Two main goals of the SPRINT Planning Award program are to support suicide prevention research projects and suicide prevention research careers. Planning Award projects focus on accelerating the transition of innovative and promising research ideas into full-scale, federally-funded research or operations projects designed to improve the delivery of suicide prevention services within and outside VHA. To further promote suicide prevention research careers, we encourage applications from early and mid-career investigators.
1. Projects that address one (or more) of current SPRINT-designated high priority areas
2. Projects likely to lead to applications for funding for next-step projects within the next one to two years
3. We encourage:
a. Projects that incorporate implementation science (or will lead to projects that incorporate implementation science) - e.g., gathering of pre-implementation information, testing implementation strategies or the use of hybrid effectiveness-implementation designs
b. Applications from early and mid-career investigators including investigators new to the suicide prevention research world
Gabriela Khazanov, PhD
Implementation of Lethal Means Counseling among Veterans with Problematic Substance Use: Evaluation and Adaptation
Start Date: 1/1/2023
The study aims to evaluate the implementation of Lethal Means Counseling (LMC) among Veterans with problematic substance use seeking care in VA outpatient behavioral health, using mixed methods including solicitation of feedback from stakeholders (Veterans, VA providers) on ways to adapt LMC for Veterans with problematic substance use. The overarching goal for this study to support a future proposal to engage additional stakeholders to adapt a version of LMC for those with problematic substance use.
Relevance to SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority areas of lethal means safety due to the nature of the counseling and engaging community relationships while soliciting feedback on ways to adapt LMC for those with problematic substance use.
Jill Lavigne, PhD, MPH
Pharmacy Lethal Means Management (LMM) in the Rural Research Alliance of Community Pharmacies (RURAL-CP) Practice Based Research Network (PBRN)
Start Date: 1/1/2023
This study will conduct implementation work in the 116-store, 7-state Rural Research Alliance of Community Pharmacies Practice Based Research Network (RURAL-CP) to elicit pharmacists’ perspectives about which LMM interventions to apply, how best to adapt them, and which barriers and facilitators need to be addressed with implementation strategies.
The study aims to characterize the acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility of LMM interventions to serve Veterans and their families in the RURAL-CP and identify implementation barriers and facilitators. The overarching goal for the study is use these findings to inform a future pilot Hybrid 2 effectiveness-implementation trial.
Relevance to SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority areas of lethal means safety by researching LMM interventions and their barriers and applications and engaging community relationships while working with community pharmacists during LMM research.
Morgan E. Bartholomew, PhD
Modeling the Pathway Between Autonomic Function, Emotion Regulation, and Suicide Risk in Veterans
Start Date: 1/1/2023
The study aims to characterize predictive relationship between emotional regulation (ER) and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB), to determine if heart-rate variability (HRV) is a mechanism that can partially explain the relationship between ER and STB, and to identify impacts that chronicity of PTSD symptom severity has on the proposed relationship between ER, HRV, and STB. This study will be used as proof of concept for a CDA study that will evaluate real-time monitoring of changes in HRV and emotional distress in Veterans at high risk for suicide.
Relevance to SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority area of Veterans who are not engaged with VA care by engaging Veterans not otherwise engaged in care by contributing to the development of a mobile intervention that integrates self-report of emotional states and changes in HRV.
Marianne Goodman, MD
"Project Life Force- Rural Veterans (PLF-RV)", Suicide-Specific Safety Planning Group Intervention over Telehealth for Rural Veterans and Veterans who do not seek VA Care: Pilot Implementation
Start Date: 1/1/2022
This pilot study examines a telehealth intervention version of a previously funded suicide safety planning and lethal means safety resource and its effectiveness in rural Veterans who do not seek VA care. Recruitment is done via community partners and veterans service organizations.
The study aims to assess feasibility of PLF-RV for rural Veterans in Arkansas while also identifying factors that impact implementation of PLF-RV. The overarching goal for PLF-RV is to serve as a prototype for future suicide prevention efforts that utilize community engagement and to inform future larger scale projects.
SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority areas of engaging veterans who are not engaged with VA care, lethal means safety education through the materials of the intervention, examining community relationships to reduce risk through the intervention, and researching social determinants of health and social needs in a high-risk rural Veteran subpopulation.
Candice Presseau, PhD
The Development of a Retreat-Based Suicide Prevention Program for Women Veterans
Start Date: 1/1/2022
This study informs the development of a retreat-based suicide prevention program for women Veterans who are at higher risk for suicide as a selective prevention strategy leading to the eventual development of a retreat-based suicide prevention program manual.
The study will conduct three focus groups with women Veterans to determine preferences of a retreat program as well as any interests, facilitators, or perceived barriers to attending such a program. The study will also conduct semi-structured interviews with experts to further identify information for a retreat-based program for women Veterans.
SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority area of understanding social determinants of health and developing an intervention that will reduce risk for a subpopulation of Veterans (women veterans).
Ahmed Mohamed, PhD
Characteristics of Transitioning Service Members who call the Veteran’s Crisis Line and then engage in non-VHA mental healthcare
Start Date: 1/1/2022
This project examines suicide risk in Veterans transitioning from active service within a year of discharge to better understand specific factors of suicide risk in a sub-population of Veterans who experience rates of suicide at rates almost three times higher than the overall Veteran population.
The study aims to use the novel strategy of integrating private health insurance data with VHA data, active-duty records, and VCL data to better understand suicide risk factors and to create methods that will allow for better integration of data from external sources in future projects.
SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority area of understanding social determinants of health and examining risk factors for a subpopulation of high-risk Veterans (transitioning Veterans) and involves research with Veterans who are not engaged with VA care by also examining private health insurance data.
Dr. Kritee Gujral
Impact of VA-issued telehealth tablets on suicide-related hospitalizations and suicide deaths among at-risk rural and urban veterans
Start Date: 1/1/2022
This study uses VA-issued telehealth tablets to help facilitate care among rural Veterans and examines the impact of these tablets on frequency of death by suicide and frequency of suicide-related hospitalizations.
Additionally, the study aims to conduct subgroup analyses on ReachVet Veterans, identified at the highest risk for suicide, to examine any suicide-prevention related effects on this group. This research will help evaluate the VA’s telehealth initiatives while serving as seed funding for future work to streamline telehealth use at the VA.
SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on the priority area of understanding social determinants of health and examining risk factors for a subpopulation of high-risk Veterans (rural Veterans and ReachVet Veterans).
Kirsten Dillon PhD
Developing a mobile intervention to reduce suicidal cognitions in Veterans
Frances Aunon, PhD
Development of a brief, motivational interviewing intervention manual for lethal means safety counseling for implementation within Primary Care and Primary Care Mental Health Integration
Jason Chen, PhD
Extending the Safety Net: Reaching Veterans at High Risk for Suicide Who Disengage from Care
Elizabeth Karras, PhD
The use of VA public messaging to minimize risk for suicide among recently transitioned veterans not using VHA care
Start Date: 10/1/2020
This study recruited a nationally representative sample of recently transitioned Army and Marine Corps Veterans to investigate and improve the effectiveness of current VA suicide prevention messages on help seeking.
The study aims to have participants view VA suicide prevention messages and gauge responses to understand distinct subgroups with similar needs and preferences to better influence and improve the reception of future messages.
SPRINT CORE Mission: This project focuses on a specific high-risk population of interest: Veterans recently separated from the military.
Bryann DeBeer, PhD, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
Involving Concerned Significant Others in Firearms Safety: Development and Pilot Test of a New Intervention to Prevent Suicide in Firearm Owners
Jennifer Funderburk, PhD, Syracuse VA Medical Center
Improving Patient-Centered Suicide Prevention Care for At-Risk Veterans in Non-VHA Primary Care
Allison Warren, PhD, VA Connecticut Health Care System
Suicide Prevention and Related Care among LGBTQ Veterans (SPARC)
Kathleen Carlson, PhD, VA Portland Health Care System
Using Large-scale Social Determinants Data to Identify Veterans at Heightened Risk of Suicide: A Data Linkage Pilot Project