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 this week’s guest

Tom Cruz is an active duty master sergeant in the United States Army with over 25 years of service. He has deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Jordan. He has experience with suicide prevention and awareness resulting from an attempt in 2010 to take his life. Since his attempt, he became a huge advocate of more awareness and prevention for veterans. Tom has taken his skills to social media, where he assisted in pioneering two organizations to identify and assist veterans with mental health issues, suicidal ideations, relationship issues, financial concerns and other veteran specific issues. With his own recovery breaking the stigma within the military on career status, family life and security clearance myths, he has pushed to bring holistic means to veterans to the road of recovery.

Tom has been widely sought by military units, military bases, DoD organizations, national suicide organizations and the White House for his expertise on veterans issues and social media. He is Master Resilience Trained Level One, an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Instructor, Question, Persuade, Refer trained, and an Army suicide intervention trainer. He is also the program director for suicide and awareness with Veterans Counseling Veterans, adviser to Animal Rescue & Veteran Support Services, panel member of Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research with University of South Florida, and subject matter expert with White House and Office of the Surgeon General. Tom received the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration 2017 Voice Award Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership Award for his work to ensure America’s military and veteran communities have access to the mental health and substance use treatment and services they deserve

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Tom Cruz on Twitter

Join our Facebook group:

Seeking the Military Suicide Solution on Facebook

Shauna's latest book: Warrior: How to Support Those Who Protect Us

Duane's latest book: Military in the Rear View Mirror: Mental Health and Wellness in Post-Military Life

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