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Building a Community of Support to Reduce Suicide

Recorded on September 16, 2020

More than 20 military Veterans and first responders are lost every day to suicide. Social isolation, financial hardships, reduced access to medical care and overall stress wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased this issue. Working with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, we see this at scale. Cerner and our federal health partners are focused on a data-driven, whole health approach to deliver innovative behavioral health and prevention initiatives to reduce suicide.

  • Understand the complexities that lead to increased rates of suicide and how COVID-19 is increasing those risk factors.
  • Understand what new innovations and data modeling VA is integrating into its new electronic health record to address suicide prevention.
  • Determine how health partners can participate in this larger initiative, and what Cerner behavioral health solutions and workflow changes help with prevention and treatment.


Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Executive Director, PREVENTS Task Force

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen is Executive Director of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS), building a national strategy focused on improving overall mental health to prevent suicide. Named to TIME magazine's 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Dr. Van Dahlen is the Founder of Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health care to those in need including service members, veterans and their families.

Dr. Matt Miller, Director of Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. Miller leads a team of more than 70 individuals dedicated to the implementation and reinforcement of evidence-based community and clinical interventions addressing suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention for 19 million Veterans nationwide, as well as more than 140 VA health care systems. Dr. Miller previously served as the Director of the Veterans and Military Crisis Line (VMCL). Under his leadership, the VMCL became the world’s largest and most efficient suicide crisis call center.

Shannon Razsadin, Executive Director, Military Family Advisory Network

Under Shannon’s leadership, MFAN has become a premier, respected nonprofit leader who effectively understands the modern military family and connects military families to the resources they need to thrive. Shannon serves as one of three civilian advisors to the Secretary of Defense on the Military Family Readiness Council and is regularly called on by national and local media to weigh in on military-related topics, including CBS, CNN, and FOX.

Steve Schwab, Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Steve Schwab is a national leader for the nation’s military and veteran caregivers and their families. He has closely advised senior leaders in every sector and testified before Congress about the challenges faced by America’s military caregivers and how our nation can do more to support these incredible Hidden Heroes. At the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Steve spearheads the country’s preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring military and veteran caregivers.

Moderator: Danny Gladden, MBA, MSW, LCSW, General Manager and Director of Behavioral Health, Cerner Corporation

Danny Gladden is a licensed mental health and addiction treatment clinician and senior leader for Akeela, Inc. Danny previously served in clinical and administrative leadership for Behavioral Health Response and is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Social Work at St. Louis University School of Social Work. He has served as a human services and social work educator since 2010 and presents regularly on suicide assessment & prevention.

You will come away from this discussion empowered with insights about the path we are forging to bring together academia, research, public and private sectors in a national conversation to eradicate mental health stigma and build a unified community of support.