A banner image of Burning Man with an inset picture of Brian

Dr. Brian Van Brunt

Brian is the Assistant Deputy Director of Training for Secure Community Network (SCN), the official homeland security and safety initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. He oversees their training program and is involved in the assessment and instructional design of programs to keep the Jewish community safe from threats and violence. He continues to research and train on the concepts of threat, mental illness, CARE/BIT, and suicide.

Brian at a microphone recording a virtual webinar

Brian is a regular speaker for academic conferences around the world. He has presented dozens of workshops with the American College Counseling Association (ACCA), Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA), National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC), American College Personal Association (ACPA), Association of University College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), and the European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry (OUD). View presentations & trainings list.

He has reached well over 150,000 individual staff and faculty at colleges and workplaces across the country through on-site and virtual trainings, and remote, asynchronous training modules on violence, mental health, and suicide prevention. 

Brian has taught at a number of universities and colleges over his career. He has offered classes in counseling theory, ethics, program evaluation, statistics, and sociology for both graduate and undergraduate students. He has served as the director of counseling at New England College and Western Kentucky University and a graduate professor at the University of Toledo.

Brian teaching

In addition to authoring several books, he has published numerous articles in academic, peer-reviewed journals and practice-based publications. Brian also developed a mental health crisis guide for study abroad advisors for the American Councils and has written textbook test banks and instructor guides for Pearson Education. View publications list.

Brian on Anderson 360

Brian is past-president of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) and former president of the School and College Organization for Prevention Educators (SCOPE). He has been interviewed by the New York Times, National Public Radio, LA Times, and USA Today, and has appeared on Headline News and Anderson Cooper 360.

He has a doctoral degree in counseling supervision and education from the University of Sarasota/Argosy and a master’s degree in counseling and psychological services from Salem State University.

Early in his career, Brian provided case management services through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, coordinated involuntary psychiatric commitments for law enforcement and hospital emergency departments, offered medical care as an emergency medical technician (EMT-R) and ski patrol member, and was a registered white water rafting guide in the state of Maine. He is certified in PADI SCUBA, QPR suicide prevention, and BASICS alcohol education.

When he’s not working, he spends his time with his family, wandering the world, taking photographs, and blogging. He recently published his first novel, Wolf Howling, with two more in the series coming soon.

Brian taking a selfie with an owl
Brian in Nepal