Becky Thomas

Beyond Gatekeeping: Building a Community to Support Suicide Survivors

Becky Thomas is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Kentucky and received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky in 2016. Becky believes in lifetime learning and is pursuing her Doctor of Social Work with research emphasis on suicide postvention strategies. Becky is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Association of Suicidology. Becky Thomas is also a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Becky currently works at the Department of Veteran Affairs [VA] as a part of the Suicide Prevention Program for Lexington, Kentucky VA Health Care System. Within her role, Becky supports all clinical, administrative, and educational activities regarding suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Additionally, Becky is actively involved in the VA’s Workplace Violence Prevention Program. She facilitates training within medical centers, Vet Centers, around local communities, and across the Nation, supporting both programs.

Prior to a career in social work, Becky served eight years in the United States Marine Corps as a CH-53E helicopter airframe mechanic and aircrew. She has traveled throughout the United States and had two overseas deployments. The first was a combat deployment to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2009, followed by a unit deployment to Okinawa, Japan, in 2013. Becky was honorably discharged from service in 2014 with the terminal rank of Staff Sergeant. Military awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Air Medal.

Her passion and drive for suicide prevention and mental health advocacy centers around her personal connections with those who serve their communities, including military/veterans, first responders, health care workers, and educators.