One Mental Health Message Does Not Fit All; Pace University Customizes Suicide-Prevention Outreach to Reflect Multicultural and Sexual Differences

“It is our belief that diversity issues have yet to be comprehensively addressed in suicide prevention, despite the urgent need to do so,” said Dr. Richard Shadick.

Uses $364,000 SAMHSA Grant; Offers Kits Free to Schools – 

NEW YORK, NY, October 28, 2010 – “The way a young gay Puerto Rican man will tell you he is feeling depressed and suicidal differs greatly from the way an Asian-American student will tell you,” says Richard Shadick, PhD, director of the Counseling Center on Pace University’s New York City campus and an adjunct professor of psychology.

Building on that insight, Pace’s Counseling Center is using grants totaling $364,000 from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to enhance the multicultural competence of staff and faculty members who work with students and may refer them to counseling.

Multicultural Competence Suicide Prevention Kits – including brochures and posters, educational materials, public service announcements and training vignettes for role play – have been created, targeting students from seven different groups: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Muslims, Latinos, international students, disabled students and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT). Staff members have also disseminated these kits to schools nationally and trained mental health professionals on other campuses on how to use them. Their efforts have been featured as a model program in a SAMHSA suicide prevention monograph.

“It is our belief that diversity issues have yet to be comprehensively addressed in suicide prevention, despite the urgent need to do so,” said Shadick, pointing out those who are at particular risk being:

African-Americans who are alienated from their spiritual community or feel a stigma in seeking counseling.

Asian-Americans who feel a conflict between Asian culture and American culture.

Disabled students who deny the impact of their disability and have persistent beliefs in attaining full health and/or ability when it is not possible.

LGBT students who lack of family acceptance and support of their sexuality.

International students who are struggling with acculturation, socially isolated and have language barriers.

Latinos who are socially isolated from their spiritual community, in the midst of a relationship break up high or who endure sexual abuse.

Muslims who are struggling with their spirituality or who are disconnected from family.

Further efforts are underway at Pace, which is recognized for its undergraduate and graduate programs in clinical psychology, to research the nature of suicide for diverse student groups.

Schools who would like to obtain a free Multicultural Competence Suicide Prevention Kit should send their request to Dr. Shadick at rshadick@pace.edu

Psychology Department on Pace University’s New York City Campus

Pace offers two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Relations; and four graduate degrees, MSEd in School Psychology, MSEd in Bilingual School Psychology, MA in General Psychology, and PsyD in School-Clinical Child Psychology. Pace’s PsyD degree is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), and is one of only 10 nationwide recognized as a combined professional-scientific doctoral program by the APA.

Professional Education at Pace University

Since 1906, Pace University has offered professional education that combines liberal arts with practical experience and the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York. It enrolls more than 13,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Dyson College of Arts and Sciences (which includes The Actors Studio Drama School’s MFA, the Acting BFA, Musical Theater BFA and Theater Arts BA programs), Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

For more information:

Samuella Becker
Media Relations/Pace University
(212) 346-1637 or (917) 734-5172
Sbecker2@pace.edu

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