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Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention

2016 Rocky Mountain MIRECC News for You Archive

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Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Play podcast

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 13 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention, Rehabilitation

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Applauds Military Suicide Research Consortium for Recent Accomplishments from Cutting-Edge Studies

23 December 2016

Military Suicide Research Consortium"The Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC), co-directed by Drs. Pete Gutierrez and Thomas Joiner, was established in 2010 in an effort to coordinate and focus suicide research efforts across the Department of Defense (DoD) due to the increased rates of suicide in the military. The MSRC is focused on the discovery of scientific knowledge about suicidal behavior in the military, addressing relevant problems that may be solved with policy and/or practice, disseminating consortium knowledge, and training future leaders in military suicide research. The Denver Research Institute and Florida State University received additional funding this year in order to continue the consortium for 5 more years (see http://cdmrp.army.mil/search.aspx for abstract). With this additional funding, they aim to continue to produce highly valuable and mission-relevant deliverables in order to address the problem of suicide in the military."

Read more at the CDMRP website, especially about the last 7 research projects by such leaders in the field as Dr. Michael Anestis, Dr. Craig Bryan and Dr. Matthew Nock and on topics like "Computerized Anger Reduction Treatment for Suicide Prevention" and "Perceptual Retraining to Reduce Suicide Risk".

Learn more about MSRC at their website.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Play podcast

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention, Sleep

Congratulations! Home-Based Mental Health Evaluation (HOME) Program for Rural Veterans Selected as a Gold Status Practice

12 December 2016

HOME programThe Under Secretary for Health (USH) announced that RM MIRECCs Home-Based Mental Health Evaluation (HOME) Program for Rural Veterans lead by Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD., has been selected as a Gold Status practice in the USH Second Shark Tank Competition. "The goal of the Diffusion of Excellence Initiative is to identify best practices, and adapt and replicate them at other sites of care to improve the experiences of Veterans and their families, as well as those who serve them. The initiative helps empower front-line employees to share best practices to effectively use existing resources and skills to make improvements." Learn more about the Diffusion of Excellence Initiative.

The Home-Based Mental Health Evaluation (HOME) program is a suicide prevention intervention for Veterans aimed at increasing treatment engagement and decreasing suicide risk following psychiatric hospitalization, a period of heightened suicide risk. Learn more about HOME.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Play podcast

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 40 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention, Firearm Safety

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Play podcast

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 30 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: PTSD and the ICU Nurse: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 21 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

See Dr. Pete Gutierrez's Latest Publication: Are Military/Veterans Affected by Suicide?

3 October 2016

Pete Gutierrez

The article in the Journal of Affective Disorders published an online version of "Exploring the Association between Exposure to Suicide and Suicide Risk among Military Service Members and Veterans" which Dr. Pete Gutierrez co-authored with Melanie A. Hom, Ian H. Stanley, Thomas E. Joiner Jr.. The article explores the impact of suicide exposure among service members and Veterans. Studies have indicated the devastating affect of suicide within families and the article describes how the same may be true for a military population.

The article was released online 28 September 2016 where you can read more.

Dr. Meredith Mealer publishes "Moral Distress in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurses"

29 September 2016

ICU Nurse

Dr. Meredith Mealer has a new article in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine titled "Moral Distress in ICU Nurses". This article explores the "complex and difficult work environment" within the ICU and how this can lead to moral distress. The idea of moral distress discussed in this article is akin to the podcast released just a week ago on moral injury.

Read Meredith's article on moral distress and then listen to Georgia Gerard's podcast on moral injury.

Also, coming next Wednesday, 5 October 2016, you can listen to Dr. Mealer's own podcast discussing PTSD in ICU nurses. Her podcast will help us understand how all in the caring field can experience PTSD. Best, she will share methods to build resilience for your self and colleagues!

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: On Moral Injury and Suicide

21 September 2016

In this week's episode Adam discusses moral injury with Georgia Gerard, LCSW, 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 18 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

RM MIRECC Researchers Appear in Utah PBS Video "Hope Lives: Preventing Teen Suicide"

16 September 2016

Doug Gray

From our Salt Lake City Rocky Mountain MIRECC for VA Suicide Research office, Drs. Doug Gray and Perry Renshaw appear in an important PBS documentary on Teen Suicide. The documentary was produced by KUED, the University of Utah's PBS channel. From the KUED website: "This timely KUED film on teen suicide in Utah highlights three stories — a promising young athlete who took his own life, a young man now in his late 20s who talks candidly about his suicide attempt as a teen, and a young transgender teen who also survived her suicide attempt with a reaffirmed desire to live."

Watch this wonderful production on KUED.

Dr. Doug Gray and Rocky Mountain MIRECCs SLC Team Publish Comparing Veterans and nonveteran Utah Suicide Decedents

9 September 2016

Doug Gray

Dr. Douglas Gray along with Rocky Mountain MIRECC for VA Suicide Prevention Salt Lake City colleagues Erin McGlade and Deborah Yurgelun-Todd published "Male suspected suicide decedents in Utah: A comparison of Veterans and nonveterans" in the August edition of Comprehensive Psychiatry. The article explored differences between Veterans and nonveterans who died by suicide. Results included that Veterans were older at the time of death and they had more prior suicide attempts and greater access to firearms.

Read "Male suspected suicide decedents in Utah: A comparison of Veterans and nonveterans" for free.

Also, it is worth noting the Doug is the voice behind our popular How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family videos. Watch the full series on the VHA YouTube channel.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 27 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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 challenge yet!).

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 25 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention, Microbiome

Teodor T. Postolache, MD: Infection and Risk of Death by Suicide

10 August 2016

Dr. Postolache

Dr. Postolache is the co-author published online entitled "A Nationwide Cohort Study of the Association Between Hospitalization With Infection and Risk of Death by Suicide." Dr. Postolache splits his time working as a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention. The study the article is based upon followed over seven million Danish residents for 32 years (1980 - 2011) "To estimate the association between hospitalization with infection and the risk of death by suicide." The findings indicate some association.

Read the full article for free on the JAMA Psychiatry website.

Read a related interview in LiveScience and the JAMA Psychiatry editorial "Ascertaining Whether Suicides Are Caused by Infections."

Annals of Epidemiology Publishes Article Co-Written by Dr. Lisa Brenner

1 August 2016

Dr. Brenner

The article was written with John R. Blosnich, PhD, MPH, with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA and Robert M. Bossarte, PhD, with Post Deployment Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. The title of the article is "Population mental health among U.S. military veterans: results of the Veterans Health Module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011–2012" and the reason it was written was to examine "mental health indicators" in a sample of U.S. military Veterans.

Read more on the Annals of Epidemiology website.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Dr. Lindsey Monteith Publishes in Psychiatry Research

26 July 2016

Dr. Monteith

Dr. Lindsey Monteith lead a team of Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention colleagues including Nazanin H. Bahraini PhD, Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD, Kelly Soberay, MA, Jeri E. Forster, PhD, and Holly Gerber on a paper entitled "The Influence of Gender on Suicidal Ideation following Military Sexual Trauma among Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration."

In February 2016, Dr. Monteith recorded a podcast related to two of her publications on Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and suicidal ideation, listen to the podcast RMIRECC Short Takes Podcast - Risk Factors, Warning Signs, and Drivers of Suicide.

Also:

Dr. Sean Barnes Publishes in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior Journal

21 July 2016

Journal cover

Dr. Sean Barnes is the lead author on “Moving Beyond Self-Report: Implicit Associations about Death/Life Prospectively Predict Suicidal Behavior among Veterans” a paper published online with several Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention colleagues including Nazanin H. Bahraini PhD, Jeri E. Forster PhD, Kelly A. Stearns-Yoder BA and Trisha A. Hostetter MPH.

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. Matthew Nock, the senior author on this paper, has done ground-breaking work using the death/suicide Implicit Association Test which "assesses individuals’ unconscious associations between themselves and life and death."

Read the online paper.

Read about Matthew Nock's work in the New York Times' story "The Suicide Detective".

Look for the Rocky Mountain Short Takes podcast dropping Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 22 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on VA Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 16 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 26 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Firearm Safety

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 18 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Environmental Factors; Stress Resilience

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention: 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 22 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Microbiome; Stress Resilience

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention 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.

Supporting material:

The podcast is approximately 20 minutes long.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Veteran

Six Training Videos: Suicide Assessment, Treatment and Management

videos

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

RM MIRECCs Salt Lake City Research Team Publishes One of the Best Articles of 2015!

journal of epidemiology

25 March 2016

The prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) and the Society for Epidemiologic Research has named the article “Acute Air Pollution Exposure and Risk of Suicide Completion” one of the Journal’s 2015 Articles of the Year!

The article written by Amanda V. Bakian, Rebekah S. Huber, Hilary Coon, Douglas Gray, Phillip Wilson, William M. McMahon and Perry F. Renshaw "examined the associations between short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide and completed suicide in Salt Lake County, Utah (n = 1,546) from 2000 to 2010." The findings indicate a "positive associations between air pollution and suicide appear to be consistent across study locations with vastly different meteorological, geographical, and cultural characteristics."

The article can be found online here.

RM MIRECC Team Lead by Alexandra Schneider Publish in Frontiers in Psychiatry

journal frontiers psychiatry

19 April 2016

Alexandra Schneider lead a team of seven at Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention on the publication of "Responses to Traumatic Brain Injury Screening Questions and Suicide Attempts among Those Seeking Veterans Health Administration Mental Health Services". The study suggests that among those seeking mental health services, individuals who screen positive for a history of TBI using the TBI-4 are at increased risk for suicide attempt during the 1-year period following intake. The TBI-4 is a series of four questions:

  1. Have you ever been hospitalized or treated in an emergency room following a head or neck injury?;
  2. Have you ever been knocked out or unconscious following an accident or injury?;
  3. Have you ever injured your head or neck in a car accident or from some other moving vehicle accident?; and
  4. Have you ever injured your head or neck in a fight or fall?

The article is available online at the Frontiers in Psychiatry website.

Rocky Mountain Short Takes on Suicide Prevention 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.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Sleep-Wake Disturbance

RM MIRECC @ 49th Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference

American Association of Suicidology Conference

18 March 2016

The 2016 American Association of Suicidology Conference starts Wednesday, 30 March in Chicago. It is, perhaps, the premier conference related to the suicide prevention in the country and Rocky Mountain MIRECC will be participating in 14 presentations! You can follow what is going on via Twitter #aas16.

 

RMIRECC Short Takes Podcast - 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.

You can subscribe to the RM Short Takes Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasts tool.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Clinicians; Suicide Risk Assessment

Brain Injury Awareness Month & Sleep Awareness Week: Two articles in The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation from RM MIRECC Researchers

11 March 2016

journal head trauma

Today the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation published two articles written by our researchers.

The first is A Qualitative Study of Sleep–Wake Disturbance Among Veterans With Post–Acute Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury by Ellyn E. Matthews, PhD, AOCNS, CBSM, FAAN (now at the University of Arkansas); Gina M. Signoracci, PhD; Kelly Stearns-Yoder, BA; and Lisa A. Brenner, PhD, ABPP. In this article the researchers conducted a qualitative study, meaning they spoke to 19 Veterans about their experience with Sleep-Wake Disturbance (SWD). One outcome is the need for early and routine evaluation, monitoring and treatment of SWD. Learn more.

The second article is Actigraphic and Sleep Diary Measures in Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury: Discrepancy in Selected Sleep Parameters by Sarra Nazem, PhD; Jeri E. Forster, PhD; Lisa A. Brenner, PhD, ABPP; and Ellyn E. Matthews, PhD, AOCNS, CBSM, FAAN (now at the University of Arkansas). This article examined how well a person's sleep diary matched a data collection tool, a sleep actigraphy. There appears to be a "notable mismatch" between what a person records in their sleep diary and what a tool records. This means that we must be careful relying on one or the other. Learn more.

Categories: TBI; Sleep Disturbance

RMIRECC Short Takes Podcast - 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.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Clinicians; Military Sexual Trauma

RMIRECC Short Takes Podcast - 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.

Resources:

The podcast is approximately 26 minutes long.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Clinicians

The Denver VA and Rocky Mountain MIRECC Begin Research on Exoskeleton

20 January 2016

Dr. Brenner

Research is beginning on an exoskeleton suit donated by SoldierStrong, a nonprofit that provides advanced medical technologies to veterans, to see what benefits, physically and psychologically, there may be. Dr. Lisa Brenner, Director of Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention will lead the research in partnership with University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury; Veterans

RM MIRECC Social Workers Publish Military Culture and the Transition to Civilian Life: Suicide Risk and Other Considerations

27 January 2016

social work journal

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention social workers Melodi Billera and Georgia Gerard along with James L. Pease published an important article for clinicians, especially civilian clinicians in the journal Social Work in late December.

The article presses the point that knowing and understanding military culture can help mental health clinicians provide culturally relevant care. This is all the more important during this time of military drawdown and as more service personnel transition to civilian life.TBI toolkit

Please take a look at our TBI Toolkit for Providers section on Military/Veteran Culture and the VA Mental Health Services' Community Provider Toolkit for more resources.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Clinicians; Military Culture

Risk Factors, Warning Signs and "Drivers": Can You Tell the Difference?

18 January 2016

journal cover

Pete Gutierrez, PhD co-authored an article entitled "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.

Research has highlighted many specific risk factors and warning signs for future suicidal behaviors. This article introduces the concept of "drivers". Think of warning signs and risk factors as a map; drivers are the specific route your patient is travelling.

The article can be found on Wiley Online Library (note: there is a pay wall). © 2015 The American Association of Suicidology.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Clinical

RM MIRECC Researchers Awarded SPiRE Grants

18 January 2016

RM MIRECC researchers Lisa Brenner and Sean Barnes received separate SpiRE grants for important research projects. SPiRE grants are given by the VA Office of Research & Development for Small Projects in Rehabilitation Research:

Lisa Brenner
Lisa A. Brenner, Ph.D., Principal Investigator; Director, Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention
Biological Signature and Safety of an Immunomodulatory Probiotic Intervention for Veterans with Co-Occurring Mild TBI and PTSD
This study begins a new exploration in the area of the human microbiome; the microorganisms in our gut. There is growing evidence linking inflammation and mental health. This study explores the role of our microbiome, inflammation and ties to mild TBI (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
See below for more on the human microbiome
Sean Barnes
Sean Barnes, Ph.D., Principal Investigator; Clinical Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
ACT for Life: a Brief Intervention for Maximizing Recovery After Suicidal Crises
A psychiatric hospitalization provides an opportunity to provide treatment and promote recovery. This study will look at the application of “ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) for Life” in an inpatient setting. ACT for Life is a brief, recovery-oriented intervention for Veterans hospitalized due to suicide risk. The study will provide critical information to inform final revisions to the treatment manual and research design for a future efficacy study of ACT for Life.

Categories: Suicide Prevention; Research

Microbiome of the Built Environment (MoBE): Suppress Inflammation to Promote Mental Health

18 January 2016

With the growth of the human microbiome perspective and the microbiome-gut-brain axis, there is an increasing appreciation regarding the association between inflammation and mental health. The microorganisms living within the built environment (MoBE) interact with the human microbiome, and may play an important role in modulating inflammation-induced psychiatric conditions and their symptoms. Research to identify environmental microorganisms that are either beneficial or harmful to mental health may lead to promising prevention and intervention treatments. This paper reviews the potential benefit of MoBE in studies of mental health.

“It is possible that intentional modification of the built environment to increase microbial biodiversity, or to increase exposure to immunoregulatory antigens or probiotics, would result in improved mental health conditions.”

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Spanish Language Video for Talking to Children About a Suicide Attempt Released

18 January 2016

YouTube

The How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family are now available as videos translated into Spanish. The video takes many of the important points from the written guides and using professional actors shows parents and caregivers how they can be used.

Si ha habido un intento de suicidio reciente en su familia, esto puede ser una de las experiencias más difíciles que usted y sus hijos pueden enfrentar jamás. Es importante cuidar de sí mismo, por lo que son más capaces de cuidar a su hijo.

Esta guía está pensada para ofrecerle un poco de ese apoyo, y también compartir otros recursos que pueden ser útiles para usted ahora, y como su familia se recupere. La guía no pretende sustituir el consejo profesional de salud mental. De hecho, puede ser mejor usar esto junto con el apoyo profesional si usted o su hijo tiene dificultades con la forma de hablar de este tema difícil.

Watch the video/Mirar el video

Categories: Veterans; Families; Suicide Prevention

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