Celebrating Well-Being and Mental Health for Veterans and Their Families:
Honoring those who have fallen and supporting those who serve.
Watch the full session here.
Dr. Scurfield shares an experiential session on mindfulness and meditation. Watch it here.
Download our suicide prevention resource guide here.
Dr. Craig Burnette has spent some four decades working with veterans and their families as they address mental health and quality of life issues ranging from homelessness to serious mental illness. As a Vietnam combat veteran, Craig began his professional career as a Team Leader in the then titled Vietnam Era Veterans Outreach Center. His career in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also led him to working on the housing and treatment of homeless veterans over the course of several years until his retirement.
Upon retirement and returning to his hometown in upstate SC, he began volunteering with various entities as they addressed the issues of homeless folks, as well as homeless veterans, in their area. Additionally, he became involved with the creation of an app, Sharpen Warrior, dedicated both to helping veterans and their families as they transition from military service to civilian life and those who have made that transition earlier but may be having difficulties in their current situation and or relationship.
Dr. Christiana D. Degregorie is a licensed psychologist in South Carolina. She currently serves as a Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Columbia VA Healthcare System and is based out of the Greenville Community Based Outpatient Clinic. In this capacity Dr. DeGregorie offers crisis intervention services to Veterans as well as risk assessment and lethal means safety education to staff and community providers. She works collaboratively with VA providers to ensure Veterans at elevated risk for suicide are identified and appropriate interventions are implemented.
Dr. DeGregorie also works collaboratively with community groups providing training in the suicide prevention model ASIST, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Dr. DeGregorie completed her undergraduate education at Furman University and graduate school at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. In addition, Dr. DeGregorie currently serves on the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology.
Raymond Monsour Scurfield, DSW, LCSW, ACSW, Professor Emeritus, social work educator. Gestalt/existential/humanistic therapist specializing in war-related, natural disaster and other trauma, enhancing personal awareness and teaching meditation (described in his 2019 book, Faith-Based & Secular Meditation. Everyday & Posttraumatic Stress Applications).
Distinguished Military Graduate, Army ROTC, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA (1965); MSW (1967) and DSW (1979), University of Southern California. An Army social work officer (1967-71), to include one year in Vietnam on an Army psychiatric team (1968-69). National and international reputation in PTSD.
The first National Associate Director for Counseling, VA Vet Center Program, VACO, Washington, D.C. (1982-85); and founding Director of both the Post-Traumatic Treatment Program, American Lake VAMC, Tacoma, WA (1985-91) and the VA National Center for PTSD, Honolulu, HI (1992-97). Received the VA’s most prestigious award, the Olin E. Teague award (1988) from President Ronald Reagan “… in recognition of your extraordinary contributions benefitting war-injured veterans. Your achievements in the study and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder have become landmarks in Psychiatry”; and the Mississippi Social Worker of the Year (2006) and national NASW Lifetime Achievement Awardee (2012). Led many critical stress debriefings, to include: co-leading three-month (1992) deployment of VA CISD teams to Kauai (Hawaii) in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki; and innumerable post-Katrina interventions when he volunteered to be the post-Katrina counselor for University of Southern Mississippi faculty, staff and students (2005-08).
80+ publications include seven books, 350+ presentations and media appearances (60 Minutes, Nightline, PBS, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post…).
All Fireside Chats are hosted by Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT, co-founder and CEO of Sharpen, who has spent the past 15 years collaborating with state agencies, educational systems, public health and psychology researchers to build and deliver evidence-based programs to K-12 schools and communities. In her role, Robyn is responsible for building collaborative partnerships and developing programs that deliver powerful prevention content into communities across the U.S.
As part of her work in population health and prevention, Robyn built mindfulness, stress reduction and yoga-based programs for patients struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. Her work has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and in other publications. Robyn’s experience working in treatment settings and with researchers in schools led her to scale her community-based programs by adapting them into video-based modules and a series of documentaries on mental health and educational initiatives. Many of Robyn’s programs have been implemented through the award-winning non-profit, Mental Fitness, which Hussa founded in 2006 to deliver evidence-based content and resources to communities.
A leader in the mental health and wellness provider community, Robyn is certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the University of Massachusetts Medical School model, as well as a certified trainer for NAMI NH CONNECT Suicide Postvention program. Hussa has proudly served as Spartanburg county youth suicide prevention coordinator for the Behavioral Health Task Force for United Way of the Piedmont, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Johnson College of Business and has served as a mentor for the StartME Spartanburg entrepreneurship program. Robyn served as the Resilient Schools mindfulness trainer in Spartanburg, Cherokee, Richland and Lexington County Resilient Schools initiatives, is a Founding Member of the Eating Disorder Recovery on Campus in Boston, an advisory committee member for Way to Wellville/Rethink Health Community Engagement and Listening Campaign, and has been a Keynote and Invited Presenter in over 50 medical and educational conferences.
Sharpen works with national researchers and practitioners to deliver evidence-based mental health programs that improve behavioral health outcomes for communities. Sharpen Fireside Chats are a free resource for communities and aspire to bring the latest best practices to more individuals, communities and families.