MIRECC / CoE
Rocky Mountain MIRECC for VA Suicide Prevention
Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention:
Suicide Risk Assessment: 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.”
If you have ever suffered insomnia you really do not need a podcast to tell you how miserable it can be and how the lack of sleep effects your whole life. Poor sleep can affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to catching colds, and even bone regeneration, which for the elderly can make recovery from a fall more difficult. And good sleep just feels better, we are less cranky, and our mood is better.
The good news is that there are treatments that work for stopping insomnia. Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-i) aims to improve sleep habits and behaviors by identifying and changing the thoughts and the behaviors that affect the ability of a person to sleep or sleep well. Dr. Greene makes clear that CBT-i is not sleep hygiene though it may borrow some techniques as a starting place. She makes it clear that CBT-i goes for beyond sleep hygiene; so, if sleep hygiene did not help know that CBT-i is a different treatment that does work. CBT-i has been shown to be more effective than sleep medication for the long-term on-going treatment of insomnia.
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.
You can start now at Path to Better Sleep (https://www.veterantraining.va.gov/insomnia/) which is a free online tool developed by the VA.
Path to Better Sleep:
Sleep Check-up Tool:
VA’s Suicide Prevention Page:
VA’s Suicide Prevention Resources:
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 and press 1; or
text 838255 or
chat online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat
VA Resource locater to find VA clinics/resources near you:
Make the Connection:
Treatment Works for Vets:
Veteran Training Portal:
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Categories: Suicide Prevention
Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC (RMR VAMC)
1700 N Wheeling St, G-3-116M
Aurora, CO 80045
Salt Lake City
VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
500 Foothill DR
Salt Lake City, UT 84148