The National Center for Veterans Studies was created in 2010 at the University of Utah. Research projects and initiatives underway include:
• Associate Director Craig Bryan, who also is a part-time psychology professor, will soon publish in the Journal of Affective Disorders research that concludes the overwhelming reason soldiers attempt suicide is to “end bad feelings.”
• Scientific director and co-founder David Rudd will soon publish research concluding there is a link between severity of combat exposure and the risk of suicide.
• Rudd and Bryan are nearing the end of a three-year project at Fort Carson, Colo., to determine the effectiveness of a cluster of treatments for active duty soldiers who are suicidal. Preliminary results are expected this fall.
• Bryan hopes to begin new research in January to determine which of several treatments would work best as a brief intervention when a suicidal service member shows up in an emergency room.
• The number of subjects in a 2011 study has been doubled and other aspects of student veterans’ experience are being explored. The 2011 study found a high rate of suicidal thinking among student veterans.
• A survey of university and college counseling centers, assessing their ability to serve veteran students, will be published in the coming months.
• The center is working with the VA and three other universities — Purdue, Syracuse and University of Southern California — to form a consortium to work on student veteran issues.
• The center will soon publish a white paper on best practices to guide civilian hospitals and mental health professionals on how to help veterans.
• The center and the U. College of Business plan to launch a veteran entrepreneur initiative to help veterans, particularly women, start businesses.