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Podcast Series: Suicide and the Military

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Welcome to Spiritual Thinkers of Today‘s series on suicide and the military. In the year 2012 to 2013, more American military personnel died from suicide than in combat. Here we present four interviews with some of the leading thinkers in suicide prevention, spirituality, and veterans’ affairs to address this important topic.

Articles by these leading thinkers will be published in the upcoming issue of the APA journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice, (Volume 2, (1)) to launch on March 30, 2015.


Moral Injury and Suicide in Veterans

This podcast, an interview with Dr. Joseph Currier, a clinical psychologist from the University of South Alabama. In this podcast, Dr. Currier, currier-1who researches reactions to trauma and loss, describes the ways in which spirituality can both help and hinder veterans as they attempt to recover from trauma and return to civilian life. He also explains how the trauma of moral injury—the harm that is caused by committing acts that go against one’s own deeply-held moral beliefs—can be particularly debilitating. To listen to the podcast, click here. To read Dr. Currier’s article in Spirituality in Clinical Practice, please visit:

Currier, Joseph M.; Kuhlman, Shane; Smith, Phillip N.

Enhancing Spiritual Well-Being

Marek Kopacz, M.D., Ph.D., is a Health Science Specialist with the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Canandaigua, New York. Educated as a medical Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 6.01.54 PM
sociologist, his research focuses on the crossroads between religion, spirituality, and suicidal behavior in Veteran populations. In this interview, he discusses his work, largely inspired by many conversations with veterans, in which they shared their search for meaning, hope and purpose, a common thread linking their experiences and difficulties.  His research identifies opportunities for enhancing spiritual and religious well-being in Veteran populations, and from this he hopes it will be utilized to develop stronger and more effective suicide prevention programs. To listen to the podcast, click here. To read Dr. Kopacz’s article in Spirituality in Clinical Practice, please visit:

Kopacz, Marek S.; Connery, April L.

Army Chaplains and Suicide Prevention

Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation studies the prevalence, prevention, and treatment ofrramchand mental health and substance use disorders in adolescents, service members and veterans, and minority populations. He has specific interest in the epidemiology of suicide and its prevention. In this interview, Dr. Rajeev Ramchand discusses his timely research at RAND Corporation as it relates to spirituality and suicide in the military.  He explains that chaplains are often the first person that most people in the military approach when they are in need, and how at a larger level this research has profound implications for the field. To listen to the podcast, click here. To read Dr. Ramchand’s article in Spirituality in Clinical Practice, please visit:



Risk and Resiliency in Veterans

Dr. Craig Bryan is a licensed clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, and is currently the Associate craig-bryan-8ca331d52d86fd643f407451fa467a8e6d2db055-s6-c30Director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. Dr. Bryan deployed to Balad, Iraq, in 2009, where he served as the Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the Air Force Theater Hospital. In this interview Dr. Bryan discusses his current research, which focuses on suicidal behaviors and suicide prevention strategies as well as psychological health and resiliency among military personnel and veterans. He also addresses the role of spirituality as a protective factor in suicide prevention. To listen to the podcast, click here. To read Dr. Bryan’s article in Spirituality in Clinical Practice, please visit:


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