Dr. Craig Bryan March 3 Testimony
Dr. Craig Bryan testifies during a March 3 congressional hearing that wowed members of the House Armed Services Committee.

National suicide prevention efforts require a renewed focus on resiliency and making lives worth living, according to clinical psychologist, leading suicide prevention expert, and Stop Soldier Suicide Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. Craig Bryan.

Bryan, who has just released his latest book on the topic, “Rethinking Suicide: Why Prevention Fails, and How We Can Do Better,” shared insights from his research during a March 3 congressional hearing that wowed members of the House Armed Services Committee.

“The ‘identify and refer method’ is fundamentally flawed,” Dr. Bryan told representatives in his testimony, a reference to the long-standing suicide intervention approach that tries to identify which military service members are likely to die by suicide and then refers them to treatment.

“Suicide prevention is much more than just repeatedly asking service members if they are thinking about killing themselves and then imploring them to get help,” Dr. Bryan said. “It’s about creating lives that are worth living.”

Dr. Bryan’s position on this subject is one Stop Soldier Suicide takes seriously. His re-envisioning of suicide prevention approaches are at the heart of Stop Soldier Suicide’s mission. Stop Soldier Suicide has for years been honored to host Dr. Bryan on its Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), a board made up of some of America’s leading suicidologists.

In conjunction with the SAC, Stop Soldier Suicide has developed a leading-edge program service model that relies on enhanced intelligence to provide consistent, confidential, and trauma-informed care to U.S. service members and veterans at high risk for suicide. Part of that model involves creating conditions for our clients that don’t just save their lives, but enhance the quality of those lives and provide reasons to forge ahead.

“Resiliency is not a thing that service members either have or do not have inside of them; resiliency is a characteristic of the environment,” Dr. Bryan told legislators. “When we live and work in supportive and enriched environments characterized by safety, dignity, and respect, we are better able to endure stress and bounce back from adversity. These are the conditions that make life worth living. Even in especially difficult and uncertain times.”

Dr. Bryan has strategically informed Stop Soldier Suicide’s program to build that safe environment for our clients.

The Scientific Advisory Council of Stop Soldier Suicide is a group of nationally-renowned experts in suicidology and suicide prevention. They provide expertise and recommendations regarding best practices, innovative strategies, emergent research, cutting-edge technology and high-risk client acquisition, among other topics.

Dr. Craig Bryan currently serves as the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University.

To learn more about the rest of our Scientific Advisory Council, please visit StopSoldierSuicide.org.