TAPS Red Team

TAPS Red Team is a group of dedicated professionals within TAPS that draws from a unique combination of professional expertise and survivors’ “lived experience” to shine new light on the critical questions that have challenged military leaders and veteran organizations for decades.


Kim Ruocco
Kim Ruocco, MSW

Vice President
Suicide Prevention and Postvention

Kim is an internationally known subject matter expert who uses her education, personal experience and information gathered from thousands of survivors to help others more fully understand suicide.

Shauna Springer
Shauna Springer, Ph.D.

Senior Director
Red Team

Known to many veterans as “Doc Springer,” she has helped hundreds of warriors reconnect with their tribe, strengthen their most important relationships, and build lives that are driven by their deepest values.

Matt Mabe
Matt Mabe

Director of Strategic Operations
Red Team

Matt is a former Army officer, journalist, and writer. From 2002 to 2009, he deployed twice to Iraq, first as a platoon leader and later as a company executive officer and battalion staff officer, and once to Afghanistan, as an information operations officer.

Kim Burditt
Kim Burditt

Manager, Programs & Logistics
Red Team

Kim has planned and executed a wide range of TAPS events, including TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar. After the suicide death of her only sibling, USMC veteran Jon Hoffman, Kim’s heart is in caring for loss survivors, especially those touched by suicide.

Beth Zimmer Carter
Beth Zimmer Carter, MD


Beth is a family practitioner, and retired lieutenant colonel, USAR. She lost her only child, Army Ranger Christopher Carter, to suicide. She uses her medical education, military experience and mother's passion for suicide prevention and survivor support.

What Drives Us

The U.S. suicide rate is at a 30-year high, and rising.* The VA has found that the risk of suicide among veterans is 21% higher than that of U.S. civilian adults.** Fortunately, national attention has turned in recent years to this and related challenges like post-traumatic stress and depression that affect all populations and acutely impact the military and veteran communities. More than a decade ago, TAPS expanded its peer-to-peer model of support for grieving military families to include world-class care to survivors of suicide. TAPS has conducted research, developed best practices and honed its expertise in the critical field of suicide loss. Its unique approach saves livesTAPS Red Team now empowers other organizations to do the same by delivering impactful consultation and training on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Its engagements include employers, hospitals, government entities, military units, clinical service providers, veterans’ organizations, and more. 

* Source: CDC, “Increase in Suicide in the United States: 1999-2014,” April 2016.
**Source: VA, “Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans 2001–2014,” August 3, 2016.


What we offer

Areas of Expertise for Training and Consultation

TAPS Red Team offers training and consultation for critical focus areas such as:

  • Why people die by suicide
  • Tribal/communal intervention for suicide risk: shifting the model
  • Highlighting the potential value of treatment for veterans during military-to-civilian transition
  • Overcoming barriers to trust to better engage veteran patients in behavioral health care
  • Respectful, effective assessment and engagement of combat veterans (as a unique population)
  • Firearm safety: respectful ways to approach a loaded conversation
  • Applying veteran culture, values and language to suicide prevention strategies
  • Overcoming obstacles to asking about suicide risk: Why it is important and how to do it
  • Moral injury and suicide risk: understanding the connection
  • Effective, empirically driven, group-based treatment for moral injury
  • Postvention (suicide after-care) for survivors following a death by suicide 
  • The nature of a healthy grief journey
  • Safe messaging to decrease suicide risk after suicide loss
  • Guidance in helping loss survivors set boundaries that allow them to heal
  • Guidance for talking to children about suicide loss
  • Supporting clinicians after loss of a patient by suicide
  • Peer support as an intervention for complicated grief
  • Layers of trauma for partners who have lost their significant other to suicide
  • Helping survivors build trust and find intimacy again after suicide loss of their significant other
  • Supporting couples’ relationships after loss of an adult child to suicide
  • Facilitating post-traumatic growth after traumatic loss

To learn more about the work of the TAPS Red Team, please email info@taps.org or call (800) 959-8277.