In the beginning of episode seven, Vets First Podcast hosts Levi Sowers and Brandon Rea speak with Dr. Caroline Turvey to discuss her studies on functional impairment and depression in Veterans. Turvey grew up in the suburbs of New York City. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut and received her PhD in clinical psychology at Yale. From there,  Turvey became a professor at the University of Iowa, as well as the director at the Veteran’s Rural Health and a member of the Center for Access and Delivery Research Evaluation at the Iowa City VA. Turvey goes into depth about her research observations and findings, tools for Veterans to overcome depression, and the value of establishing and maintaining routines.

The second half of the episode features Dr. Anne Sadler, a researcher with VA Health Services Research and Development and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa. Sadler grew up in Virginia. She has a bachelor of science in nursing and psychology, a masters in psychiatric nursing, and PhD in marital and family therapy. She has worked both in research and clinical environments where she focused on women’s health. In this discussion, Sadler shares her knowledge on suicide risk factors, facts regarding suicide in the Veteran population, and service-women’s risk factors for sexual assault.

The suicide rate for Veterans is 1.5 times higher than that of the general population, with the rate among female Veterans to non-Veteran adult women being 2.5 times greater. More facts about suicide among women Veterans can be found at the link.

Suicide rates in rural Veterans compared to urban Veterans is reportedly higher. The Office of Rural Health is interested in addressing care needs and care disparities for Veterans in rural area and breaking down the barriers for Vets to access quality care. The rate of suicide decreases among Veterans who receive VA care.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at

In case you missed it, previous Season 2 Vets First Podcast episodes:

Episode 1 | Episode 2| Episode 3| Episode 4 | Episode 5| Episode 6

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By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Dec. 16, 2021

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