for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Diego, California and other locations
study started
completion around



Veteran suicide death is a national crisis. Risk factors include emotion dysregulation, which occurs across mental health disorders. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based suicide intervention that targets emotion dysregulation but is resource-intensive and not widely available at VHA. A more efficient evidence-based DBT Skills Group (DBT-SG) is associated with reduced suicidal ideation and emotion dysregulation and likely more feasible to implement at VHA. This is a randomized controlled trial to test whether DBT-SG in addition to VHA treatment-as-usual, compared to only VHA treatment-as-usual, reduces Veteran suicide attempt.

Official Title

A Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Multisite Trial of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Group for Veterans at High-Risk for Suicide Attempt


This is a randomized controlled trial at four VHA medical centers. Veterans will be randomized to VHA treatment-as-usual or VHA treatment-as-usual plus DBT-SG.


Suicide, Attempted, dialectical behavior therapy, suicide attempt, emotion regulation, Suicide, Attempted Suicide, DBT-SG


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Veteran eligible for VHA care at participating site
  • two or more suicide attempts in lifetime, with one in past 6 months, on Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)
  • current suicidal ideation (endorsing a suicidal ideation scale of at least 1 [passive ideation] on C-SSRS
  • emotion dysregulation (score 110 on DERS)
  • can attend group sessions
  • willing to provide contact information for at least one person who can help locate the participant if study staff are unable to contact them (information for three contact persons will be requested; a participant must provide at least one contact person's information to be included in the study)
  • access to telephone; if insufficient access to videoteleconference and local facility is using remote procedures for study, willing to request access to VA-provided device

You CAN'T join if...

  • significant cognitive impairment (score < 28 on modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (mTICS)
  • inability to read English or communicate in spoken and written English
  • plan to move away or be unavailable in the next 18 months


  • VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92161-0002 United States
  • New Mexico VA Health Care System, Albuquerque, NM accepting new patients
    Albuquerque New Mexico 87108-5153 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
VA Office of Research and Development
Study Type
Expecting 300 study participants
Last Updated