MIRECC / CoE
We Support Providers Who Serve Veterans
Despite growing awareness and efforts to prevent suicide, there remains an alarming rate of Veterans dying by suicide. Caring for Veterans at risk of suicide can be a new experience for some providers. SRM helps providers by offering consultation, support, and suicide prevention resources that promote therapeutic best practices. Providers can serve Veterans better when they have access to the right resources and feel confident in their treatment decisions. Veterans receive care in VA and the community, so it is crucial to offer consultation and support to all providers.
The Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program (SRM) provides free consultation, support, and resources that promote therapeutic best practices for providers working with Veterans at risk for suicide.
SRM experts work with providers with a range of knowledge about suicide risk management. They provide tailored support on a case-by-case basis that is anchored in up-to-date research, best practices, and clinical experience. Some of these topics can include: Risk assessment, conceptualization of suicide risk, lethal means safety counseling, strategies for how to engage Veterans at high risk, best practices for documentation and provider support after a suicide loss (postvention).
Through SRM, providers have a safe space to share and address concerns, ask questions, and receive validation around the complex scenarios related to Veteran suicide prevention. Request a consult.
The mission of SRM is to provide consultation to all providers who serve Veterans, to enhance knowledge and confidence, and provide emotional support with the aim of optimizing care for all Veterans at risk for suicide.
The SRM consultants hold years of experience with Veteran suicide prevention. SRM experts facilitate novel problem solving for unique and challenging treatment scenarios. Learn more about the program staff who are ready to support you — as you support Veterans.
Bridget B. Matarazzo PysD
Co-Director and Consultant
Dr. Matarazzo is a licensed Psychologist and specializes in developing and evaluating suicide risk assessment and management best practices. Dr. Matarazzo's research and clinical interests include suicide prevention interventions aimed at supporting patients as they navigate through transitions in care.
Hal S. Wortzel MD
Co-Director and Consultant
Dr. Wortzel is a licensed Physician board certified in General Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry and certified in Neuropsychiatry. Dr. Wortzel's clinical focus is the neuropsychiatry of trauma and its sequelae, including aggression and self-directed violence.
Georgia Gerard LCSW
Consultant and Program Manager
Ms. Gerard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provides consultation and administrative support for the program. Her clinical interests include serving as a clinician for research studies focusing on Veterans at risk for suicide and providing assessment services to Veterans at risk for suicide.
Suzanne McGarity Ph.D.
Dr. McGarity is a licensed Psychologist, specializing in providing evidence-based, cognitive behavioral treatment for Veterans with chronic pain conditions, PTSD and cognitive sequelae of TBI. Dr. McGarity's research interests include community reintegration after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Veteran population and the role of resilience during transition for military to civilian life.
Sean Barnes Ph.D.
Dr. Barnes is a licensed clinical psychologist and specializes in suicide risk assessment and management. His clinical and research interests include development and application of suicide-specific interventions, with a focus on contextual behavioral approaches to therapy (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Dr. Barnes is also working to learn more about cognition and emotion during suicidal crises, and to improve methods for suicide risk assessment and conceptualization.
Lauren Borges Ph.D.
Dr. Borges is a licensed Psychologist specializing in the use of contextual behavioral interventions (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy [ACT], Dialectical Behavior Therapy [DBT]) to assess and intervene on suicide risk. Dr. Borges' clinical and research interests include serving as a developer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Moral Injury (ACT-MI), ACT for Life, and using the DBT chain analysis skill to identify and intervene on suicidal behavior.
Joseph Simonetti MD, MPH
Dr. Simonetti is an internal medicine physician and clinical investigator who focuses on developing patient-centered firearm safety interventions for individuals at risk of suicide, and supporting VA and community-based clinicians in delivering evidence-based and culturally competent lethal means counseling to at-risk Veterans.
Megan Harvey Ph.D.
Dr. Harvey is a licensed Psychologist and a prior Local Evidence-Based Practice and Local Recovery Coordinator. She is the program evaluator for the program. Her interests include participatory program evaluation that informs programmatic evolution, implementation of systems change and safety planning.
Christie Machan LCSW
Consultant and Program Specialist
Ms. Machan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, prior VA individual, couples and family psychotherapist and provides suicide risk management consultation and administrative support for the program. Her clinical interests include using evidence based interventions to support Veterans psychiatric recovery, enhancing their close relationships/family safety with the overall goal of reducing risk of harm to self or others.
Carolyn Gass MSW, LCSW
Ms. Gass is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provides administrative support and program evaluation services for the SRM program. Her clinical interests include using evidence based interventions to support Veterans at risk for suicide, as well as program development, implementation, and evaluation
Erin Higgins LCSW, LAC
Ms. Higgins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Addictions Counselor. She has previously served as Program Manager for a VA Outpatient Substance Use Disorders Clinic. Ms. Higgins clinical interests include suicide postvention, the intersection of substance use disorders with suicide risk, and using technology to improve suicide risk screening and interventions.