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Research Team Receives MHSRS Award for Study on Suicide in the Military


August 18, 2014 – University of Memphis President M. David Rudd helped lead a research team that has been selected to receive the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) Research Accomplishment Award (Academic Team) for 2014.

The team from the National Center for Veterans Studies (NCVS) at the University of Utah conducted a two-year study on suicide risk among soldiers. Rudd continues his affiliation with the Center as co-founder and scientific director. He and Craig J. Bryan, executive director of the NCVS, directed several clinical trials on the risk of suicide among active-duty soldiers. The other researchers were Evelyn Wertenberger, Sean Williams and Kim Arne.

“It‘s been the single greatest pleasure and privilege of my professional life to be able to play a role in helping our wounded warriors recover from their psychological injuries,” Rudd said. “We owe each and every one of them a debt of gratitude and thanks. This is simply a way to give back and honor their courage and sacrifice.”

The results of the research have significantly advanced the understanding of suicide in the military and the risk and protective factors associated with suicide, including sexual assault, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), combat exposure and TBI (traumatic brain injury).

“It is an honor for the National Center for Veterans Studies to be recognized by the Military Health System Research Symposium with this award,” said Bryan. “The recognition speaks to the commitment and determination of our staff and military collaborators, who have worked tirelessly together over the past several years to develop and refine treatments and strategies to prevent military suicide. This is just the first of many steps for reducing military suicides, and I am confident that we will continue to make progress together in the future.”

The MHSRS is the annual meeting for all U.S. Department of Defense research on health-related topics. The award will be presented at the symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Aug. 21.