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Understanding Mental Healthcare Experiences of Female and Male Veterans

Large increases in suicide rates have been noted for women Veterans as well as Veterans not using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services. Yet these Veterans have been historically underrepresented in suicide prevention research, limiting understanding of the best ways to prevent suicide in these Veterans. The goal of this study is to improve suicide prevention for all Veterans by gathering information from men and women Veterans about their experiences and preferences for getting help for mental health concerns and suicidal thoughts. This information will be used to better understand and address the reasons for increasing Veteran suicide rates. To achieve this, we will sample participants from three Veteran groups.

Three images of veterans; two women and one man. Center veteran is working on a laptop.

Participant Groups:

  1. Veterans who have never used VHA care
  2. Veterans who have discontinued VHA care
  3. Veterans who are currently using VHA care

There are three parts to this study:

  1. Survey - We will survey 2,200 Veterans from the above groups to learn more about their mental health care experiences, barriers to obtaining mental health care, and willingness to seek help for mental health concerns.
  2. Interview - We will also conduct telephone interviews with a subset of survey respondents to learn more about their experiences and preferences for getting help when suicidal.
  3. Secondary Data Analysis - We will analyze previously collected, de-identified data on Veteran suicide decedents who did and did not use VHA services prior to their death to learn how we can better identify and assist Veterans at risk for suicide.

Across each part of this study, we will examine if there are differences between the three participant groups and between men and women Veterans. Findings from this study will be used to inform suicide prevention efforts for all Veterans, with an emphasis on improving suicide prevention services for non-VHA and women Veterans.

This research study (COMIRB #s: 19-0333 and 19-0833) is being conducted by Lindsey Monteith, Ph.D., and Claire Hoffmire, Ph.D. (Principal Investigators). This study has been funded by a grant from VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D).

If you have received an invitation to participate in this research study, entitled “Understanding Mental Healthcare Experiences of Female and Male Veterans” (COMIRB #19-0333), you can find additional details on this website that will help you decide whether participating is right for you. If you have any questions about participating, please call our Research Coordinator, Evelyn (Eve) Casiano, at 720-723-3522.

If you would like to find out more about the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention, please visit our website.


Last Updated 21 June 2021