Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention - Media - MIRECC / CoE
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Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention - Media

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention



A podcast is a digital audio file that can be played on a smartphone, computer or portable media player. It is like having a talkshow that you can subscribe to and take or listen to anywhere.

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention has started a serial podcast called Short Takes on Suicide Prevention. We interview leaders in the field of suicide prevention in an attempt to make their research accessible to everyone. You can subscribe to our podcast by going to iTunes on your iPhone or on your Android device. You can also find all our episodes at our host site. Other places where you can find our podcasts include: iHeart Radio, and Blubrry.

Jump to podcast related to:
Clinical | Postvention | Community/Veterans/Partners | Lived Experience | Moral Injury | Lethal Means Safety | LGBTQ | Military Sexual Trauma | Microbiome | Research | Zero Suicide Initiative | Masters' Series | Sleep | Miscellaneous


 Podcast: Talking with Ted Bonar during the early days of COVID-19
11 August 2020 - We recorded this podcast in early April just as we were still trying to understand what life would mean during the pandemic. I didn't start working on the podcast until the end of July and was worried if it would still hold up. I think it does for the most part though we are all a little wiser. One part that I really like was when Ted talks about how he got interested in working with Veterans. It was through his practicum at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago. I bring this up to encourage students to explore placements in the VA as a way to gain valuable experience in the field.

Listen to Talking with Ted Bonar during the early days of COVID-19

Download the transcript
 Podcast: Suicide Prevention in Long-term Care with Evan Plys
30 June 2020 - This week we talk with gero-psychologist Evan Plys, PhD about suicide prevention in long-term care settings; from independent-living to assisted-living to nursing home. Evan has volunteered and worked in long-term care since he was young and has a special affinity for our elders. He offers advice on how to discuss suicide within these settings and with this population. He also discusses the idea of creating an environment which promotes wellness and a life worth living.

Listen to Suicide Prevention in Long-term Care with Evan Plys

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 Podcast: A Mobile Safety Planning App with Dr. Pearl McGee-Vincent
2 June 2020 - Adam Hoffberg got a chance to talk with Dr. Pearl McGee-Vincent, of the National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division about the updated release of the app PTSD Coach. The wildly respected and used app now includes a digital safety plan for suicide prevention. Pearl takes us on a guided tour of the app and how it can make a difference in the lives of Veterans.

Listen to A Mobile Safety Planning App with Dr. Pearl McGee-Vincent

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 Podcast: Addictions and Suicide Prevention
5 May 2020 - This week Adam is in conversation with Shane Kraus to talk about addiction and suicide prevention. Dr. Kraus discusses the behavioral addictions: gambling and sex. The great thing to hear is that both are responsive to treatment and there are many treatment resources within the VA. It starts by talking and by listening.

Listen to Addictions and Suicide Prevention<

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 Podcast: Cards for Connection with Katie Juhasz
7 April 2020 - This week Adam talks with Katie Juhasz from the National Center for PTSD. They talk about a new product called Card for Connection. Cards for Connection is a free resource that puts simple coping skills and VA phone numbers directly into Veterans’ hands. Originally created for Veterans who had experienced homelessness, the card deck has now been updated with information for all Veterans. The 52 cards in the deck have easy-to-implement coping skills and important phone numbers, such as the Veterans Crisis Line and the Help for Homeless Veterans line. As a result, Veterans playing a game of cards read positive affirmations, reminders to breathe, and encouragement to make a connection with others.

Listen to Cards for Connection with Katie Juhasz

Download the transcript
 Podcast: Bouts with Burnout: Managing Work-related Stress Across the Suicide Prevention Field
31 December 2019 - We participated in this Short Take as a follow-up to our panel at the 2019 VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference titled, "Bouts with Burnout: Managing Work-related Stress Across the Suicide Prevention Field." We were honored to have so many engaged attendees and wanted to offer an opportunity for folks who could not attend to learn more about our panel. Our team included Monireh Moghadam, LCSW, who presented lessons learned and prevention approaches for clinicians and suicide prevention coordinators. Aaron Barrow (Peer Support Specialists) who talked about his experiences with being Veterans in recovery and working with suicidal Veterans. Jason Chen, PhD presented on the development and application of a model for wellness among research staff. Kyla Tompkins, MA, reviewed an applied example of implementing burnout prevention programming as a non-clinician.

Listen to Bouts with Burnout: Managing Work-related Stress Across the Suicide Prevention Field
 Podcast: How Evidence-Based Suicide Prevention Practices Are Making an Impact, With Dr. Matt Miller
17 December 2019 - This podcast episode provides examples of how data and research have informed the actions and outreach of VA's Suicide Prevention Program and highlights progress made in suicide prevention, providing hope to patients and providers. Matt Miller, Ph.D., MPH is the acting director of suicide prevention in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Listen to How Evidence-Based Suicide Prevention Practices Are Making an Impact, With Dr. Matt Miller
 Podcast: Suicide Risk Assessment: A new look at an old tool and why it remains essential with Dr. Pete Gutierrez
27 August 2019 - For episode 100 we are going back to our guest from episode one, Dr. Peter Gutierrez. That first episode was Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Drivers of Suicide and is a great introduction for someone coming into the clinical field of suicide prevention. In it Pete says, "Think of warning signs and risk factors as a map; drivers are the specific route your patient is traveling." In episode 100 we bring Pete back because of a paper that recently came out, "Investigating the reliability of suicide attempt history reporting across five measures: A study of US military service members at risk of suicide." We brought Pete in to discuss a specific aspect of the paper – do any of the 5 suicide risk assessment measures predict future suicide attempts? And, drum roll please, the answer is no, not really. The real gem and take away of this podcast, however, each measure is a great tool to help the patient and clinician focus in on how the patient is doing week to week and are treatment goals being met. Each tool will help the patient and clinician decide what to work on now and then measure how much progress is (or isn't) being made. So, clinicians keep doing your good work and seeing the possibilities in preventing suicide.

Listen to Suicide Risk Assessment: A new look at an old tool and why it remains essential
 Podcast: Chain Analysis for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors with Drs. Lauren Borges and Sean Barnes
13 August 2019 - This week we hand the mic to 2 researchers/clinicians, Sean Barnes and Lauren Borges, who explain how to use chain analysis in a treatment setting. Chain analysis is a truly collaborative approach that enlist the client to take a deep dive into the chain of events that lead up to the target behavior they want to change. It is a way to focus on "the processes that lead to the suffering." The work starts with the client deciding what the target behavior they want to change is, and then going back along the chain to the prompting event (first link in the chain), finding all the links between the first and last links and determining what vulnerabilities influence it all. And then focusing change on the links. Lauren and Sean break it down so it will make sense to you in your practice.

Listen to Chain Analysis for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
Intimate Partner Violence & Suicide PreventionPodcast: The Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence & Suicide Prevention with Drs. LeAnn Bruce, Keita Franklin and Lindsey Monteith
12 September 2018 - This podcast is an excellent example of the collaborative relationship between the VA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program and the VA Suicide Prevention Program in their mutual efforts to prevent both intimate partner violence (IPV) and suicide for those who have served. Dr. Bruce is the National Program Manager for the VHA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, which serves Veterans, their partners, and VA staff impacted by intimate partner violence. Dr. Franklin is the Executive Director, Suicide Prevention for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. And Dr. Monteith is a research/clinical psychologist with Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention.

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Never Worry AlonePodcast: Never Worry Alone - The VA Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program
6 June 2018 - In this episode Adam has a great talk with Dr. Bridget Matarazzo about the VA Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program. The program has recently expanded so that anyone working with a Veteran and concerned about suicide can contact them for a free consultation. Bridget discusses the idea behind the service and the great team (Hal S. Wortzel, MD, Sarra Nazem, Ph.D., Georgia Gerard, LCSW, Kaily A. Cannizzaro, PsyD, and Peter Gutierrez, Ph.D.) that provides the consultation.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes Podcast Listen

Margaret Legarreta, PhDPodcast: Suicide Behavior and Chronic Pain with Dr Margaret Legarreta
14 March 2018 - Joe interviews Dr. Legarreta about the work she and her colleagues at the Salt Lake City office of Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention are doing regarding suicide prevention and chronic pain. In her latest paper Margaret looks at how catastrophic thinking patterns can increase suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Margaret explores the need to treat the mind/body connection in your clinical work.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes Podcast Listen

PodcastPodcast: A Pocket Guide for Clinicians for Management of Chronic Pain
12 July 2017 - Adam Hoffberg discusses Chronic Pain with colleagues from the VA VISN 16 South Central MIRECC. Drs. Aruna Gottumukkala and Paul Sloan created a timely resource called the “Pocket Guide for Clinicians for Management of Chronic Pain.” With the opioid epidemic raging in the background this podcast is ever so timely.

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podcastDr. Carl Castro on the Military Suicide Transition Theory, The Hemingway Effect and the Importance of Understanding the Military Family
22 February 2017 - Adam interviews Dr. Carl Castro, retired Colonel from the US Army, about his extensive work in area of suicide prevention, especially as it relates to the military community. Dr. Castro also tells us about Ernest Hemingway, an army Veteran, and how his death can serve as a paradigm to understand the suicide death of elderly Veterans.
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Collaborative Safety Planning for Older Adults

8 February 2017 - This week join Adam Hoffberg as he chats with Dr. Elizabeth Conti a clinical psychologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the VA Center for Innovation. Dr. Conti, along with four of her colleagues from the VA’s South Central MIRECC published the manual Collaborative Safety Planning for Older Adults. Dr. Conti gives a wonderful overview of what a safety plan is and leads our audience through creating one. Then she answers why safety planning with older adults’ presents challenges that clinician’s need to address in their practice. Throughout the conversation Elizabeth describes a collaborative approach that harkens to the work of Dr. David Jobes. This is a podcast where clinicians will gain a deeper appreciation of the safety plan and be able to use the skills learned in their everyday practice. The podcast is approximately 24 minutes long.


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Craig Bryan on Fluid Vulnerability Theory - a way to Understand Acute and Chronic Suicide Risk

25 January 2017 - This week Adam discusses Fluid Vulnerability Theory with Craig Bryan, PsyD, with the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. Dr. Bryan ducked into an empty room at the hospital where he was delivering a talk to chat with Adam. Craig served four years in the Air Force and deployed to Iraq in 2009 as Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq. Later he worked with Dr. David Rudd as Dr. Rudd developed Fluid Vulnerability Theory (FVT). FVT states that “suicide risk is an inherently dynamically changing construct...that risk will fluctuate over time.” And it is through understanding the processes that underlie the “ideation to acting framework” where work and change come about. Listening to these two really get in the weeds about FVT is like having a full conference presentation delivered right to you. It is fascinating.


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Dr. Kate Comtois on Caring Contacts - Simple and Meaningful

7 September 2016 - For this episode we took our podcast equipment to the Denver VA's 4th annual Mental Health Summit where Dr. Kate Comtois was giving the keynote address. Kate was there to tell us about promising directions in treating the patient with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. We’ll have Kate on Rocky Mountain Short Takes again in the coming months but today we wanted to focus on what she had to say about Caring Communications. This simple yet effective tool was first introduced in the 1990’s but the research was not published until 2001. Since then research in Australia, Iran and the U.S. has shown consistent positive results. Listen to the podcast and then think about how you can add this simple technique to your own practice. The podcast is approximately 27 minutes long.

Listen to Dr. Kate Comtois on Caring Contacts - Simple and Meaningful


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Combat Rush

13 July 2016 - Joe Huggins interviews Dr. Lisa Betthauser about the concept of combat rush. Combat rush was first coined by Dr. Jim Grigsby from his work in the early 1990s with Viet Nam Veterans. Dr. Betthauser explores the role of risky behaviors in returning Veterans, the role of safety planning and possible positive psychological outlets. The podcast is approximately 22 minutes long.

Listen to Combat Rush


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Nature and determinants of suicidal ideation among U.S. Veterans

18 April 2016 - Welcome to our fifth RM Short Takes podcast. This week Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Noelle Smith. Dr. Smith is a clinical psychologist at the Tampa VA and affiliated with the VA National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She specializes in working with Veterans with PTSD and is the lead author on a recent publication in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The article will appear in the June 2016 print edition and is titled “Nature and determinants of suicidal ideation among U.S. Veterans: Results from the national health and resilience in Veterans study.” Listen to Dr. Smith discuss the article and it's importance to the field of suicide prevention. The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

Listen to Nature and determinants of suicidal ideation among U.S. Veterans


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Response to "Is it time to abandon suicide risk assessment"

16 March 2016 - Welcome to our third RM Short Takes podcast. This week Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Peter Gutierrez about an editorial by Dr Declan Murray in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open (DOI: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.002071) in which Dr Murray discusses abandoning suicide risk assessment. As you might expect, the answer is not a simple yes or no. The podcast is approximately 14 minutes long.

Listen to Response to "Is it time to abandon suicide risk assessment"


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Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Drivers of Suicide

10 February 2016 - Listen to our first podcast with Adam Hoffberg interviewing Dr. Peter Gutierrez regarding his latest publication "Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Drivers of Suicide: What Are They, How Do They Differ, and Why Does It Matter?" in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. The podcast is approximately 26 minutes long.

Listen to Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Drivers of Suicide

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The Postvention Podcast

 Postvention Podcast 1: Postvention 101 with Dr. Jack Jordan
1 April 2019 - Postvention is Prevention; join our host Dr. Sarra Nazem as she and Dr. Jack Jordan lay a foundation for understanding what suicide postvention is, what it entails, who it is for, and why it is essential to a comprehensive suicide prevention plan. Jack Jordan, PhD is a clinical psychologist, grief therapist and published researcher in the field.

Listen to the Postvention 101 podcast
 Postvention Podcast 2: Experiencing a Suicide Loss: Family and Friends with Dr. Nina Gutin
8 April 2019 - The time after losing a loved one to suicide is like being on a rollercoaster blindfolded; tune in as our host Dr. Sarra Nazem and Dr. Nina Gutin guide us through the lived experiences of family members and friends after a suicide loss. Together they establish what this experience is like for both individuals impacted by the loss and for those around them. They’ll communicate what to expect and how to both provide and seek support for oneself or loved ones including children and adolescents. Dr. Nina Gutin is a suicide loss survivor, clinical psychologist, and pioneer in the field of suicide postvention.

Listen to the Experiencing a Suicide Loss: Family and Friends podcast
 Postvention Podcast 3: Experiencing a Suicide Loss: Professional Caregivers with Drs. Nina Gutin and Vanessa McGann
15 April 2019 - Postvention is for providers too; Professional caregivers, such as mental health providers, medical providers, social workers, trainees, case managers, psychiatrists or supervisors are likely to be exposed to a suicide loss at some point in their career. Join Dr. Nazem as she and the co-chairs of the American Association of Suicidology Clinician Survivor Taskforce, Drs. Nina Gutin and Vanessa McGann, discuss why suicide postvention is beneficial and necessary for providers, the components of a postvention plan, and recommendations for how to develop and implement postvention in professional caregiving workplaces.

Listen to the Experiencing a Suicide Loss: Professional Caregivers podcast
 Postvention Podcast 4: Postvention Practices for the Workplace with Dr. Sally Spencer Thomas
22 April 2019 - Postvention plans are necessary for every workplace; Dr. Sally Spencer Thomas is a psychologist and suicide loss survivor with expertise on how to provide support for those affected by suicide loss. Tune into this episode with our host Dr. Sarra Nazem as she and Dr. Spencer Thomas discuss the role of suicide postvention in the workplace, recommendations for how to put a postvention plan in place, who within a workplace should be involved, and workplace postvention resources that can be used today.

Listen to Postvention Practices for the Workplace podcast
 Postvention Podcast 5: Postvention Practices for Mental Health Centers and Private Practices
6 May 2019 - Join our host, Dr. Sarra Nazem, and Dr. Larry Berkowitz and Eliza Jordan Dolan, LISCW of the Riverside Trauma Center as they share their experiences and expertise consulting for, participating in, and implementing suicide postvention in a variety of mental health settings. In this episode, they provide recommendations and resources for developing and fine-tuning an inclusive suicide postvention process to best serve all individuals within a mental health center or private practice that may be affected by suicide loss.

Listen to Postvention Practices for Mental Health Centers and Private Practices
 Postvention Podcast 6: Postvention Practices for Medical Settings
20 May 2019 - Balancing administrative needs and clinical support are essential to postvention in medical settings. Listen to this episode to learn from the breadth of experience that Drs. Sung and Myers have carrying out suicide postvention processes and providing suicide postvention training and support for employees, supervisors and patients within medical settings. Together with our host, Dr. Nazem, they break down recommended best practices and provide suggested resources to help optimize suicide postvention processes.

Listen to Postvention Practices for Medical Settings
 Postvention Podcast 7: Postvention Practices for Military Settings
3 June 2019 - “We grieve because we love;” join Kim Ruocco, Vice President of T.A.P.S., and Dr. Maggie Guglielmi of the Stratton VAMC who are leaders in providing suicide postvention for those who are military connected or a part of the Veteran community (including supervisors, providers or professional caregivers who work with military personnel and veterans). In this episode, hosted by Dr. Sarra Nazem, they discuss cutting edge recommendations for postvention processes, as well as how to establish and utilize suicide postvention teams and peer support for these loss survivors. Be sure to check out the resources discussed in this episode by clicking on the episode title!

Listen to Postvention Practices for Military Settings
 Postvention Podcast 8: Managing Legal and Ethical Considerations after a Suicide Loss
18 June 2019 - Remember “Compassion over Caution” when considering legal and ethical challenges that may arise when working with patients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Tune into this episode with our host Dr. Sarra Nazem, as Dr. Vanessa McGann and Skip Simpson, JD discuss suicide postvention ethical and legal considerations. They provide recommendations on how to manage confidentiality and liability queries that may arise both before and after a suicide loss in a manner that is ethical, legal, and helpful to personal and professional healing.

Listen to Managing Legal and Ethical Considerations after a Suicide Loss
 Postvention Podcast 9: Postvention Practices for Crisis Centers
2 July 2019 - Suicide postvention is “not something we should wait to talk about,” especially within crisis centers. Proactive training and planning are extremely beneficial to suicide postvention for crisis lines or call centers like the Veteran Crisis Line (VCL). Learn more about what crisis centers do & how crisis centers support their callers, their employees and the agencies they work with in this episode with our host Dr. Sarra Nazem and guests, Greg Hughes, LISCW and Joi Sabrina, LPC from the VCL.

Listen to Postvention Practices for Crisis Centers
 Postvention Podcast 10: Postvention Practices for Schools
16 July 2019 - “Speak the name of the beast and it will retreat;” When it comes to suicide postvention in school settings, “…it’s not whether or not we talk about it, it’s how we talk about it.” Join our host, Dr. Sarra Nazem as she welcomes Stan Collins, an expert with 20 years of postvention experience within school settings. Together they discuss considerations for developing and implementing a suicide postvention plan to assist students, teachers, administrators, and the surrounding community, and stress the importance of developing this plan even before a suicide loss occurs in an academic setting. Be sure to also check out the accompanying resources, including toolkits, manuals, and guideline documents that could help you and your school district jumpstart a comprehensive suicide prevention and postvention program today.

Listen to Postvention Practices for Schools

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Community-Partners Podcasts

 Podcast: WoVeN: Women Veterans Network
21 April 2020 - As the producer for the Short Takes podcast I usually just sit back while Adam interviews our guest. This week both Adam and I sat out while we turned the mic over to Tara Galovski, the co-director WoVeN - the Women Veterans Network. Tara interviewed 3 WoVeN leaders and they had such a great time telling their story. You just know this group works and loves one another and what they are doing.

Listen to WoVeN: Women Veterans Network

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 Podcast: The Intersection of Homelessness, Justice Involvement and Suicide Prevention at the VA
16 June 2020 - For this episode we turn the mic over to Ryan Holliday a clinical and research psychologist at RMIRECC. Ryan asked for the mic so he could interview two Sean's. The first is Shawn Liu with the VA Programs for the Homeless and the second Sean Clark, VA Veterans Justice Outreach. The three team up to get in depth on the intersection Homelessness, Justice Involvement and Suicide Prevention. They also make the case why every clinician working with Veterans should get to know their local VA staff working in homelessness and justice involvement.

Listen to The Intersection of Homelessness, Justice Involvement and Suicide Prevention at the VA

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 Podcast: Objective Zero with Justin Miller and Chis Mercado
11 February 2020 - The VA's public-private partnership gets another turn of the mic with Adam Hoffberg interviewing Justin Miller and Chis Mercado from Objective Zero. Justin and Chris are the heart of the Objective Zero origin story and the power of listening. Listen to their story and how it has inspired many, many others to reach out and help. Visit their website:

Listen to Objective Zero with Justin Miller and Chis Mercado
 Podcast: CaringBridge with Liwanag Ojala
28 January 2020 - This is the last in our series from the VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference. Adam wanted to get together with groups that are part of the public-private partnership that the VA has formed to promote Veteran well-being. CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network that rallies community around people on health journeys. Their platform gives patients and caregivers a place to update family and friends, ask for help and get support and encouragement.

Listen to CaringBridge with Liwanag Ojala
 Podcast: K9 Partners for Patriots with Remi and Jimmy Tatum
14 January 2020 - To start a new year we are going to shamelessly play the dog card because dogs are just great! (Cats are great too but this episode features Jimmy Tatum and Remi. Adam is also on this episode too but it really is Remi and Jimmy and the great work that K9 Partners for Patriots does. The mission of this group is, "To give veterans and active military a second chance at life by honoring and empowering those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma through the experience of training and caring for their own service dog."

Listen to K9 Partners for Patriots with Remi and Jimmy Tatum
 Podcast: Duane France - Doing so many good things in so many ways
5 November 2019 - We first met Duane at a VA Mental Health Summit in Colorado Springs in 2018. We had heard of him through his Twitter presence @ThCounselingVet, knew he did his own podcast titled Head Space and Timing, was a combat Veteran, a licensed therapist and an author of Combat vet don't mean crazy: veteran mental health in post-military life and found out he is a heck of a nice guy. While it took over a year for us to get together and record this podcast and another 9 months to get it out we are proud to finally get him on our small channel. Meanwhile, Duane has dropped over 165 podcasts and published a second book, Head Space and Timing: Veteran Mental Health from a Combat Veteran Perspective.

Listen to Duane France - Doing so many good things in so many ways

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 Podcast: The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
8 October 2019 - This episode we dedicate to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for homeless and at-risk families, children, and individuals throughout Colorado. The Coalition advocates for and provides a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those it serves. This session was recorded in December 2018. Since this discussion James and Tammy have left the Coalition.

Listen to The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

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 Podcast: Veterans Trauma Courts with Judge David Shakes, Col (Ret.)
30 July 2019 - Our episode this week is our first as part of the VA Podcast Network and our 98th overall. Judge David Shakes presides over the 4th Judicial District Veterans Trauma Court (VTC) which encompasses El Paso and Teller Counties, Colorado. From January 2007 through January 2008 Colonel Shakes was assigned to Task Force 134, Multi-National Force-Iraq as the Rule of Law Advisor and Political/Military Advisor at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. In that capacity, he worked with Iraqi judges, prison officials, and the Ministers of Justice and Human Rights to improve the Iraqi criminal justice system concerning detention and prosecution of terrorists and insurgents. Prior to serving in Iraq, Colonel Shakes was the Chief Trial Judge of the Army Reserve.

Listen to Veterans Trauma Courts with Judge David Shakes, Col (Ret.)
 Veterans Treatment Courts with Joseph Ellis
24 April 2019 - Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC) are an alternative to community corrections and the Department of Corrections. It’s an opportunity for our former service members that may find themselves in the justice system to identify and treat mental health and substance use issues that they wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity to address.
Treatment courts have been around 30 years and Veterans Treatment Courts have been around for around a decade. The difference in VTC is that our courts offer veterans specific treatment for issues like trauma and post-traumatic stress as well the opportunity to work with a veteran mentor or “battle buddy” throughout the program.
Here in Colorado we have 6 state affiliated VTCs located around the state. We are always in need of veterans who would like to volunteer to help the folks in our court. If you have an hour a month to come to court and are willing to keep in touch with a mentee, you can find information by clicking here. Or email me at and I will get you in touch with a mentor program near you.

Listen to Veterans Treatment Courts with Joseph Ellis
 Podcast: The Conversation with a Veteran after 'Thank You for Your Service' with Jacquelyn Bengfort
21 March 2019 - Early in 2019 I saw a simple tweet thanking the Armed Service Arts Partnership (ASAP) for their help in launching a book of poetry. Intrigued, I first wanted to know who was helping Veterans publish their poetry (and you can learn more about this great organization at and then wanted to learn more about the author of the poetry, Jacquelyn Bengfort. So, I messaged her on Twitter and authors do what authors do, she wrote back. We were lucky to be in Washington DC to record most of this face-to-face with a short segment rerecorded over the phone. Jaci is fascinating and Adam does another great job getting the most from wonderful guest. Enjoy. And understand why saying 'Thank you for your service' is just the start of a long and long-lasting conversation.

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The Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred BundlePodcast: The Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle: R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Respect, Engaging, Supporting, Protecting, Empowering, Connecting, and Teaching) Project
5 September 2018 - Thank you for MIRECC’s, for your interest in the Sacred Bundle Project. We are a Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Tribal grantee, with the full name of our project being “Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle: R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Respect, Engaging, Supporting, Protecting, Empowering, Connecting, and Teaching) Project. We are primarily focused on youth suicide prevention concerning Native American/Alaskan Native individuals ages 10-24 years old. We work with 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan and spread the message that everyone is a #HealingHelper. So similar to the VA message #BeThere.

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Veterans Crisis LinePodcast Bonus: Veterans Crisis Line: History, Purpose, and a Look Ahead with Director Matt Miller
25 May 2018 - Curious about the Veterans Crisis Line? Join us for an in-depth conversation with VCL Director Matt Miller about its purpose, history, and what the future holds. Matt takes us on a journey from VCL's initial launch in 2007, to right now, for the ribbon-cutting of the 3rd call center in Topeka, Kansas. We talk about how VCL has expanded to meet increasing demand, responding to over 2000 calls each day. Matt tells us about the services VCL offers, who can use them, and how responders are trained to support Veterans and their loved ones. He also walks us through what happens when someone reaches out to the VCL, and explains the follow-up process connecting Veterans with their local VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator. Matt demystifies the crisis line experience and encourages everyone to be familiar with how to contact the VCL before a crisis happens, including saving the number 1-800-273-8255 press 1 into your phone. Tune in to learn about the latest technological advances being pioneered by the VCL, as well as research and continuous quality improvement underway.

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Helping Others Hold OnPodcast: Helping Others Hold On
6 December 2017 - PsychArmor Institute’s FREE online course Helping Others Hold On provides tools and tips to recognize, understand, and combat suicidal feelings in Veterans. Course leaders Dr. Craig J. Bryan, Executive Director of the National Center for Veteran Studies at The University of Utah, and Carie Rodgers, Ph.D., Education Director of PsychArmor Institute provide an overview and discuss the coded language of suicide, the importance of sleep, and crisis response planning.
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Barbara Van Dahlen from Give an HourPodcast: Why’s it gotta be this hard? (Maybe it doesn’t)
23 August 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

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PodcastTeam Rubicon: Regaining a sense of purpose, community and identity
28 June 2017 - Melissa continues her community reintegration series with Amanda Burke from Team Rubicon. The Team Rubicon message is "Disasters are our business. Veterans are our passion." And you'll hear it in Amanda's voice as she describes her own journey and her continuing passion.

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podcastMeet Matt (human) and James (canine) from Warrior Canine Connection
Meet Matt (human) and James (canine), who became friends through shared service - and maybe a little bit of fate. When Matt returned home to the States, after a stay at Walter Reed, he joined Warrior Canine Connection only reluctantly. In this interview, Matt shares his experience working through to the other side of TBI and PTSD, and the role James plays.
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podcastPodcast: Creating Communities to Serve Those Who Served - AmericaServes
Melissa McHarg interviews Michael Haynie, Ph.D. the Executive Director & Founder of Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. The conversation takes a close look at AmericaServes. The mission of AmericaServes is “to empower human services providers in the United States, and equip them with the technological and informational resources needed to efficiently and effectively guide service members, veterans, and their families to the most appropriate services and resources.”
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podcastStraight Scoop for Veterans - What Two Guys Can Do
19 April 2017 - Melissa McHarg interviews Roger Pipkin from Straight Scoop for Veterans. Roger tells the amazing story of how he and a friend decided to tackle Veteran suicide in New Mexico. You won't believe the progress they have made.
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podcasthealth + people + purpose = The Team RWB Enrichment Equation
29 March 2017 - Team RWB is a nationwide organization with over 115,000 members, in over 200 locations and their mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
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podcastCommunity Reintegration for Veterans after TBI
22 March 2017 - In honor of March being Brain Injury Awareness Month we wanted to discuss the article “Community Reintegration Problems Among Veterans and Active Duty Service Members With Traumatic Brain Injury.”
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podcastTalking Community Response with Denver Co-Responder Team Program
8 March 2017 - This week’s Rocky Mountain MIRECC Short Takes podcast highlights a local program invested in proactively reaching out to individuals who may experience mental health challenges, and build healthy relationships that better serve community members both in crisis and for the long haul.
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From Elementary School to Retirement: Suicide Prevention Throughout the Life Cycle

30 November 2016 - Richard Egan shares his professional journey, which spans 26 years’ service with the Air Force (starting with munitions, “bombs and bullets”) to Suicide Prevention Training and Outreach Facilitator, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Suicide Prevention. Nevada represents the only State to reduce (by a small amount) suicide rates from 1999 – 2014, while the rest of the nation increased upwards of 24%. How did they achieve this result? Mr. Egan describes a comprehensive life cycle approach, starting with social-emotional learning in elementary school, to supporting older residents, many of whom have left family/friends behind in other states. This podcast also highlights Nevada’s access to lethal means’ programs, proactively reaching and training community members that may come in contact with at-risk individuals. The podcast is approximately 40 minutes long.

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Lived Experience

 Podcast: A Sister and Survivor Looks Back 40 Years at Her Brothers Suicide
28 July 2020 - I read a column in the gardening section of the Denver Post in spring of 2019 and stumbled on the writer Chryss Cada. In the last two paragraphs she announced that this was her last column that she'd be dedicating the next portion of her journey on telling the story of losing her brother, Mark, to suicide when he was 15 and she was 12. We touched base but it was too early in her journey. Chryss got back in touch when she had finished her writing and we accomplished this podcast. The picture at left is Chryss, Mark and Shaggy on the "hill".Take some time to listen please.

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 Podcast: Dancing on Compassion Fatigue with Tara Rynders
14 July 2020 - Some time ago Adam attended an immersive theater presentation at Rose Medical Center across the street from our old VA medical center. The performances, First Do No Harm and The Clinic, were performed in the hospital and bring the audience into the experience in a wholly different way. Tara recently recorded COVID Stories. With Adam she discusses art as a way to heal. I'd like to encourage everyone to visit the show notes page where there are links to videos, articles and a document that details some research that Tara did regarding showing the immersive production to fellow nurses.

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 Podcast: Meet Dennis Gillan
10 March 2020 - Adam saw Dennis' Ted Talk that went kind of viral and decided we should try and get him on our podcast. Now, we send out invitations just into the blue when we here or see something we like. It's not like we are Ira Glass of This American Life and everyone has heard of us and jumps at being on our podcast. But sometimes we get lucky and produce a really nice show. Like this one.

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 Podcast: Time and Space and Keep On Keeping on with George Stoudemire
19 November 2019 - This week's episode was recorded at the VA/DoD Suicide Prevention in Nashville, TN, August 2019. Adam was at the conference and had put out the word that he was available to record podcasts. And so he met George Stoudemire. George is a Violence Prevention instructor for US Air Force. He got involved in the program after a 2nd suicide attempt. He heard that "To be part of the solution, I needed to be part of the process." And he has had a deep, personal dive into being part of the process and being part of the solution. And that includes short videos on his Facebook page (Lee Stoudemire) reminding folks that they matter. My takeaway from producing this episode is George has a zest for life will bring you into the process.

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 Podcast: Lived Experience and Traumatic Brain Injury
18 March 2019 - The Coalition for Recovery and Innovation in Traumatic Brain Injury Care Across the Lifespan (CRITICAL) was developed in 2017 to advance patient-centered outcomes for adults living with moderate to severe TBI. The coalition consists of survivors of TBI and their caregivers as well as TBI professionals (clinicians, researchers, and advocates). Funded through a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, the CRITICAL aimed to 1) develop resources for empowering individuals with cognitive impairments to collaborate on research and 2) develop a national research agenda for improving the lives of those living with moderate to severe TBI. Adam spoke with Principal Investigator of the CRITICAL project, Dr. Nate Mohatt; Professor at Ohio State University and Director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation, Dr. John Corrigan; and 14-year traumatic brain injury survivor, Julia Terlinchamp. Dr. Mohatt, Dr. Corrigan, and Julia discuss their experiences with the project and give advice for those wishing to participate in patient-centered outcomes research.

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REACHVETPodcast: On Empathy and Caring with Lena Heilmann
7 November 2018 - Lena Heilmann lost her sister Danielle to suicide in 2012. In response to this traumatic loss and as a way to honor her sister, Lena transitioned from her role as a college professor to working in suicide prevention. Now, as the Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Lena merges her lived experience with coordinating a SAMHSA Youth Suicide Prevention Grant. In this podcast, Lena talks about how her grief and loss survivor identity inform her work and her personal mission. Adam and Lena's conversation also addresses the role of upstream prevention efforts, an overview of suicide prevention work in Colorado, the importance of authentic interpersonal relationships, and how to prioritize self-care when working in the suicide prevention field.

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A voice at the tablePodcast: Giving Credibility to Other Views with Jess Stohlmann-Rainey
26 September 2018 - I read Jess' piece, "Hegemonic Sanity and Suicide" in San Francisco during a rather desultory conference. The essay is a fresh look at a topic we all spend so much time thinking and talking about. For this podcast Jess came into our office at the new Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC, we sat by the window and talked. Jess had a lot of intriguing things to say about how we, society, think of mental health and how our collective inability to understand and accept differences places some of us on the margin and not part of the whole. And once we are on the margin how the credibility of our voices, our experiences are discounted. Tune in to the podcast to understand how listening to those with lived experiences can lead to a place where we trust what we are being told.

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A voice at the tablePodcast: Making Room for Voices All Around with Annmarie Matulis and Tracey Pacheco Medeiros
19 September 2018 - I went to Annmarie and Tracey's website, A Voice at the Table, and the banner shows a winter scene, bare trees in the snow. Then I started editing the recording that Adam did of these two wonders during the 2018 Bridging the Divide conference her in Denver. Listening to these two felt like coming in from the cold and sitting at the table in their kitchen. Laughing and talking big subjects and enveloped in warmth and fine company. Listen to this podcast and immerse yourselves in the power of the human spirit.

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American Association of SuicidologistPodcast: AAS Lived Experience - Part 2
27 June 2018 - This week we wrap our lived experience/expertise cycle with 2 short podcast related to postvention. Later this year we will unveil the Suicide Postvention Resource Center a website and resource center and these podcasts serve as an introduction of sorts:

The Journey of a Loss Survivor with Janet Schnell, MSW, LSW

Postvention: an Introduction with Sarra Nazem and Elaine de Mello
American Association of SuicidologistPodcast: AAS Lived Experience - Part 1
20 June 2018 - During the 2018 AAS conference we had the opportunity to record a number of brief podcasts with leaders in the Lived Experience community. This week we'll release 3 of these and next week we'll drop the other 2. So for this week we have:

AFSP Suicide Outreach Program with Doreen Marshall and Shannon Donnick

AFSP Survivors of Suicide Loss Day with Doreen Marshal and Brandon English

Lived Expertise with DeQuincy Lezine
Dese'Rae L. StagePodcast: Life Experience Captured with Dese'Rae L. Stage
6 September 2017 - Live Through This #Stay...captured through the art, the lens, the stories of our lived experience. Adam cauht up with Dese'Rae earlier this summer and this conversation is the result. I was listening in on the other line and she blew me away with her everything-ness. Adam would ask her about how she came up with this or that idea and Des would just say something like, "I got bored one day so I wrote this program/created this movie/started this movement." Yes, of course you did and we all benefited.

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Moral Injury

 Podcast: The VA/Clergy Partnership for Rural Veterans with Chaplain Steve Sullivan
3 December 2019 - For part 4 of our Moral Injury series Georgia Gerard interviews Chaplain Steve Sullivan about how he helped create the VA/Clergy Partnership for Rural Veterans. This partnership brings together community clergy, mental health providers, and others to help veterans gain access to both VA and community care and support. Steve worked to establish six ongoing VA/Clergy "community action boards" (CABs) in rural sites throughout Arkansas. He also served as Implementation Lead for the VA Community Clergy Training Program from 2016 to 2019. Steve has served as a hospital and VA chaplain for the last 15 years. Steve currently works as the "Community Coordinator" for VA Mental Health and Chaplaincy in Durham, NC and serves as co-leader of their "Collaborating in Care: Ministry and Mental Health" trainings..

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Chris CoronaPodcast: On Moral Injury - A Treatment Perspective with Dr. Chris Corona
12 December 2018 - In this podcast Georgia interviews Dr. Chris Corona, post-doctoral fellow at the VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, to continue the discussion on moral injury. Moral injury is a relatively new concept and our understanding of how it relates to suicide risk is limited. Dr. Corona provides a thorough overview of moral injury and ways providers can assess and treat moral injury as well as sharing findings from current research on moral injury and suicide risk in a population of Veterans with substance use disorders and ideas for future research.

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Warrior to Soul Mate ProgramPodcast: The Warrior to Soul Mate Program with Clyde Angel and Georgia Gerard
16 May 2018 - In this podcast Georgia interviews Dr. Clyde Angel, Chief of Chaplain Services at the Indianapolis VA and National Coordinator for the Warrior to Soul Mate Program. The effects of deployments and transitioning to civilian life can be stressful for families. Dr. Clyde discusses the growth and effectiveness of the Warrior to Soul Mate Program and how it can help Veterans and their spouses and significant others learn valuable skills, such as effective communication, to reconnect and repair relationships. Listen to the podcast:

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podcastPodcast: Spiritually Integrated Care for PTSD and Moral Injury
3 May 2017 - Veterans who present with PTSD and moral injury often report spiritual distress that places them at higher risk for suicide. In this podcast, we share up to date research on moral injury, spiritual distress, and empirically tested techniques for helping veterans use their own spiritual resources as an asset in their recovery.
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On Moral Injury and Suicide

21 September 2016 - In this week's episode Adam discusses moral injury with Georgia Gerard, LSW, a social worker at Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention. Moral injury is distinct but can also overlap with PTSD. It is important to tease out the differences and then help the individual back to a a place of acceptance. The podcast is approximately 18 minutes long.

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Lethal Means Safety

 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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Joseph A. Simonetti, MD, MPHPodcast: Promoting Lethal Means Safety to Prevent Veteran Suicide with Joe Simonetti, MD
What is it about Lethal Means Safety (LMS) that makes a difference in suicide prevention? LMS is about increasing the distance between thoughts of suicide and action. In this week’s episode, we are joined by Dr. Joseph Simonetti, MD, MPH, physician and suicide prevention researcher with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC. Dr. Simonetti guides us through the fundamentals of lethal means safety, why it’s important, and provides suggestions on how to ensure that conversations about lethal means safety are Veteran-centered. Download the transcript or listen to the podcast:

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Talking to Patients about Firearm Safety

15 June 2016 - Adam Hoffberg talks with Dr. Marian (Emmy) Betz about how to talk with patients about firearm safety in relation to suicide risk. Dr. Betz is an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado Hospital and has worked extensively in the area of lethal means safety for suicide prevention. Her most recent article published June 2016 is titled "Lethal Means Access and Assessment Among Suicidal Emergency Department Patients."

An interesting part of this far ranging discussion occurs near the end when Dr. Betz discusses a program in Colorado, the Colorado Gun Shop Project. The program is modeled on the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition. The purpose of the project is to collaborate with gun shop retailers, gun range owners, and firearm safety course instructors to promote suicide prevention awareness, recognize suicidal behavior, and limit the sale of firearms to any customer who is suicidal. See the links below to learn more. The podcast is approximately 26 minutes long.

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Ray TuckerPodcast: 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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Dr. Shelby ScottTransgender Veteran Mental Health Care: Introduction to Terminology, Enhancing Clinical Skills, and Continuing Education
20 November 2017 - In honor of Transgender Awareness Month, Dr. Shelby Scott, Denver VA Clinical Psychologist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veteran Care Coordinator, spoke with Adam Hoffberg at the Denver VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC to provide a thorough introduction to this topic. Dr. Scott discusses specific clinical recommendations that can improve the way all VA providers serve our transgender Veterans, medical and mental health services provided by the VA, and how to get connected to additional VA and community resources!

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podcastThe Camouflage Closet: Strong, Resilient LGBT Veterans!
5 April 2017 - Nine Veterans were given cameras to tell their stories; their resiliency, their strength and their efforts overcoming. An amazing quote "research indicates that 75% of all Veterans with PTSD state that they have also experienced PTSD Growth."
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LGBTQ and Suicide Prevention: Challenges and Opportunities

2 November 2016 - Adam spoke with Dr. John Blosnich a research health scientist with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. John discusses his work with Veterans from the Transgender community. The work being done within the VA may surprise some and should cause us all a beacon of hope. The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

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Military Sexual Trauma

Dr. Lindsey MonteithPodcast: Military Sexual Trauma (MST) - A Discussion with Dr. Lindsey Monteith
4 October 2018 - We recorded this podcast to coincide with a series of online trainings that Dr. Monteith is conducting and because this is a particular time in our country where sexual assault is on the minds of many. Lindsey discusses with Adam how we can take a public health approach to sexual violence, one where we can all take responsibility for ending the violence and helping vistims heal. Her research of late has taken a qualitative approach where survivors are given a chance to speak in their own voice and make their own choices. She reminds us to listen with compassion and to believe what survivors are telling us.

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American Association of SuicidologistPodcast: Military Sexual Trauma - Trauma Informed Care with Ryan Holliday
22 August 2018 - Adam Hoffberg interviewed Psychology Fellow Dr. Ryan Holliday about the research he is doing related to Military Sexual Trauma. This is a podcast that you could describe to your kids with something like, "Kids, I heard Doc Holliday's original podcast before he became really big." You talk with Ryan and you just know he knows a lot (about evidence-based treatment, MST and PTSD) and isn't afraid to break it down for you. This podcast is also worth a listen if you want to hear Ryan try to get Adam to laugh. Apparently, it is not that easy.

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Military Sexual Trauma and Suicide

22 February 2016 - Join us for our second episode of RMIRECC Short Takes when we interview Dr. Lindsey Monteith about her two recent articles exploring military sexual trauma "Sexual Trauma and Combat During Deployment: Associations With Suicidal Ideation Among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans" and "A Closer Examination of Sexual Trauma During Deployment: Not all Sexual Traumas are Associated with Suicidal Ideation". The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long. Podcast transcript

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The Microbiome, Old Friends and Getting Outside


11 August 2016 - This week Adam interviews Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hoisington, Ph.D., P.E., M.SAME, USAF, an Assistant Professor, and Environmental Engineering Division Chief, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also one of the principle investigators with the Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education (MVM-CoRE). Dr. Hoisington is the author on numerous publications in the fields of the microbiota, immunoregulation, and mental health, including lead author on a publication in the journal Microbiome, and author on a recent publication in Current Environmental Health Reports. The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

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Environmental Factors and Suicide

1 June 2016 - In this episode Adam interviews Perry Renshaw, MD PhD MBA, the Medical Director of Rocky Mountain MIRECC who is based in our Salt Lake City, UT office. Dr. Renshaw is the senior author on “Acute Air Pollution Exposure and Risk of Suicide Completion”, one of the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) and the Society for Epidemiologic Research’s 2015 Articles of the Year. Listen as they explore what role the environment plays in suicide and the clinical implications. The podcast is approximately 18 minutes long.

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The Microbiome and Suicide Prevention

16 May 2016 - In this podcast Adam Hoffberg (and @adamhoffberg) interviews Dr. Christopher A Lowry (and @CALowryPhD) about his work studying the relationship between stress resilience and the microbiome. Dr. Lowry is with the University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Integrative Physiology, and the Center for Neuroscience, as well as co-Director for the Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education (and @MVM_CoRE). Dr. Lowry is the senior author on a publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science . The article is titled “Immunization with a heat-killed preparation of the environmental bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae promotes stress resilience in mice.” Listen how the this article with it's complex title is turned into something understandable. The podcast is approximately 22 minutes long.

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 Podcast: Modeling to Learn (Test. Don't Guess.) with Dr. Lindsey Zimmerman
22 October 2019 - Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Health Administration, scientific study of Modeling to Learn is underway to determine its effectiveness increasing delivery of evidence-based addiction and mental health care (NIDA R01DA046651 and R21DA042198; HSRD I01HX002521; PI: Zimmerman). The Modeling to Learn program supports multidisciplinary teams of frontline psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing and certified peer support specialist providers in the Veterans Health Administration. This podcast with Dr. Zimmerman introduces the participatory Modeling to Learn effort including the facilitators, workgroup leads, key partners and co-investigators who learn with frontline staff from MTL data and simulation resources. Dr. Zimmerman's team, "Team PSD," is distributed across the United States.

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 Podcast: Food insecurity as “nutritional functioning” with Dr. Diana Brostow
15 May 2019 - This week, Adam interviews Dr. Diana Brostow, a Research Nutritionist at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC, about her work in food insecurity. She shares how our understanding of food insecurity is changing: It cannot be seen as strictly a poverty issue, i.e. “no money = no food = hunger”, but instead is a complex problem, shaped by social, psychological, cultural, and environmental forces. Diana shares her research findings on nutrition and mental health, explains how she is reframing food insecurity as “nutritional functioning”, and outlines future directions for this line of investigation.

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 Podcast: Safety Planning in the Emergency Room (It Works!) with Drs. Barbara Stanley, Greg Brown and Lisa Brenner
27 February 2019 - Adam Hoffberg connected with this high-powered trio to talk about a study they did comparing safety planning intervention with follow-ups versus usual care of suicidal patients. The study changed policy and procedures at the VA, just saying. Greg gives a brief tutorial on safety planning, Barb talks about why follow-up care is important and Lisa discusses future implications.

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REACHVETPodcast: Predictive Analytics to Reach Veterans at Risk
15 October 2018 - This bonus podcast release is coinciding with a HSR&D Cyberseminar "REACH VET: Applying Predictive Analytics to Clinical Practice." The HSR&D website will have a recording of the seminar. Adam speaks with Aaron Eagan, RN MPH, about the use of predictive analytics to identify Veterans at highest-risk of suicide and intervenes clinically to review and enhance care.

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American Association of SuicidologistPodcast: The 2018 AAS Conference - Part 4
25 July 2018 - Here we are at the end of our series. And we end it with some blockbusters:

An Ecological Approach to Suicide Prevention with Dr. Emma Elliott-Groves

What if We...? Taking a New Look at Risk with Drs. Jessica Ribeiro and Joseph Franklin

The Role of Daily Interpersonal Interactions in Suicide Risk with Dr. Katie Lewis
American Association of SuicidologistPodcast: The 2018 AAS Conference - Part 3
18 July 2018 - In this 3rd of our 4 part series from the 2018 AAS conference we diversify and hear from a Health Behaviorist, a gamer and a future seminarian:

Health Promoting Behaviors as Suicide Prevention with Dr. Daniel DeBrule

The Gaming Community Comes to the Rescue with Stack Up's Elvis Walden

Suicide Prevention and the Greek Life with Marshall Taylor
Dr. Bryann DeBeerPodcast: The Role of Health Promoting Behaviors with Dr. Bryann DeBeer
14 February 2018 - In this podcast Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Bryann DeBeer, a suicide prevention researcher and clinical research psychologist at the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, and an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center. Dr. DeBeer discusses her interesting research which examines risk factors for suicide in Veterans. Her work also focuses on translating these findings into new actionable suicide prevention techniques. Adam and Dr. DeBeer talk about how these findings fit into clinical practice in order to help clinicians improve their work with clients at risk for suicide. Listen to the podcast:

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Working towards a better understanding of suicide loss

11 January 2017 - Suicide is known as a rare event, yet the large number of those impacted by suicide (through exposure, and closer connections including bereavement) makes suicide loss relatable to every human. Preliminary research on suicide bereavement in Veterans and Military Families shows that military family members who have lost someone to suicide are at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts of their own. Melanie Hom, M.A., a clinical graduate student at Thomas Joiners’ Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Suicide-Related Conditions continues this line of research, which she discusses with Adam in this week’s Short Takes podcast. Using common data elements aggregated across 15 studies funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium, this study finds that the majority (over 50%) of service members and Veterans know someone who has died by suicide. Melanie shares findings about those affected by suicide loss, as well as important clinical implications and needed next steps for future research. The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.


Related resources:

Resources for loved ones bereaved by suicide:

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Bolstering Resiliency in the Helping Professions

5 October 2016 - Adam interviews a new addition to the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention team, Dr. Meredith Mealer. Meredith as done important work studying the high prevalence of PTSD in ICU nurses. Her work has found that ICU nurses suffer from PTSD at a rate comparable to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Mealer's research has also provided steps that nurses and ALL helping professionals can take that have proven to bolster resilience. The work is important for all in the helping field. The podcast is approximately 21 minutes long.

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Implicit Association Test between Death/Life and Suicide

27 July 2016 - Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Sean Barnes about his paper “Moving Beyond Self-Report: Implicit Associations about Death/Life Prospectively Predict Suicidal Behavior among Veterans”. The paper explores suicide risk assessment, the limitations of self-report, and why advancing our understanding of objective ways to measure suicide risk is so important. Specifically it examines the predictive validity of the death/suicide Implicit Association Test (d/sIAT) as an objective measure of future risk. The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

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Validating the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide in a Veteran Population

29 June 2016 - Adam interviews Dr. Bridget Matarazzo about using measures to test Dr. Joiner's Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. This episode is of particular interest for any clinician who works with Veterans. Dr. Matarazzo explores to recognize perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness in the presence of acquired capability through psychometric tools. And how these tools have been validated for a Veteran population. The podcast is approximately 16 minutes long.

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Zero Suicide Initiative

The second Zero Suicide Trilogy Podcast is liveThe Second Zero Suicide Trilogy Podcast
We present our 2nd Zero Suicide Trilogy with stories recorded at the 2017 Bridging the Divide Conference last May. This trilogy features Ursula Whiteside (Why and How Now Matters Now), Richard McKeon (An Agency's Approach to Zero Suicide) and Sarah Brummett (A State's Approach to Zero Suicide). These conversations are short and give a brilliant insight to Zero Suicide.
Leah HarrisPodcast: Trauma Informed Care with Leah Harris, M.A.
26 July 2017 - At the 2017 Bridging the Divide conference here in Denver we caught up with Leah right after her keynote address, "How I Went from Wanting to Die to Loving Life: A Resilience Journey". In this podcast Leah expounds on Trauma Informed Care and her thoughts on Zero Suicide. This is a great summertime length podcast at 12 minutes.

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podcastSuicide Prevention in the Construction Industry with Sally Spencer-Thomas PhD
The Bridging the Divide Conference is an annual event in Denver put on by Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and this year we caught up with the very busy, very energetic Sally Spencer-Thomas. Lately, Sally has taken up suicide prevention work in the construction industry. This was not a population I was familiar with but as you'll find in listening to this podcast the overlap between this industry and Veterans is surprisingly large.
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podcastPodcast: The Zero Suicide Trilogy
During the 50th annual American Association of Suicidologist conference in Phoenix, AZ Adam had the chance to interview three leaders in the Zero Suicide Initiative, Julie Goldstein, Anthony Pisani and Brian Ahmandani.
podcastAn Introduction to the Zero Suicide Initiative with Julie Goldstein Grumet, Ph.D.
Julie is the Director of Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Dr. Goldstein Grumet provides strategic direction to improve the effectiveness of behavioral health, clinical care, and primary care providers to recognize and respond to suicide emergencies. She oversees the Zero Suicide initiative for SPRC, supporting the work of state and health care leaders who are implementing system-wide approaches to suicide prevention.
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podcastA new take on Zero Suicide and Risk Formulation with Tony Pisani, Ph.D.
Tony Pisani, Ph.D. (University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide) discusses his model for suicide safer care, prevention-oriented risk formulation, and the need for a common framework for assessing, communicating, and responding to suicide risk for clinicians, patients, and the medical record. Dr. Pisani will be releasing new materials and training opportunities soon. To be notified when updates are available, please visit
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podcastSuicide Prevention in Health Systems with Brian Ahmedani, Ph.D. L.M.S.W.
Dr. Ahmendani joined the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in 2010. The Center for Health Services Research investigates ways to improve the quality, efficiency and equity of health care. This podcast discusses some of the the history of the zero suicide initiative and Henry Ford Health System, including recent research findings on suicide prevention in health systems.
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Masters' Series

Dr. Michael KauthPodcast: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Kauth - A Lifetime of Achievement in Veterans Care
10 October 2018 - Dr. Michael Kauth is a clinical psychologist and has two major roles in the VA. He is Director of the VHA LGBT Health Program – a position shared with Dr. Jillian Shipherd – and he is also Co-Director of the South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center. In addition, Dr. Kauth is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Recently he received The American Psychological Association, Division 18, James Besyner Award for Lifetime Achievement and later this week he and Dr. Shipherd will be receive the 2018 Achievement Award from the Gay/Lesbian Medical Association in Las Vegas. I have known Michael for almost 15 years beginning when he was the National Educational Director for MIRECC/CoE and I maintained the website. I caught up with Michael to reflect on his work and get his view of the future.

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Jerry ReedPodcast: Suicide Prevention Master Series with Dr. Jerry Reed
11 April 2018 - 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. Read more. Listen to the podcast:

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David JobesPodcast: Looking 30 Years Ahead and 30 Years Behind with David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP
9 August 2017 - Earlier this summer I called Dave and hit the record button. What followed was a chance to look forward into the future of suicide prevention based on 30 years of work and research in our chosen field of suicide prevention. Listening to Dave you can get the sense that we are on the cusp of dramatic changes in how we treat the individuals in our care.

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 Podcast: Insomnia, Treatment, and Finding a Path to Better Sleep with Drs. Carolyn Greene and Andrew Moon
10 September 2019 - To bring effective, innovative treatment to the up to 50% of Veterans entering VA health care who have Insomnia Disorder, VA has developed an online training course called “Path to Better Sleep.” In this podcast, Dr. Sarra Nazem, from Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention, interviews clinical psychologists Dr. Carolyn Greene and Dr. Andrew Moon from VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention about Insomnia Disorder, the link between Insomnia Disorder and suicide, and how VA is bringing treatment directly to Veterans through the free, self-directed, online training course “Path to Better Sleep.” Transcript

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Sleeping Well as an Upstream Approach to Suicide Prevention

14 December 2016 - Could improved sleep potentially help prevent individuals from developing suicidal thoughts or behaviors sometime in the future? Rocky Mountain MIRECC Psychologist Sarra Nazem talks with Adam about her clinical work and research into evidence-based insomnia treatments as it relates to decreasing suicide risk. This topic is particularly relevant for providers working with Veterans and military, who experience sleep disturbances at increasingly high levels in the past decade. The good news: though insomnia is highly prevalent among Vets and military, it is also highly treatable. EB interventions such as SHUTi (Sleep Health Using the Internet) capitalize on a combination of high effectiveness and wide accessibility. Join Sarra and Adam as they discuss improving sleep as a way to increase hopefulness, and improve outcomes for other co-morbid conditions. The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

Listen to Sleeping Well as an Upstream Approach to Suicide Prevention

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Sleep-Wake Disturbance

30 March 2016 - Welcome to our fourth RM Short Takes podcast. This week Adam Hoffberg interviews Dr. Ellyn Matthews on her article "A Qualitative Study of Sleep-Wake Disturbance Among Veterans With Post-Acute Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury." Ellyn is now invested in Elizabeth Stanley Cooper Endowed Chair in Oncology Nursing at the University of Arkansas after a great stint with Rocky Mountain MIRECC. In this podcast she discusses the effect sleep-wake disturbance can have on Veterans with moderate to severe TBI. The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

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 Podcast: Trauma Informed Design with Laura Rossbert and Jennifer Wilson
19 May 2020 - My partner came across an article from The Colorado Trust on Trauma Informed Design. The article was titled, "Using Trauma-Informed Design, Buildings Become Tools for Recovery". The article lead me to Jennifer Wilson, a social worker and research associate with the Center for Housing and Homelessness Research at the University of Denver. Jennifer agreed to the podcast and invited Laura Rossbert, Chief Operating Officer at Shopworks Architecture to join. We have talked about trauma informed care and I just had to find out about trauma informed design. Laura and Jennifer will help you gain an appreciation of the 3 C's and just what it means to truly listen to those we serve.

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Lindsey MartinPodcast: 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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Treatment Works for Veterans WebsitePodcast Bonus: Treatment Works for Veterans Website Launches!
7 May 2018 - Adam discusses the new website with Dr. Brad Karlin. The website has two purposes. The first is to introduce Veterans to the idea of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, especially for insomnia and depression (others will be added later). Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBP) are treatments that have been shown to work; they have been tested and work. The other part of the website is for clinicians and focuses on Shared Decision Making, a process in which the provider sits down with the person interested in getting treatment and together they decide on what EBP is best for the individual. Best of all the website is free and open to everyone - Veteran and non-Veteran! Listen to the podcast:

Rocky Mountain Short Takes Podcast Listen

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Rehabilitation at the VA is a Team Sport, as is Suicide Prevention

28 December 2016 - The VAs Polytrauma System of Care (PSC) represents the world’s largest, integrated model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) care. In this podcast, Adam catches up with Joel Scholten MD (widely known as @VATBIDoc on twitter) at this year’s annual American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine conference to discuss PSC’s achievements. Joel describes the comprehensive system of rehabilitation care available to Veterans and their families, which strives to address often complicated care needs. These often range from TBI with co-morbid PTSD, pain, and other conditions that benefit from PSC’s individualized treatment plans and highly multi-disciplinary approach. Join Joel and Adam during the Chicago Cubs' victory parade as they discuss the VA’s team sport approach to rehabilitation and suicide prevention. The podcast is approximately 13 minutes long.


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Talking to T2 about Mental Health Apps

19 October 2016 - Adam talks this week with Dr. Julie Kinn from The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), a Department of Defense organization that evaluates new technologies for tele-mental health. T2 has put out lots of mobile apps focusing on the mental needs of Veterans, caregivers, service members and clinicians. The apps have been remarkably popular and useful. Adam explores the process of creating evidence-based apps that are fun, easy to use and beneficial. The podcast is approximately 30 minutes long.

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Getting the Word out about Suicide Prevention

24 August 2016 - Dr. Nazanin Bahraini, Director of Education for the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention discusses VA Suicide Prevention research and how we make that research accessible for clinicians and Veterans. Nasi talks about the movement in VA Suicide Prevention research from her days as a psychology fellow where the research focused on down-river approaches to today where there the approaches run a wider range from community to environmental. She touches on the future, VA Suicide Prevention month and the 22 Pushup Challenge (have you done the challenge yet!). The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

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Selected Videos

podcastVideo: Veterans and PTSD: Challenging the Misconceptions
30 June 2017 - There are many misconceptions about Veterans and PTSD. Understanding what we really know can help Veterans connect with the services they need to live a better life. Clinical Research Psychologist, Dr. Suzanne McGarity from the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention describes what research shows about Veterans and PTSD. Watch the video on YouTube.

Six Training Videos: Suicide Assessment, Treatment and Management


30 March 2016

These six videos were part of a day long training that Sarra Nazem PhD, Nazanin Bahraini PhD and Lisa Brenner PhD did in October 2014 for mental health clinicians at the American Lake VAMC.

Topics included:

  1. Self-Directed Violence
  2. Suicide Risk Assessment
  3. Suicide Risk Stratification
  4. Suicide Risk Intervention Strategies
  5. Suicide Risk Safety Planning
  6. End of Life Issues

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