Social work graduate determined to help fellow veterans thrive in rural communities

Alyssa Warburton

For Alyssa Warburton, life is a dedication to service for her country. First, serving five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and now advocating for veterans in rural Washington state who are struggling to transition to civilian life and at risk for suicide. Since completing her Master of Social Work (MSW) at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in December 2023, she has been a suicide prevention peer specialist for the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs, working with veterans across Eastern Washington every day to help them navigate mental health services that address suicide prevention and intervention. 

Warburton served in the Marines from 2011 to 2016, which included a deployment to Afghanistan. During that time, she lost several military colleagues to suicide and became aware of the significant mental health issues that active-duty servicemembers face. She personally experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and battled her own mental health issues, including suicidality, substance use and complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to Warburton, one out of every 100 men and one out of every three women in active military service report an MST event to Veteran Affairs, but few of them receive mental health care. 

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