Clinician's Corner Blog

A PHCoE blog series written by leaders, clinicians and experts on current topics of interest for psychological health care providers in the Military Health System.

  • Following Up with Suicidal Patients in the Military: Preparation is Key September 25, 2017

    In the Clinician’s Corner blogs this month, we’ve discussed chaplains and confidentiality, how to assess for suicide risk, and how to discuss means safety.

  • Getting Left of the Boom: Reducing the Availability of Lethal Means Before a Suicidal Crisis Starts September 18, 2017

    Although suicide is a rare behavior, suicide prevention is a key priority for the Military Health System (MHS) and many other health care systems because when a suicide occurs it results in an absolutely catastrophic, and absolutely preventable, outcome. Because the stakes are so very high, experts are working hard to identify and understand the paths that lead to suicide, and how, where and when intervention should occur.

    Creating time and space

  • Basic Steps of a Suicide Risk Assessment for Providers Serving Military Populations September 11, 2017

    The increasing focus on stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has highlighted the risk for opioid overdose in individuals who are or become suicidal while taking opioids. In order to mitigate overdose risk, the 2017 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain advises prescribers and other clinicians working with opioids to assess their patients for suicide risk before initiating long-term opioid therapy as well as when continuing treatment.

  • Chaplains and Confidentiality of Suicide-related Communication: Are There Limits? September 5, 2017

    As the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to be faced with high rates of suicide across the services, it sometimes depends on chaplains to be on the front lines. However, the responsibilities of chaplains in relation to a suicidal individual may be unclear for both service members and health care professionals alike. This blog will briefly define limits of confidentiality for chaplains who receive information related to suicide.

  • Managing Suicide Risk and Access to Firearms: Guidelines for Providers May 1, 2017

    I have a patient who may be at risk for suicide and I know the patient owns a gun. What can I do?

    This is a great question and increasing safety in order to prevent suicide is vital. Increasing safety, or means restriction, in general, includes removal of any method by which a patient is considering a suicide attempt, however in the military the most pertinent factor is firearms.   

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The views expressed in Clinician's Corner blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence or Department of Defense.