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Welcome new podcast, “Brain Hijack” focused on the topic of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Mental Health News Radio Network is pleased to announce the addition of a new podcast, “Brain Hijack” focused on the topic of suicide prevention. The show was launched by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) and is hosted by Drs. Brooke Heintz Morrissey and Adam Walsh who are both Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine employees working in support of the CSTS Suicide Prevention Program (SPP).

With a mission to share meaningful messages and help shape discussions about mental health, Brooke and Adam bring valuable insights on the topic of suicide prevention, risk awareness and other innovative methods for understanding and preventing suicide. By sharing their own personal experiences and amplifying the voices of experts, Brooke and Adam utilize podcasting as a powerful medium to reach others and provide support.

Podcast guests, such as Dr. Thomas Joiner, an American psychologist and leading expert on suicide, take listeners through a step-by step process of expanding their awareness of connection and how to better implement, understand, and reach out to everyone including those who may be struggling at this point in their lives. Brain Hijack is more than just a name – It represents the podcast’s focus on mental health.  The hosts recognize that all individuals face challenges such as stress, loss, and loneliness at times. Each episode focuses on a myth about suicide that Brooke, Adam, and their guest break down and debunk, making the information digestible for a general audience. By having a discussion that can be understood by all, they aim to break the stigma surrounding these topics; creating an open dialogue where everyone can begin to feel comfortable discussing their own mental well-being.

The hosts assure listeners that their own day jobs, educational background, and personal experiences play a significant role in the development of this podcast. Brooke, having served as the Army National Guard Behavioral Health Chief, has provided support for suicide prevention programs by conducting briefings and advising leaders on suicide prevention strategies that work. Adam brings over 25 years of experience in the field of suicide prevention to the podcast. He has worked as a mental health therapist, conducted research on the topic of suicide, and developed programs aimed at preventing suicide. Through their experiences, Brooke and Adam have learned that preventing suicide requires a collective effort and extends far beyond the confines of a mental health provider’s office.

As Brain Hijack embarks on this podcasting journey, their primary objective is to help individuals realize they are not alone in their struggles. By fostering a sense of community, the podcast aims to promote well-being, safety, and the importance of open conversations. Their ultimate goal is to bring more light to an often taboo discussion while injecting a sense of fun into the process. Brain Hijack invites listeners to join them on their own journey towards personal growth and improved mental well-being. Through candid conversations, expert insights, and relatable experiences, the podcasters aim to inspire, educate, and empower individuals to navigate life’s challenges.

For more information and to listen to the Brain Hijack podcast, please visit:

The podcast joins over 70 podcasts covering all aspects of mental health on Mental Health News Radio Network, the world’s first mental health only podcast network.

Contacts: Ryan McCormick, Media Relations Specialist and Co-Founder of Goldman McCormick PR at

To book Brooke and/or Adam, please contact Sarah Marshall at the Uniformed Services University:

To book all other MHNR Network podcasters or CEO for your media outlet:

Losing a Child to Suicide

As a parent, you always want the best for your child; however, you can do everything seemingly right and still unfortunate events unfold. Today, Brooke and Adam speak with Mr. Dennis Ward, a Registered Nurse about his experience losing his son to suicide and what life looks like after losing a child to suicide.

A native Texan, Dennis joined the Air Force in 1994. Becoming a Fuels Technician, he spent several tours overseas including his first permanent party assignment at Incirlik AFB, Turkey. Later he transferred to F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming and had two subsequent deployments to Aviano AFB, Italy and Al Karj AFB, Saudi Arabia. Later transferring to Cannon AFB, New Mexico, Dennis completed his Air Force enlistment in 1999.

Following his enlistment in the Air Force, Dennis worked as an Emergency Medical Technician while completing his Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing in 2006. Following graduation he became a Commissioned Officer with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). Serving with multiple agencies as USPHS officer, Dennis has worked with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Service, Department of Defense (U.S. Army), National Parks Service, and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Dennis completed his MBA-Healthcare Administration degree in 2016. Dennis has also worked extensively in emergency departments and in pre-hospital settings, with agencies outside of the federal government, as a Registered Nurse, Firefighter and paramedic.

Pump the Brakes

Is it true that “All people who have thoughts of suicide, have a mental illness?” What about, “If you have suicidal thoughts once, you’ll always be suicidal?” Listen in to learn why the answer to both of these questions is “NO.”

Our guest today, Dr. Craig Bryan, a board-certified clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, shares new research that points to suicidal thinking being highly dynamic and how these highs and lows can play a role in suicide prevention. While we would like to prevent/reduce all suicide attempts, the reality is that despite our best efforts some people will still attempt suicide. Maximizing safety in one’s environment is vital and taking steps in advance of a suicidal crisis to increase safety can be the difference between life and death.

Time for a Systems Change

Did you know that the time after a patient is discharged from the hospital, is one of the highest times for suicide death? Brooke and Adam speak with Dr. Julie Goldstein Grumet, the Director of the Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center, about how this seemingly counter-intuitive occurrence could be reduced through strategic system changes within hospitals. Dr. Goldstein Grumet goes on to discuss how hospitals could better utilize evidence-based practices that already exist to improve their understanding of which patients are at greater risk for death, thereby increasing their ability to take actionable steps to keep those patients safe.

The Simple Question That Can Save A Life

Are doctors or mental health professionals the only people allowed to ask someone if they are suicidal? On today’s episode, Brooke and Adam speak to Dr. Kelly Posner about how we often expect doctors and other healthcare professionals to ask the “difficult” questions when it comes to someone’s health, particularly around suicidal ideation. Dr. Posner explains how many people think if you, a non-healthcare professional, ask a friend or family member if they are having suicidal thoughts it will cause them to become suicidal; however, the reality is actually the opposite! Over 90% of suicidal incidents with some sort of intervention (such as asking if someone is suicidal) will never go on to try again. That one question could make all the difference.

Her full bio is here:

Suicide Prevention and Technology

On today’s episode of Brain Hijack, we discuss the myth that “People who are thinking of suicide, always tell someone they are thinking of suicide.” Adam and Brooke speak with Dr. Matthew Nock, a Harvard professor whose research is aimed at advancing the understanding of why people behave in ways that are harmful to themselves, with an emphasis on suicide. Dr. Nock shares how the majority of people contemplating suicide, do not express it; however, as technology improves we are getting more data on people’s lives, building increasingly sophisticated models that may tell us when someone is at risk.

The Power of Words

On today’s episode of Brain Hijack, we learn how Brooke and Adam came to work in the field of suicide prevention. We also look at the myth, “The words we use and the way media talks about suicide has no influence on people’s behavior.” Brooke and Adam go on to discuss the importance of certain words when talking about suicide. When speaking with someone who is going through a difficult time, certain words may open the conversation while others may shut it down. If you have any comments or stories you would like to share with us after listening to today’s episode, please email

988 Suicide and Crisis Line

Today Brooke and Adam discuss why the statement “You can’t call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Line anonymously” is FALSE. Listen in as they speak with Dr. April Naturale, the Interim Executive Director for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, about what to expect when you call the 988 suicide crisis line. Dr. Naturale explains the difference between 988 and 911 and how the 988 suicide and crisis line is not only for those experiencing suicidal thoughts, but for anyone experiencing emotional distress. Everybody has things going on in their life and sometimes you just need a little help. Mental health is a journey and the 988 crisis line can be used anywhere along that journey.

A Little Caring Goes a Long Way

On today’s episode, we discuss why the myth that “suicide rates increase over the holidays” is incorrect. Listen in as Brooke and Adam speak with Dr. Thomas Joiner, an American psychologist and The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University (FSU), about what it means to belong and how a little bit of caring goes a long way.

Hold On, Pain Ends (HOPE)

On today’s episode of Brain Hijack, we tackle the question “Does asking someone if they are suicidal make them suicidal?”

To help us debunk this myth, we spoke to Cory Will. We’ll learn how talking about suicide does not lead to nor encourages suicide, but rather provides the other person with an opportunity to express thoughts and feelings about something they may be keeping secret, and/or obtain help and support.


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