News Details

VA Health Services Research & Development Cyberseminar Series: Spotlight on Suicide Prevention

Source: Rocky Mountain MIRECC
Published: Monday 21 December, 2015

Archives are now available from the 2015 VA's Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) Webinar Series on Suicide Prevention! Below is a recap of the first year; look for an upcoming announcement for the 2016 Suicide Prevention Cyberseminars, beginning February 2016.

Highlights from 2015

The Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention in collaboration with the Center of Excellence (CoE) for Suicide Prevention, HSR&D and the Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) presented six cyberseminars in 2015 to spotlight VA efforts to eliminate Veteran suicide:

March 2015: Veterans' Interactions with VHA Care Prior to Suicide: Implications for VHA Providers

In this video by Lauren Denneson, PhD and Steven Dobscha, MD, present information on the VHA care Veterans receive and the correlation of suicide among these Veteran in a nationally-representative sample. Dr. Dobscha discusses findings from a case-control study of Veterans receiving VHA primary care in the six months prior to their death. While Dr. Denneson discusses qualitative content analyses of VHA medical records of women Veterans and OEF/OIF Veterans who died by suicide.


May 2015: Strategies and Interventions for Promoting Means Safety

Presented by Robert Bossarte, PhD and Elizabeth Karras, PhD, this session provides an overview of existing strategies for promoting means safety and interventions for those at increased risk for injury. The presentation includes examples of interventions used in clinical settings and public health strategies intended for broad dissemination.


July 2015: The Role of Peer Support in Suicide Prevention

Presented by Paul Pfeiffer, MD, MS, this presentation covers the various roles peers have in supporting individuals at high risk for suicide. Dr. Pfeiffer provides a brief review of the literature and presents the framework for an ongoing pilot randomized controlled trial of peer mentorship by certified peer support specialists for reducing suicide risk following psychiatric hospitalization.


September 2015: Interventions to Improve Continuity of Care and Treatment Engagement among Veterans At-risk for Suicide

Presented by Bridget Matarazzo, PsyD and Tracy Stecker, PhD, this session provides effectiveness and implementation data for the Home-Based Mental Health Evaluation (HOME) Program, which is aimed at increasing treatment engagement and decreasing suicide risk among Veterans transitioning from inpatient to outpatient mental health care. Dr. Stecker presents data on the effectiveness of CBT to improve mental health treatment seeking among suicidal military personnel and Veterans.


October 2015: Preliminary Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Smartphone Application for Veterans with Suicidal Ideation

Presented by Steven Dobscha, MD, A "Hope Box" is a therapeutic tool employed by mental health clinicians with patients having difficulty coping with negative thoughts and stress, including patients who may be at risk for suicide or suicide behaviors. Dr. Dobscha presents findings from a pilot study as well as preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial of a smartphone application, the Virtual Hope Box, which is designed to expand the reach of the hope box modality to a mobile platform.


December 2015: Safety Planning Intervention: Current Evidence Base and Innovations

Presented by Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention Director Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP (Rp), Gregory Brown, PhD, and Barbara Stanley, PhD, this presentation discusses the evidence supporting use of the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) to help suicidal individuals manage suicidal crises. Data on suicidal behavior and treatment engagement outcomes are presented from the SAFE VET demonstration project. In addition, qualitative data describing Veterans' and staff experiences (e.g. what is most/least helpful) with using the intervention are described. Finally, the presenters discuss the ways in which SPI has been adapted or incorporated into other interventions.