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MIRECC Presents Training Schedule

MIRECC Presents Training Schedule

NW MIRECC Presents: a webinar/online learning series for mental health providers promoting effective treatments for Veteran mental health issues including Postraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), addiction, and suicideMIRECC Presents is an accredited Continuing Education webinar series on mental health topics provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN 20) Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) in collaboration with the VA Institute for Learning, Education and Development (ILEAD). MIRECC Presents webinars are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month from October to June at 12pm PT (3pm ET). The target audience includes, but is not limited to, Physicians, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers and other professionals supporting Veteran care and active-duty combat personnel who will become Veterans.

December 20, 2023: Women veterans at acute risk for suicide: Care needs and preferences
Lauren Denneson, Ph.D.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the stated care preferences of women veterans at acute risk of suicide
  2. List risk factors for suicide that are more common among acute-risk women than men
  3. Describe how risk and resilience changes over time in acute-risk women and men

Dr. Lauren Denneson has been studying suicide prevention among Veterans at the VA Portland Healthcare System since completing her PhD in Applied Social Psychology in 2009. Dr. Denneson is now the associate director and a core investigator at the VA Portland Health Care System’s Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, associate professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, and a core investigator with the VA Suicide Prevention Research Impact Network. She also co-leads the Suicide Prevention Workgroup for the VA Women's Health Research Network. Her research primarily centers on suicide prevention, with a special interest in women Veterans, post-deployment health, patient-centered care, and social determinants of health.

January 17, 2024: CogSMART/Compensatory Cognitive Training for Veterans with Mental Health Conditions
Elizabeth W Twamley, Ph.D.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe compensatory and restorative interventions to improve cognition in people with psychiatric disorders.
  2. List domains of cognitive functioning targeted in Compensatory Cognitive Training.
  3. Describe how to link cognitive strategies with individual rehabilitation goals.

Dr. Twamley is a neuropsychologist, a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Research Career Scientist, and the Director of the Clinical Research Unit of the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego. Dr. Twamley’s research has focused on cognitive training and other interventions to improve real-world functioning for individuals with traumatic brain injuries, severe mental illnesses, and other cognitive impairments. She has developed and evaluated Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) and Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy (CogSMART) with funding from NIH, VA, DoD, NSF, BBRF/NARSAD, and UC San Diego grants. These treatment manuals and other clinical materials are available at no charge on her website, 

February 7, 2024: PTSD and Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders: Using Integrated, Trauma-focused Treatment
Sudie Back, Ph.D.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Describe the prevalence and correlates of PTSD and substance use disorders (SUD).
  2. Understand the primary treatment components of COPE – an evidence-based, integrated, trauma-focused treatment for PTSD/SUD.
  3. Describe imaginal and in vivo exposure techniques for PTSD and understand how to modify them for co-occurring SUD.

Dr. Sudie Back is a licensed clinical psychologist, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC, and a Staff Psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and completed her clinical internship at Yale University. She completed her postdoctoral training at MUSC in the Clinical Neurosciences Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her research focuses mainly on the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans and civilians. To date, she has published over 170 articles and 3 books. She is the lead author of COPE, an evidenced-based psychotherapy for SUD/PTSD that incorporates prolonged exposure for PTSD with cognitive behavioral therapy for SUD. Her research has been funded through NIH, the VA, and the Department of Defense. She also received a Fulbright Scholar Award to work with scientists in Australia on PTSD/SUD. Dr. Back is actively engaged in mentoring and directs the NIDA-funded Diversity in Addiction Research Training (DART) program at MUSC which is in year 17.

February 21, 2024: Race-based Trauma
Melinda Trujillo, Ph.D. and Sarah Suniga, Ph.D

  1. Define racism, race based trauma, and systemic oppression and their impact on veterans of color.
  2. Define health disparities and their impact on veterans of color.
  3. Identify skills and resources for becoming an ally within healthcare systems; Identify skills and resources for engaging in anti-racism and advocacy within healthcare systems.

Dr. Malinda Trujillo is a bi-cultural (Latinx and white), bi-lingual (Spanish/English), psychologist. Her preferred pronouns are she/her/hers. She received her doctorate from Colorado State University in 2008 after completing her pre-doctoral internship at the Greater Los Angeles VA Ambulatory Care Center. After receiving her degree, she completed her postdoctoral training in PTSD at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health Care System in 2009. Dr. Trujillo joined the VA Portland Healthcare System in 2009. She is currently a staff psychologist for the Vancouver Mental Health Team. Her areas of specialization evidence based treatment, trauma, anxiety, multicultural counseling, Latinx Psychology, race-based stress and trauma, and resiliency/empowerment based interventions. She serves on the National VA Psychology Training Council Multicultural and Diversity Committee, and VA Race-Based Stress and Trauma Consultation Team. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Trujillo provides didactic training, consultation, and advocacy work in diversity, inclusion, and, trauma.

Sarah Suniga, Ph.D. is a Staff Psychologist Women Veteran Program Manager, Women’s Health-PBRN, Site Lead VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, OR

March 6, 2024: Adapting and pilot testing a family-involved intervention to increase initiation and completion of evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD
Megan Shepherd-Banigan, Ph.D.

Learning Objectives:

1.    To state the potential importance of family involvement in Veteran mental health care.
2.    To describe the process of adapting a behavioral intervention to test in a clinical setting.
3.    To consider the advantages and disadvantages to family involved interventions for Veterans with PTSD. 

Dr. Megan Shepherd-Banigan is a Health Research Scientist at the Durham VA ADAPT and an HRS&D Career Development Awardee. She is also an Assistant Professor in Duke University’s School of Medicine Department of Population Health Science and Core Faculty at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. She received her PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Washington.  She focuses on mental health, aging, and health services research methods that improve the health, emotional well-being, and social functioning of adults with mental and physical disabilities and their family members. Her research has focused on integrating family-centered innovations into health care, aligning health and social services to meet the comprehensive needs of individuals with disabilities, and policies and interventions that address the needs of informal caregivers. 

April 3, 2024: Predictors of PTSD treatment utilization and optimizing treatment for those at risk of poor outcome
Rebecca Sripada, Ph.D.

April 17, 2024: Population-based Screening for Suicide Risk: Promises and Limitations
Steve Dobscha, M.D.

Steve Dobscha, M.D. is Director, Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC), VA Portland Health Care System; Professor of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

NW MIRECCVeterans Integrated Service Network 20 (VISN 20) serves 135 counties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and extending into Del Norte County California and Lincoln County Montana. VISN 20 is the largest geographic region of VA and home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes, 229 of which are located in Alaska. Encompassing 23% of the US land mass, VISN 20 spans three time zones over 817,417 square miles. VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) and the Portland VA Health Care System (VAPORHCS) were commissioned by Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as one of the first three Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) in the United States. VAPSHCS serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake VA Medical Center and Seattle VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Washington are located in Bellingham, Bellevue, Bremerton, Chehalis, Edmunds, Everett, Federal Way, Lacey, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup, Richland, Renton, Silverdale, Seattle, Spokane, Union Gap, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima. Veterans in Washington are also served by VA Medical Centers in Spokane, Vancouver, and Walla Walla. VAPORHCS serves Veterans in Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland VA Medical Center and Vancouver VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Oregon are located in Bend, Boardman, Brookings, Enterprise, Eugene, Fairview, Grants Pass, Hines, Hillsboro, Klamath Falls, LaGrande, Lincoln City, Newport, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, Warrenton, and West Linn. Veterans in Oregon are also served by VA Medical Centers in Roseburg, White City, and Vancouver, Washington.

Browse facilities by state

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VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community outside of VA. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. VA launched its new and improved Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) on June 6, 2019, implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ended the Veterans Choice Program and established VCCP. Types of care under the new VCCP include General Community Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care, Foreign Medical Care, Home Health and Hospice Care, Indian and Tribal Health Services, In Vitro Fertilization, State Veterans Home, and Flu Shots. Veterans work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care based on new criteria. The VA Community Care Network (CCN) is VA’s direct link with community providers to ensure Veterans receive timely, high-quality care.

VA Vet Center LogoVet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where Veterans, service members and their families can talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in transitioning after military service or trauma and get connected to their nearest Vet Center.

Vet Centers in VISN 20

Vet Centers provide counseling to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. If you can’t make it to a nearby Vet Center, VA offers satellite Vet Center locations and Mobile Vet Centers that may be closer to you.


Anchorage Vet Center (Anchorage, AK)

Anchorage Satellite Vet Centers in Anchor Point and Homer

Fairbanks Vet Center (Fairbanks, AK)

Fairbanks Satellite Vet Centers in Fort Greely and Fort Wainwright

Kenai Vet Center Outstation (Soldotna, AK)

Wasilla Vet Center (Wasilla, AK)


Central Oregon Vet Center (Bend, OR)

Eugene Vet Center (Eugene, OR)

Eugene Satellite Vet Centers in Florence and Reedsport 

Grants Pass Vet Center (Grants Pass, OR)

Grants Pass Satellite Vet Center in Cave Junction and Grants Pass Mobile Vet Center

Portland, OR Vet Center (Portland, OR)

Portland Satellite Vet Centers in Oregon City, St. Helens, and Vancouver, Washington

Salem Vet Center (Salem, OR)

Salem Mobile Vet Center


Boise Vet Center (Boise, ID)

Boise Satellite Vet Center in Ontario, Oregon and Boise Mobile Vet Center

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Couer d'Alene, Kootenai, Post Falls, Fairchild AFB, and Newport, Washington


Bellingham Vet Center (Bellingham, WA)

Everett Vet Center (Everett, WA)

Federal Way Vet Center (Federal Way, WA)

Lacey Vet Center Outstation (Lacey, WA)

Seattle Vet Center (Seattle, WA)

Spokane Vet Center (Spokane, WA)

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Fairchild AFB, Newport, Post Falls and Couer d'Alene, Idaho

Spokane Mobile Vet Center

Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)

Tacoma Mobile Vet Center

Vancouver Vet Center - Washington State University, Clark County (Vancouver, WA)

Walla Walla Vet Center (Walla Walla, WA)

Yakima Valley Vet Center (Yakima, WA)

Yakima Satellite Vet Center in Ellensburg

Veterans Crisis "988" - The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Space Force service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans. You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

Suicide Risk 988 Military Veterans Crisis Line

In Europe
Call 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118

In Korea
Call 080-855-5118 or DSN 118

In Afghanistan
Call 00 1 800 273 8255 or DSN 111

In the Philippines
Call #MYVA or 02-8550-3888 and press 7

A Veteran overseas may contact the Veterans Crisis Line via the chat modality at If the Veteran prefers a phone call, they can request this within the chat venue. For TTY users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255. Are you looking for clinical care or counseling? Assistance with benefits? No matter what you’re experiencing, we’re here to connect you with resources and support systems to help. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. When you call, chat, or text, a qualified responder will listen and help. You decide how much information to share. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.


VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages below to learn more about a specific mental health topic. Each of these pages includes resources, information on treatment options, and more.

Stories of Support

Telehealth Therapy

For Daniel, Don, and Jennifer, convenient video counseling made it easier to put their health first. Adjusting from military service to civilian life can be both exciting and challenging. Make the Connection

Dial 988 then press 1

Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.

Mental Health Updates

Explore the latest mental health news, resources, and real-life stories of mental health recovery.

Plan your trip to VA

In 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established by law to provide comfort and well-being to America’s Veterans. With our many retail stores, cafés and coffee shops across the country, we serve those who have served our country. Our Canteens are whole health spaces for Veterans to connect, relax, share and care for themselves in an environment that is their benefit. We are proud to Serve America’s Veterans and those who provide for their care.

VCS operates over 200 Patriot Stores in Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers nationwide. Many of our stores have been recently updated and expanded to provide our customers with a modern, clean and comfortable shopping experience. Our stores welcome our customers with wider aisles, wood-like floors, enhanced lighting and directional signage. PatriotStores have expanded hours of operation to provide service for customers on weekends at most locations.

The Patriot Cafe is the best place in the VA Medical Center to enjoy delicious, freshly prepared breakfast or lunch served hot or cold each weekday. Providing Veterans, their families, VA employees, volunteers and visitors a place to relax and enjoy a meal or take-out for their convenience. With a wide variety of food from traditional comfort food, specialized menu selections and a large assortment of healthy choices; there is something for everyone's taste buds.

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