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CE Workshop | Scientific Research on Yoga, Mental Health, and Suicide Prevention in Veterans

November 30, 2021, 1pm ET


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About This Workshop

In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11th, this month’s Scientific Research focuses on an important mental health challenge from the Veteran community; suicide prevention and the case for yoga’s use alongside traditional treatments. Data shows that suicide is a top ten leading cause of death in America, suicide disproportionally affects Veterans. Kelly Wulf, yoga teacher and executive director of Comeback Yoga, host Dr. Janine D’Anniballe and Dr. Geoff Smith, both researchers and clinicians, for a conversation about mental health and suicide prevention for Veterans. Dr. Janine D’Anniballe discusses how yoga helps with trauma, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Geoff Smith shares from his clinical research and experience as a psychologist working daily to reduce suicide and improve mental health in the VA system. Understand the rationale for using yoga alongside traditional treatments for reducing suicide in the Veteran community, as well as the success of the community-based Comeback Yoga Program.


About the Presenters

Kelly Wulf currently serves as the Executive Director of Comeback Yoga, a nonprofit offering free, trauma-informed, science-based yoga to the military community. Comeback Yoga offers classes online and in-person and have students across the globe. Kelly attended her 200hr YTT at The River in Denver, CO and since then has done numerous trainings in trauma-informed yoga. She has trained with LoveYourBrain, Veterans Yoga Project and is Level 1 certified with Warriors at Ease. She is also trained in iRest meditation. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, as well as a Certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida.

Janine D’Anniballe has been dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and training of sexual assault issues for the past 18 years. Currently, she is the Director of Access, Emergency, and Community Services at Mental Health Partners in Boulder, Colorado. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), the rape crisis center in Boulder Colorado for ten years. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Janine D’Anniballe has provided training and consultation to attorneys, law enforcement, military personnel, mental health professionals, victim advocates and University staff in more than 30 states across the country. She serves as a trainer for the Ending Violence Against Women Project for the State of Colorado, providing training throughout the state addressing system response issues in sexual assault cases. In 2003, Dr. D’Anniballe joined the faculty of the National Judicial Education Program that educates judges on sexual assault issues and how these cases are approached in the courtroom so as to minimize re-traumatization of victims without undermining defendants' constitutional rights. A licensed psychologist, Dr. D’Anniballe has a private consulting practice in Boulder with an emphasis on understanding and treating psychological trauma. Additionally, she testifies as an expert witness in sexual assault cases throughout the state of Colorado.

Dr. Geoff Smith has been a clinical psychologist and program administrator working with adults with acute and chronic mental illness since 2001. His experience spans from Community Mental Health Center program administration and development to Veterans Affairs Medical Center psychiatric unit administration, clinical services and senior leadership as the current Section Chief of Inpatient and Specialty Mental Health Programs. This position oversees the Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit and programs including Psychiatric Emergency Services, The Domiciliary for Residential Trauma Care, the PTSD Clinical Team, Family and Couples Treatment, and the Valor Point Domiciliary for Homeless Veterans.

Past projects include developing Veteran programs for Peer Support Specialists providing health coaching on an inpatient psychiatric unit, developing community contracted Psychiatric step-down services, and using evidence-based psychotherapy for suicide prevention. Current research publication and conference presentation activities focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Suicide Prevention among Veterans. He provides numerous seminars and presentations across various MH staff disciplines, supervises the inpatient psychiatric unit practicum student each year, and is a faculty instructor for the Psychiatry Department at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Smith is the Psychological Incident Commander for the Denver VA Critical Incident Response Team and COVID Staff Support Team. He was detailed 3 times to the Denver VA Incident Management Team implementing various arms of the pandemic response.


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