Larry Pruitt, PhD

Core Faculty


VA VISN 20 Suicide Prevention Lead (WA, OR, ID, AK)

Director of Suicide Prevention, VA Puget Sound Health Care System


Dr. Pruitt provides leads a team of highly skilled Suicide Prevention Coordinators and Community Engagement and Partnership Coordinators to implement and operate a comprehensive suicide prevention program for Veterans, including both clinical and public health approaches across Washington State.


Dr. Pruitt is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington State and has served on several national workgroups focused on suicide prevention including:

  • The Military Suicide Research Consortium
  • The DOD/VA Data and Surveillance Workgroup associated with Executive Order 13822
  • The U.S. Department of Defense Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee
  • The 2019 VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guideline Workgroup for the Assessment and Management of Patients at High Risk for Suicide

Prior to joining the VA in 2018, Dr. Pruitt served as the program lead for the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report from 2014 to 2018. His areas of focus include military and veteran behavioral health, suicide prevention and epidemiology, PTSD treatment, and the use of telehealth to improve patient access to empirically supported treatments. Dr. Pruitt completed his graduate training at the University of Nevada, Reno followed by a fellowship at the University of Washington Department of Psychology’s Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress.

Selected Interventions

  • Crisis Services
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Suicide Epidemiology

Industry Leadership Roles Include

  • VA/SAMHSA Governor’s Challenge for Suicide Prevention (Washington State)
  • VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide
  • Editorial board – Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science
  • Editorial board – Frontiers in Psychiatry

Credentials and Education

  • Fellowship: University of Washington, Department of Psychology
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology: University of Nevada, Reno
  • M.A., Clinical Psychology: University of Nevada, Reno
  • B.S., Psychology: University of Washington

Publications (Selected Work)

    • Belsher, B.E., Smolenski, D.J., Pruitt, L.D. (2019). Positive Predictive Values and Potential Success of Suicide Prediction Models—Reply. JAMA Psychiatry.
    • Pruitt, L.D., Sung, J., & Walker, K. (2022). What is “safety”?: Lethal means counseling as a cross-cultural communication. Military Psych.
    • Pruitt, L.D., Smolenski, D.J., Bush, N.E., Tucker, J., Issa, F., Hoyt, T.V., Reger, M.A. (2018). Suicide in the military: Understanding rates and risk factors across the United States’ Armed Forces. Military Medicine, 0(0), 1-6. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usy296.
  • Complete List:

 Selected Honors

VA Puget Sound Psychology Service’s 2022 Exceptional Leadership Award                2022

Defense Health Agency Meritorious Civilian Service Award                                       2017

Army Superior Unit Award                                                                                    2017

Military Health System Research Symposium Outstanding Research Team Award      2015

The Society for Federal Health Research: Research & Development Award                2013

Mary Gates Endowment for Independent Research, University of Washington           2002