This podcast from Military Times examines the alarming rate of military and veterans suicide, offering new insights based on research and effective clinical and peer support practices in suicide prevention. Hosted by Duane France, a retired Army combat veteran, author and mental health counselor, and Shauna Springer, a psychologist, author and nationally recognized expert on initiatives to benefit the military community, the podcast aims to move beyond awareness to identify actionable strategies that can impact the rising suicide rate among service members, veterans, and their families.
About Today’s Guest:
Kacie Kelly is a former top Department of Veterans Affairs official who works for the at George W. Bush Presidential Center overseeing policy, operations, and programmatic efforts on veteran health and well-being, including the Warrior Wellness Alliance. She manages strategic efforts to promote the partnerships, collaboration, and alignment among organizations that are so crucial to fostering the health and well-being of post-9/11 veterans.
Prior to this role, Kelly served as the national director for public-private partnerships in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office for Suicide Prevention, where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive and integrated public health approach to prevent suicide among the 14 million veterans not engaged in VA health care. Throughout her 15-year career with VA, she led innovative programs to serve more veterans and their families through strategic partnerships within government and across public and private sectors. In addition, she has had leading roles to promote military culture competence in the community, outreach efforts to reduce stigma associated with seeking mental health care, and to enhance provider proficiency in evidence-based mental health care. She earned her Master of Health Sciences at Louisiana State University and has a graduate certificate in women in public policy and politics from the University of Massachusetts - Boston. Kelly has also been an active volunteer in the New Orleans community, where she served as a commissioner on the BioDistrict Board of New Orleans and on the board of directors for the American Red Cross.