

Coordinating Across All Levels of the Continuum of Mental Health Care: The Role of VCL with Each of You

March 102021  2:00 ET

Dr. Lisa Kearney

This month's SRM lecture will highlight the elevated risk of suicide in the Veteran population and the importance of engagement services after a call to VCL as a method of suicide prevention.

Drs. Kathryn Barrs, PsyD and Barbara Dausch, PhD

Involving Family and Loved Ones in Suicide Prevention Efforts

February 102021  2:00 ET

Drs. Kathryn Barrs, PsyD and Barbara Dausch, PhD

This month's SRM lecture will discuss how to clinically involve loved ones in the prevention of suicide for individuals at increased risk. Presenters will also share available resources in VA and the community to support Veterans and their loved ones.

Dr. Lisa Brenner, Director, VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center

TBI, Suicide, and Evidence-Informed Intervention Strategies

January 132021  2:00 ET

Dr. Lisa Brenner, Director, VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center

This month's SRM lecture is presented by Dr. Lisa Brenner the factors that lead to increased risk of suicide in Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and discuss evidence-informed intervention strategies that must be implemented to address risk and prevent suicide.

Drs. Sadie Larsen, PhD and Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, PsyD.

Treating PTSD in the Context of Suicidality

December 92020  2:00 ET

Drs. Sadie Larsen, PhD and Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, PsyD

In this month's SRM lecture, Drs. Larsen and Cuccurullo review evidence of how suicidality is affected by trauma-focused treatments, discuss when to provide trauma-focused treatments in the context of suicidality, and how to successfully manage both in treatment.

Drs. Ryan Holliday and Jillian Weber and Mr. Shawn Liu, LCSW.

Understanding and Addressing Suicide Among Homeless and At-Risk Veterans

November 182020  2:00 ET

Drs. Ryan Holliday and Jillian Weber and Mr. Shawn Liu, LCSW

In this month's SRM lecture, Drs. Holliday and Weber and Mr. Liu review risk factors and discuss best practices for assessment and intervention specific to the homeless Veteran population.

Hal Wortzel, MD and Edgar Villareal, PhD

Welfare Checks and Therapeutic Risk Management

October 142020  2:00 ET

Hal Wortzel, MD and Edgar Villareal, PhD

This month's SRM lecture will apply the principle of therapeutic risk management as a patient-centered approach to scenarios prompting consideration for welfare checks.

Monireh Moghadam, LCSW and TJay Wiechman, RN

Providers Working in Suicide Prevention: Personal Perspectives on Self-Care, Sustainability and Post-Traumatic Growth

September 92020  2:00 ET

Monireh Moghadam, LCSW and TJay Wiechman, RN

This month's SRM lecture will focus on the importance of self-care and sustainability for providers and healthcare teams who work with individuals who are at higher risk for suicide. Listen as one presenter reflects on the experience of post-traumatic growth, recovery, and healing in the wake of a colleague's death by suicide.

Dr. Sarra Nazem

Suicide Postvention

August 122020  2:00 ET

Dr. Sarra Nazem

This month's SRM lecture is presented by Dr. Sarra Nazem who will discuss suicide postvention, the organized response that occurs after a suicide loss and is an essential element of a comprehensive suicide prevention approach. By providing immediate and ongoing support to those impacted by a suicide loss, suicide postvention policies and practices serve an important function in reducing risk and promoting healing after suicide. Despite its importance, many providers report a lack of suicide postvention education and awareness.

Dr. Ryan Holliday and Dr. Lindsey Monteith

A Patient-Centered Approach to Lethal Means Safety with Veterans

July 82020  2:00 ET

Dr. Ryan Holliday & Dr. Lindsey Monteith

This month's SRM lecture is presented by Dr. Ryan Holliday and Dr. Lindsey Monteith who will discuss Lethal Means Safety (LMS) — a strategy for preventing suicidal self-directed violence by reducing access to lethal means (e.g., excess medication, firearms) when suicide risk is elevated. The training will provide guidance on how to apply a patient-centered approach to assess lethal means access, particularly with Veterans.

Dr. Sean Barnes and Dr. Lauren Borges

Using Chain Analysis to Assess and Intervene on Suicidal Ideation and Behavior

June 102020  2:00 ET

Dr. Sean Barnes & Dr. Lauren Borges

This month's SRM lecture is presented by Dr. Sean Barnes and Dr. Lauren Borges who will discuss using chain analysis as a critical strategy for therapeutic risk management of suicidal ideation and behavior. The focus will be on the purpose of chain analysis and discovering new strategies for intervening on suicidal ideation and behavior, the impact of positive and negative reinforcement, and how to apply the components of the chain as an intervention strategy.

Drs. Matarazzo and Wortzel

Safety Planning — Basics and Beyond

May 132020  2:00 ET

Dr. Megan Harvey & Dr. Suzanne McGarity

This month's SRM Lecture is presented by Drs. Harvey and McGarity who will discuss the important role of safety planning as an essential tool in suicide prevention efforts. The focus will be on the basics and reasons for safety planning, the concept of the suicide risk curve, and how best to meet the needs of Veterans in unique circumstances.

Drs. Matarazzo and Wortzel

Why Suicide Risk Assessment Matters

April 82020  2:00 ET

Dr. Bridget Matarazzo & Dr. Hal Wortzel

The inaugural SRM Lecture is presented by Drs. Matarazzo and Wortzel who will discuss the necessary role of suicide risk assessment in mental health practice. The focus will be on therapeutic risk management, a patient-centered model, that will ensure optimal care for Veterans.