April has been a productive month. The Research Team and all the community Research Assistants attended the Sociocultural Death Investigation (SDI) training April 11-14th. This tool will help guide the conversation and interview questions with the friends, family, and colleagues of veterans who have died by suicide. Over the course of the training, the research assistants were able to sharpen their interviewing skills, become familiar with military documentation and language, observe mock interviews, participate in role-playing scenarios, and spend time with the research team to ask questions and become confident in their interviewing skills.
This post will feature updates from Southern Alabama and Indianapolis community Research Assistants.
Southern Alabama Update
“We have had a busy first two months. We had our first CAT meeting on Apr. 4, introducing the project and the need for a community-based effort in South Alabama to assist with our Veterans. We had several key community members, including from the Mobile County Commission and District Attorney’s office in attendance, and we are hoping to really grow our community action team membership. We have also been coordinating with coroner’s and medical examiners. A meeting is set prior to our next CAT meeting with the Escambia County Medical Examiner to hammer out the logistics of a data sharing agreement. We have also been in touch with the Director of Alabama’s Department of Forensic science, and he is a wealth of information and offered helpful insight into developing individual data agreements.” – Nick Fadoir, South Alabama Research Assistant
Indianapolis Indiana Update
“The Community Action Team of Indianapolis is up and running! With the help of our local government affiliate, Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, we were able to reach out to critical community members to join our Community Action Team. Currently, we have fifteen (15) community members that attended Community Action Team meeting scheduled for April 5th. Matt Hall, Director of Veteran Services for the City of Indianapolis, shared his compelling personal story of the first-hand account of suicide in the veteran community. We also met with the coroner’s office to sign the data use agreement, create next steps for data access and transfer, and identify proactive steps involving additional questions to the county’s suicide questionnaire. Lastly, the Indianapolis research assistant completed the CITI Human Subject Research course and America’s Warrior Partnership training platform.” – Andrew Redd, RA