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Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention

2019 Rocky Mountain MIRECC News for You Archive

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016

Updated: 3 December 2019

 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.

Listen to Modeling to Learn (Test. Don't Guess.) with Dr. Lindsey Zimmerman
 Fellowship Opportunity
The Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention is home to nationally-recognized clinical researchers and clinicians who supervise/mentor Fellows in research as well as the application of specialized knowledge to Veteran treatment and intervention. For the 2020-2021 Fellowship season we have opportunities with Nazanin H. Bahraini PhD and Sarra Nazem, PhD. Learn more about each of them by clicking on their name and learn about the Fellowship program here at RMIRECC.
 Video: VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for Suicide
10 October 2019 - Watch this one hour video as Dr. Lisa Brenner, Capt. Mike Colston, & Suicide Prevention Coordinator Tammy Hopman discuss the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for Suicide. Watch the video here.
 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
 Podcast: Work as Suicide Prevention with Dr. Nathan Ainspan
24 September 2019 - On this week's episode of the Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention we dialed up Dr. Nathan Ainspan a research psychologist from the DoD Transition to Veteran Program Office. If you have ever been unemployed you know what it can do to your emotional well-being. Top that off with the financial effect and you can understand how this can increase risk for depression and wreak havoc on your sense of purpose. Nate talks passionately about the idea of purpose, dedication and mission as a cornerstone of well-being. And that can start with employment, but he then stretches it out to include volunteering, getting involved in a house of worship and being a part of a larger community. Anything that adds to a sense of purpose. Nate discusses how having a job helps combat social isolation by getting the person out and into the work environment where there is usually a social and shared purpose. Almost by its nature a job forces us to be social, to interact with others. Dr. Ainspan also talks about how work can provide a positive feedback loop through success and a sense of accomplishment for work well done. And getting paid for the work you are doing can take away the financial stress.

Listen to Work as Suicide Prevention with Dr. Nathan Ainspan
 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."

Listen to Insomnia, Treatment, and Finding a Path to Better Sleep with Drs. Carolyn Greene and Andrew Moon
 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
 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.)
 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
Hal WortzelPUB: Psychiatric Advance Directives: Origins, Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions
16 July 2019 - This is a timely article explores a concept that has been around for decades Psychiatric Advance Directives (PAD). From the abstract, "Psychiatric advance directives (PADs) are legal documents that allow individuals with psychiatric illness to designate decisions, while competent, about their future psychiatric care were they to lose competency due to psychiatric illness in the future. Among other items, these documents often include preferences regarding a surrogate decision-maker, types of medications, doses and routes of medications, seclusion and restraints, electroconvulsive therapy, and instructions for care of their property while incapacitated." Read the full publication free.

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 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 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 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 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
 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.

Listen to Food insecurity as “nutritional functioning”
 Pub: Mental Illness, Not Obesity Status, is Associated with Food Insecurity Among the Elderly in the Health and Retirement Study
14 May 2019 - RMIRECC research psychologist Drs. Diana Browstow and Lisa Brenner worked on this paper whose objective was, "Food insecurity, limited or uncertain access to adequate nutrition, is an increasingly recognized determinant of health outcomes and is often associated with having obesity. It is unclear, however, if this association persists in elderly populations." Read the full article.
 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
 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
 Pub: Concussion and risk of suicide: who, when and under what circumstances?
23 April 2019 - RMIRECC research psychologist Drs. Lisa Brenner and Nazanin Bahraini completed "A new analysis has found that concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are linked to an increased risk of suicidal behaviours and thoughts. However, a host of risk factors might influence this correlation, and careful investigation is required to establish which individuals with mTBI might be most at risk of suicide." Read the full article.
 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
 RMIRECC Speakers at 52nd Annual American Association of Suicidologist
22 April 2019 - The AAS conference this year is in our very own Denver, the Mile High City! And you will have 27 opportunities to see one of us present. And be sure to come by our table in the exhibitor area to meet our staff and grab some from suicide prevention educational material.
Download our presentation list or visit our webpage
 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 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 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
 Publication: Therapeutic Risk Management: Chain Analysis of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
1 April 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Lauren Borges, PhD, Sarra Nazem, PhD, Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD, Sean Barnes, PhD, and Hal Wortzel, MD write "Structural approaches to suicide risk assessment (eg, evaluating the frequency and intensity of suicidal ideation and classifying types of suicidal behavior) often fall short of providing an idiographic and dynamic analysis of the factors driving and maintaining an individual's suicide risk. Structural approaches can be bolstered through chain analysis which facilitates an exploration of the factors maintaining suicidal ideation and behavior based on positive and negative reinforcement. By uncovering the factors causing suicidal ideation and behavior to persist, efficient intervention strategies can be selected to target these pathways. In this column, the authors delineate the use of chain analysis to guide suicide risk assessment and inform treatment planning." Read more
 Publication: Predicting suicide attempts among soldiers who deny suicidal ideation in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)
28 March 2019 - RMIRECC PI Peter Gutierrez, PhD participated in this research exploring what is occuring when "Most nonfatal suicide attempts and suicide deaths occur among patients who deny suicidal ideation (SI) during suicide risk screenings." Read more
 Milestone: One MIllion Suicide Prevention Educational Products Sent
25 March 2019 - This month the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention Education Team sent out the 1,000,000th suicide prevention product. They have been sending out products all over the world. Last year they reached every VA Vet Center and VAMC and this year their goal is to reach every VA CBOC. The products help VA staff, Veterans and caregivers better understand how we all can Be There when it comes to suicide prevention. All the products are free and can be ordered here
 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.

Listen to the podcast
 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.

Listen to the podcast
 Opportunity: Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment: Suicide Prevention
28 February 2019 - The Rocky Mountain MIRECC Suicide Prevention Fellowship program is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). This fellowship is also fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation. Our full-time 2-year postdoctoral program employs a scientist-practitioner model. With guidance from Clinical Supervisors, a Primary Research Mentor, Principal Investigator Faculty, and input/support from the Training Director, Fellows develop an individualized training plan designed to facilitate the transition from internship to entry-level professional. Learn more.
 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.

Listen to the podcast
 Publication: Military-Related Exposures, Social Determinants of Health, and Dysbiosis: The United States-Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP)
25 February 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Lisa Brenner, Kelly Stearns-Yoder, Chris Stamper, Teo Postlache, Daniel Hadidi, and Claire Hoffmire participated in this paper. From the abstract, "Significant effort has been put forth to increase understanding regarding the role of the human microbiome in health- and disease-related processes. In turn, the United States (US) Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP) was conceptualized as a means by which to serially collect microbiome and health-related data from those seeking care within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In this manuscript, exposures related to military experiences, as well as conditions and health-related factors among patients seen in VHA clinical settings are discussed in relation to common psychological and physical outcomes." Read more
 Publication: Veteran Preferences for the Caring Contacts Suicide Prevention Intervention
15 February 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD, Hal Wortzel, MD, Sarra Nazem, PhD and Nazanin Bahraini, Phd worked on this paper with it's provocative title. From the abstract, "The clinical and scientific challenges inherent in treating and investigating suicide warrant novel approaches to this public health issue of paramount importance. The implementation of suicide-specific diagnoses has been proposed as one possible way to address this problem and was described in the first column of this special 2-part series. This second column explores potential unintended consequences related to such proposed diagnoses and alternative solutions that might afford greater benefits. The idea of suicide-specific diagnoses represents a novel approach, and one worthy of further discussion and consideration; the debate featured in this series represents a joint effort to advance the dialogue about suicide and to promote innovation." Read more
 Publication: Veteran Preferences for the Caring Contacts Suicide Prevention Intervention
15 February 2019 - RMIRECC PI Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD was a co-author on this publication whose purpose "was to examine high-risk inpatient preferences for the Caring Contacts intervention." The study "suggest that most high-risk veterans would perceive Caring Contacts as helpful and caring. The results provide several practical, helpful tips for programs seeking to establish a Caring Contacts program." Read more
 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.

Listen to the podcast
 Publication: Access to Psychotropic Medication via Prescription Is Associated With Choice of Psychotropic Medication as Suicide Method: A Retrospective Study of 27,876 Suicide Attempts
7 February 2019 - RMIRECC PI Dr. Peter Gutierrez also participated in this paper that has as an objective, "Whether physical access to psychotropic medication via prescription (ie, prescribed access) is associated with use of psychotropic medication as a means of subsequent suicide attempt remains unclear. In a population of suicide attempters, we investigated whether prescribed access to any psychotropic medication increased the likelihood of using any psychotropic drug in a suicide attempt and whether prescribed access to a specific psychotropic drug type increased the likelihood of using that specific psychotropic drug type in an attempt." Read more
 Publication: PTSD symptom clusters and suicide attempts among high-risk military service members: A three-month prospective investigation
6 February 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Dr. Peter Gutierrez and Jetta Hanson participated in this paper. The objective states: "Suicide rates within the U.S. military are elevated, and the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been identified as one potential conduit for suicide risk reduction. Despite increased interest in examining whether PTSD symptom clusters differentially predict suicide-related outcomes, to our knowledge no study has examined this question utilizing a prospective design for which suicide attempts is the outcome. Thus, the present study assessed whether PTSD symptom clusters differentially predict suicide attempts at 3-month follow-up and examined the moderating role of combat exposure." Read more
 Publication: The Effect of Childhood Sexual Assault History on Outpatient Cognitive Processing Therapy for Military Sexual Trauma-Related PTSD: A Preliminary Investigation
24 January 2019 - RMIRECC Fellow Dr. Ryan Holliday participated in this paper that, from the abstract, "History of childhood sexual assault (CSA) may result in poorer emotion regulation and interpersonal functioning, potentially affecting the tolerability and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) have an increased incidence of CSA; however, research examining the role of CSA in EBTs for veterans with MST-related PTSD is limited. Data from 32 (9 male; 23 female) veterans with MST-related PTSD were used from a previously conducted randomized clinical trial examining the efficacy of an outpatient PTSD EBT (i.e., cognitive processing therapy [CPT]). Self-rated PTSD symptom severity was assessed at pretreatment, during treatment, and up to 6 months following treatment completion. Number of CPT sessions attended and treatment completion were also examined. Using a hierarchical linear modelling approach, results indicated both veterans with and without a history of CSA were found to benefit from CPT, and history of CSA did not significantly predict treatment response. Additionally, number of sessions attended and treatment completion did not significantly vary based on history of CSA. These preliminary findings provide support for the tolerability and efficacy of outpatient CPT in veterans with MST-related PTSD regardless of CSA history." Read more
 Publication: Relationship between traumatic brain injury history and recent suicidal ideation in Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans
23 January 2019 - RMIRECC PIs Drs.Sarra Nazem and Lisa Brenner along with staff member Trisha Hostetter and former RMIRECC Fellow Robert Shura worked on this paper that was picked up by at least 4 news outlets. From the abstract, "This study evaluated whether a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) was associated with increased risk for recent suicidal ideation (SI) after accounting for demographics, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep quality. In terms of increased risk, we hypothesized that a history of lifetime TBI would be associated with increased recent SI when compared with no history of TBI; multiple injuries were also evaluated. Results support the assertion than an accumulation of injuries amplifies risk. Severity of injury and deployment injuries were not significant factors. Among those with a history of 1 TBI, sleep, and depression, which may also be injury sequelae, may be salient treatment targets." Read more
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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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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Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC (RMR VAMC)
1700 N Wheeling St, G-3-116M
Aurora, CO 80045

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VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
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Salt Lake City, UT 84148
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