Current Studies at Warriors Research Institute

Our team is dedicated to producing high quality research aimed at improving care for warriors from a variety of fields. The work currently being expounded upon is listed below. If you are interested in participating in any WRI studies or if you have any questions or ideas for future research avenues, please contact us.

ACCESS: Expanding Evidence-Based Treatment via Telehealth to Fire ServiceACCESS: Expanding Evidence-Based Treatment via Telehealth to Fire Service

About the Study

The intended objective of this study is to improve the behavioral health of firefighters by developing a telehealth clinic that provides protocol driven, evidence-based treatment for firefighters with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use Disorder, Depression, and their combination.

There are four phases to this study. In the first phase, the WRI will adapt the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic treatment for emotional disorders and develop a firefighter cultural awareness training. Next, we will refine the cultural awareness training by conducting a focus group. Following that, we will pilot a telehealth clinic and serve five eligible firefighters. Lastly, the telehealth clinic will open to both volunteer and paid firefighters across Texas. Treatment will be provided via WebEx.

Research Team

Program Managers

Alexia Maness
Jessica Rostockyj

Research Assistants

Tessa Denman
Fatima Dobani

Vet PaTHs: Building Peer Support and Telehealth for Central Texas VeteransVet PaTHs: Building Peer Support and Telehealth for Central Texas Veterans

About the Study

Project Vet PaTHs is funded by Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Texas Veterans + Family Alliance Grant Program, and is matched by Baylor Scott & White Health. The goal of this project is to increase accessibility to evidence-based mental healthcare for Texas veterans and veteran family members by addressing critical barriers such as cost, stigma and the availability of qualified, culturally-aware treatment providers.

The WRI will accomplish this using two-pronged service facilitation approach: first, we will adapt and deliver a Peer Support Training to both veteran and veteran family members in order to build a group of Peer Support Specialists that can serve as trouble-shooters and bridges to professional care for veterans in distress in the Central Texas community; second, we will train and supervise a cadre of qualified graduate students to deliver behavioral, evidence-based treatments to veterans via telehealth.

Research Team

Primary Program Manager

Jessica Rostockyj

Program Managers

Alexia Maness
Michelle Pennington

Research Assistants

Tessa Denman
Fatima Dobani
Denise Gomez

Evaluating the Efficacy of Peer Support Training and Supervision for Texas FirefightersEvaluating the Efficacy of Peer Support Training and Supervision for Texas Firefighters

About the Study

The goal of this study is to provide and evaluate IAFF Peer Support Training within Texas fire departments. WRI will host an IAFF Peer Support Training for three local fire departments and will evaluate the trainees skill acquisition and satisfaction. We will then track the progress of the group over six months.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Suzy Bird Gulliver

Collaborators

Kevin Lentz
Capt.Frank Leto

Primary Program Manager

Alexia Maness

Program Manager

Michelle Pennington

Research Assistants

Fatima Dobani
Denise Gomez

Peer Support Training Resources

IAFF Peer Support Training Program information »

Texas Firefighter Wellness Newsletters

Presentations

Maness, A. G., Gomez, D. R., Pennington, M. L., Denman, T. C., Thomason, P., Meyer, E. C., Leto, F., & Gulliver, S. B. (2017, November) The Utility of Telephone Supervision in Peer Support Training for Texas Firefighters. Poster to be presented at Texas Psychological Association 2017 Annual Convention, Houston, TX.

Stamp Out Stigma: A National Campaign to Decrease Stigma and Increase Behavioral Health in Fire ServiceStamp Out Stigma: A National Campaign to Decrease Stigma and Increase Behavioral Health in Fire Service

About the Study

The goal of this project is to decrease perceived stigma in relationship to behavioral health programs in fire service through the development and delivery of an evidence-based anti-stigma intervention campaign called STAMP OUT STIGMA (SOS). SOS will collect 12 videotaped testimonials and use them in a livestreamed anti-stigma session to decrease stigma regarding behavioral health issues in fire service.

Publications

Pennington, M. L., Maness, A. G., Gomez, D. R., Thomason, P. M., Denman, T. C., & Gulliver, S. B. (2017, April). Ethics of suicide research: Does asking about suicide increase suicidality in fire service? Poster to be presented at the 5th annual Baylor Scott & White Health Central Texas Research Day, Temple, TX.

Thomason, P. M., Denman, T. C., Gomez, D. R., Pennington, M. P., Maness, A. G., & Gulliver, S. B. (2017, April). Does the context of suicide exposure influence the effects of PTSD in Firefighters? Poster to be presented at the 5th annual Baylor Scott & White Health Central Texas Research Day, Temple, TX.

Research Team

Stigma Intervention Video

Through a FEMA funded study, Warriors Research Institute has developed a stigma intervention curriculum for fire service. The video version of this 1.5 hour long intervention is available here at no cost.

Watch video

Firefighter Testimonials

First Responder Couples Resilience ProjectFirst Responder Couples Resilience Project

About the Study

This study is an anonymous online survey for firefighters and paramedics regarding their relationships. First, data from this project will fill a gap in the literature by gathering valuable demographic information on marriage and divorce rates and relationship satisfaction in public safety personnel by surveying firefighters and EMS personnel. Second, the study will gather preliminary data on the Couples Resiliency Index (CRI), a measure designed to assess how couples’ dyadic resilience buffers them from stressful life events.

Manuscripts in Development

Sanford, K., Kruse, M. I., Proctor, A., Torres, V. A., Pennington, M. L., Synett, S. J., & Gulliver, S. B. (under review). Couple resilience and life wellbeing in firefighters.

Presentations

Proctor, A., Sanford, K., Kruse, M., Torres, V. A., Pennington, M. L., Synett, S. J., & Gulliver, S. B. (2015, November). Dimensions of Couple Resiliency in a Sample of Firefighters. Poster presented at Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 49th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.

Publications

Torres, V. A., Synett, S. J., Pennington, M. L., Kruse, M., Sanford, K., & Gulliver, S. B. (in press). Marital stability in couples employed in high risk occupations: A call for empirically sound investigation. EASNA Research Notes, 5(3).

Research Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Suzy Bird Gulliver

Collaborators

Dr. Keith Sanford
Dr. Marc Kruse

Program Managers

Alexia Maness
Michelle Pennington

Research Assistants

Denise Gomez
Victoria Torres

Project RESPONDERProject RESPONDER

About the Study

Project RESPONDER is a current study funded by FEMA in which our aim is to develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) for suicide postvention in Fire Service. In this project, an SOP developed by the New York City Fire Department Counseling Service Unit was expanded upon based on feedback from an expert review group. Next, six focus groups reviewed the SOP, and this feedback was used to create the final product. Currently, investigators are completing final stages of the project. IAFF members can log onto the IAFF website to access study materials at www.IAFF.org.

Publications

Gulliver, S. B., Pennington, M., Leto, F., Cammarata, C., Ostiguy, W., Zavodny C., Flynn, E. J., & Kimbrel, N. A. (2015). In the wake of suicide: Evaluating standard operating procedures for suicide postvention in Fire Service. Death Studies.

Kimbrel, N. A., Pennington, M. L., Cammarata, C. M., Leto, F., Ostiguy, W. J., & Gulliver, S. B. (in press). Is cumulative exposure to suicide attempts and deaths a risk factor for suicidal behavior among firefighters? A Preliminary Study. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors.

Research Team

Program Managers

Alexia Maness
Michelle Pennington

Research Assistants

Denise Gomez
Victoria Torres


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