MIRECC / CoE
Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention - Our Research
The Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) for Suicide Prevention carries out research in both the Rocky Mountain Regional VA and Salt Lake City VA. We also partner across the U.S. with other VA sites, the Department of Defense and in local communities. Our research has informed changes to policy and practice throughout VHA and the community. Keep reading to learn more and see specific examples of our research.
Our Research Focus Areas
Suicide is complicated and has multiple causes. We study suicide from multiple angles, looking at factors that might put a Veteran at risk for suicide, as well as factors that help protect Veterans from suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Our research covers a wide range of topics related to suicide prevention, including the neurobiology of suicide, clinical and behavioral interventions targeting suicidal behavior, tailoring treatments to diverse Veteran populations and implementation of evidence-based practices for suicide prevention. Our programs and research are also aligned with the National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide.
Lethal Means Safety
Lethal means safety (LMS) is the practice of building time and space between someone who is having suicidal thoughts and objects (e.g., medications, firearms, sharp instruments) that can be used to inflict self-directed violence. Lethal means safety counseling plays an important role in a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy. Our investigators study various aspects of lethal means safety, including Veteran firearm storage practices, collaborative strategies for firearm safety, male and female firearm experiences and involving loved ones in firearm safety interventions.
We have featured some of our LMS projects and research here. If you’d like to learn more about LMS evidence, counseling, recommendations and resources, visit our Lethal Means Safety and Suicide Prevention website.
Lethal Means Storage Preferences and Practices
A number of our investigators are conducting research to understand Veteran’s preferences and practices for lethal means (e.g., firearms, medication) among Veterans. Dr. Lindsey Monteith is currently conducting interviews with women veterans, their partners and their providers to study their experiences and preferences surrounding lethal means safety. Dr. Joe Simonetti and Dr. Ryan Holliday have conducted multiple studies exploring questions such as, how do Veterans store firearms, which safe storage devices are most used, and how can we increase the safe storage of firearms and other lethal means. These visual abstracts, infographics, and websites provide more information and results.
- Perspectives of Female Veterans, VHA Providers and Family Members on Preventing Firearm-Inflicted Suicide
- Click the images below to enlarge and learn more about lethal means practices and preferences.
Male and Female Firearm-Related Experiences
Firearms are the leading method of suicide among female Veterans and older male Veterans. Understanding experiences and perspectives unique to these demographic groups gives key insights for developing effective and acceptable firearm safety interventions. View these visual abstracts to see more details from these qualitative research studies.
Firearm Safety & Suicide Prevention within Health Care Systems
Health care systems can have an important role in promoting firearm-related lethal-means safety, which is a key component of suicide prevention programs. However, there can be many challenges to implementation of these programs. This visual abstract presents challenges, recommendations and suggestions for health care systems and collaborators interested in firearm-related lethal-means safety suicide prevention programs.
Click the image to enlarge and learn more.
Our lethal means safety research is within the Clinical Research and Clinical Implementation phases of the translational model. Visit the translational model page to learn more about these and other phases in the model.
Explore other research focus areas
Explore publications from Rocky Mountain MIRECC research listed in the following documents.
- Fiscal Year 2021 (October 2020-September 2021)
- Fiscal Year 2020 (October 2019-September 2020)
- Fiscal Year 2019 (October 2018-September 2019)
- Fiscal Year 2018 (October 2017-September 2018)
- Fiscal Year 2017 (October 2016-September 2017)
- Fiscal Year 2016 (October 2015-September 2016)
- Fiscal Year 2015 (October 2014-September 2015)
- Fiscal Year 2014 (October 2013-September 2014)
- Fiscal Year 2013 (October 2012-September 2013)
- Fiscal Year 2012 (October 2011-September 2012)
- Fiscal Year 2011 (October 2010-September 2011)
- Fiscal Year 2010 (October 2009-September 2010)
Quick Links to Study Websites
- Assessing Social & Community Environments with National Data (ASCEND)
- Mental Healthcare Experiences of Women and Men Veterans Using and Not Using VA Healthcare
- Perspectives on Preventing Firearm-Inflicted Suicide among Women Veterans
- Reproductive Health Care Settings for Upstream Suicide Prevention among Women Veterans
- Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education (MvM CoRE)
- Facilitating Assessment of At-Risk Sailors using Technology (FAAST)
Last Updated 14 December 2021