January Newsletter - Happy New Year

South Central MIRECC Communique Newsletter

SC MIRECC Communique Newsletter-  January 2018, Volume 20, Issue 1

New Year’s Message from the SC MIRECC Directors

SC MIRECC Directors Drs. Mark Kunik and Michael Kauth

Q. Not only is it a new year but it is also the 20th anniversary of the SC MIRECC! How does it feel to achieve this major milestone?

Gratifying! We thought it was great when we reached our 10th anniversary. It’s even better now. When we started the SC MIRECC in 1998, the concept of the MIRECCs—blending research, education, and clinical care improvement and working to rapidly to get new research into routine clinical practice—was new. The concept of a VISN-wide Center was new.

We started out with anchor sites in Little Rock, Jackson, New Orleans, and Houston. While we had enthusiasm on our side, whether we could make the SC MIRECC work and get renewed was uncertain. But, we did get renewed, again and again and again!

Visit Website to Download Newsletter

In This Issue

Research to Practice: Combat Veterans with Psychiatric Diagnoses and a History of TBI

Since 9/11, researchers have been focused on how a traumatic brain injury (TBI) relates to Veterans’ service use. A retrospective database study of combat Veterans was recently published in PLOS One on this topic. Authors included several SC MIRECC affiliates, including Drs. Shannon Miles, Natalie Hundt, Joseph Mignogna, Karin Thompson and Jeffrey Cully. All authors are VA affiliated. Little is known about how TBI affects mental health (MH) service use in Veterans with anxiety and depressive disorders. This study examined a national subsample of returning Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans with at least one of the following new diagnoses in fiscal year 2010: PTSD, depression and/or anxiety. Read more...

Dr. Joanna Lamkin

Catching Up with an SC MIRECC Fellow: Dr. Joanna Lamkin  

Q. What is the most interesting or important thing you learned about research in the past year?

I've had the opportunity to work with a few qualitative datasets in the fellowship so far. This is quite new for me, since most of my pre-fellowship work was strictly quantitative. I have learned how to approach these kinds of data in a systematic way. From these interviews, I have really enjoyed exploring individual differences in experiences that are not always captured in aggregate data. I also like the challenge of presenting qualitative findings in a concise yet descriptive way. Read more...

SC MIRECC Funds Additional Clinical Educator Grant for Fiscal Year 2018

We congratulate Dr. Kristi Crane on receiving funding in the FY2018 Clinical Educator Grant application cycle.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Resource Guide for Clinicians

Kristi L. Crane, PsyD (Principal Applicant) and Kristy Watters, PsyD G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi

This user-friendly resource guide will include evidence-based worksheets for clinicians facilitating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for mood disorders. The guide can be extended for treatment of disorders other than depression as deemed clinically appropriate by the clinician (e.g., panic, anxiety, anger).

Cover of ACCESS of Manual

Clinical Education Product Highlight: Adjusting to Chronic Conditions with Education, Support and Skills (ACCESS) Manual and Workbook

This therapist guide and patient workbook are products of the ACCESS research study examining the effectiveness and implementation of a psychosocial intervention to address the physical and emotional issues faced by chronically ill patients. ACCESS involves six active treatment sessions. Content in sessions 3-6 is adjustable, allowing the flexibility to spend more than one session on focused skills, as needed. Follow-up booster telephone sessions are used to help solidify changes over time. The length of the active treatment and boosters is 16 weeks. Read more...

Publication Highlight: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training and Desired Resources for Implementation: Results from a National Program Evaluation in the Veterans Health Administration

Suicide is a national public health concern, representing the 10th leading cause of death in the US in 2013. Veterans are estimated to comprise 20% of the overall suicide rate in the US, and the prevalence rate of suicide is estimated to be higher among Veterans than in the general population. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy (EBP) for emotional dysregulation and suicidal behavior and has been shown to be effective in VHA.

VHA program evaluation has shown that DBT has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing suicidal ideation, hopelessness, depression, and anger expression for female Veterans, and is helpful in reducing VHA healthcare costs for male and female Veterans. To better understand the current uptake and spread of DBT in VHA health care settings and identify the history of training and training needs for implementing DBT, a national program evaluation of VHA facilities that have implemented DBT was initiated in 2013 in collaboration with VA’s Office of Suicide Prevention. This article presents results of this national program evaluation. Read more...

January CBOC Mental Health Rounds: Cannabis Use and PTSD - A Review of Current Findings and Clinical Considerations

This presentation aims to provide the audience with an overview of what is known about the relationship between cannabis and PTSD, including the prevalence rates of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder among individuals with PTSD, the overlap between PTSD symptoms and cannabis withdrawal, the impact of cannabis on PTSD treatment course and outcomes, and possible intervention options for Veterans with cannabis use disorder. To provide context for this content, information about the cannabis plant, neurobiological findings and known health risks associated with cannabis use will be briefly reviewed. Read more...

Visit Website to Download Newsletter

About Us

The mission of the South Central MIRECC is to promote equity in engagement, access, and quality of mental health care for Veterans facing barriers to care, especially rural Veterans. The Communiqué is published monthly by the SC MIRECC Education Core.