NEWS RELEASE: Ask a Question; Save a Life. Pace University Receives Grant for Online Training of Faculty and Staff in Suicide Prevention

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a nationally recognized suicide prevention program designed to educate persons to recognize and respond to the signs of suicidal thinking or behavior. Research has shown that those who ultimately attempt suicide often provide numerous direct or indirect clues as to their intentions. Contact Dr. Richard Shadick at shadick@pace.edu or 212-346-1526 to sign up for online training and learn how you can save a life.

Pace University Receives Grant for Online Training of Faculty and Staff in Suicide Prevention;  Gatekeeper Approach Strengthens “Community Connectedness” to Detect and Treat At-Risk Individuals

 – Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds –

NEW YORK, NY, March 21, 2012 – Pace University’s Counseling Center, New York City campus, has received a one-time, $6,000 mini-grant from the QPR Institute for the implementation of a local online suicide prevention training program.

“Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among the 15-24 year old age group, of which most college students fall within,” said Richard Shadick, Ph.D., Director of Pace’s Counseling Center in New York City and an adjunct Professor of Psychology.Stigma of mental health services can prevent students from getting the attention they need.  Seventy-five percent of students who die by suicide never come for counseling.  While suicide is one of the most preventable forms of death, doing so is quite complex.  Pace will use this grant to train faculty and staff in a simple gatekeeper procedure that follows CPR and can save lives.”

QPR involves these three simple steps:

  • Question … a person about suicide
  • Persuade … the person to get help
  • Refer …the person to the appropriate resource

To date, more than one million Americans have been trained in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is an evidence-based, Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SPRC/AFSP) registered “best practice” program taught in classrooms by more than 5,000 Certified Instructors throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Ask a Question; Save a Life 

“What can be done to help individuals who are suicidal? Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of suicide can help,” advised Dr. Shadick. ”Suicidal individuals can be depressed, hopeless, angry, or socially isolated. They often have difficulty with sleeping or eating and demonstrate obvious changes in their appearance. Students who are suicidal have significant academic or financial problems or experience a significant loss, such as a relationship break up, divorce, or move. Suicidal individuals also talk about dying-either indirectly, such as saying that they want to end their pain or make it all go away, or directly, such as stating that they want to kill themselves. Students whom have attempted to kill themselves in the past are particularly at risk for future suicide death. Finally, with college students a significant proportion of suicides involve drug or alcohol use.”

QPR’s online suicide prevention program “gatekeeper” training takes about an hour.  A gatekeeper is someone who knows the basics about suicide and intervention skills, believes that suicide can be prevented and can assist in the aftermath of suicide.  The three formal goals of the program are:

  • Goal 1: Build community capacity to prevent suicide by strengthening community connectedness through gatekeeper training designed to detect and treat at-risk persons before a suicide attempt or completion occurs.
  • Goal 2: Reduce the frequency and base rates of suicide attempts and completions in communities experiencing increasing and high rates of suicide events (attempts and fatalities).
  • Goal 3: Establish sustainable suicide prevention programming and staff infrastructure at the community level through a public-private partnership. 

If someone is talking about killing themselves or is experiencing some of these symptoms, it is essential to intervene,” added Dr. Shadick.  “One should listen without judgment and acknowledge the pain they are suffering. Even if they downplay their symptoms, one should take them seriously. It is essential to get them to a psychologist quickly. Sometimes a college student may feel that there is a stigma connected to going to a campus counseling center. One should let them know that the counseling center is another form of academic support just like a writing center or tutoring service and that many students go to these centers for a wide variety of concerns, not because they are mentally ill.”

Members of the Pace Community who are interested in participating in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program should contact Dr. Shadick directly at rshadick@pace.edu, 212-346-1526.

About Pace University

For 105 years Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Media Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172 

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The CollegeSurfing Insider: “Big Test – Studying During the Holidays as an Adult Student”

As Thanksgiving approaches, the distractions increase … with thoughts of turkey, shopping, and family time taking you away from studying, writing papers, and finishing end-of-the-semester college projects. With these top tips, you can enjoy your holiday traditions (yum, pumpkin pie!) and finish up the semester strong.

Family get-togethers, holiday shopping, holiday cooking and more are all filling your calendar in Thanksgiving and December. With a bit of planning and preparation, these helpful hints should allow you to enjoy the holiday and keep from having to finish a key assignment or study for a final at the last minute:

Schedule your holidays.
Just like timing the components of a holiday meal, designate days and hours for studying/coursework, holiday commitments, and family time. For example, complete a homework assignment before you head out for Black Friday shopping, so you can enjoy the madness along with other deal seekers. Choose which holiday parties you will attend based upon school deadlines, so that you have enough time to study and have fun, says Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center and an associate adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University in New York.

Set realistic goals.
This may be the year that you hand off certain Thanksgiving dishes or holiday parties to someone else. Adult students often feel like they are unable to give anything their “all,” but if you set reasonable expectations about school, home and work, you will feel less stressed, Shadick says.

Don’t overindulge.
Enjoy that (one) cup of eggnog, as Shadick points out that drinking too much, overeating, or staying up later than normal makes it difficult to study effectively.

Be thankful for help.
If you feel overloaded, consider going to your school’s counseling center to talk to a professional about your holiday and school-related stress.

For more tips, click here

Carolina Parent: “Easing Your Teen’s School-Related Anxiety”

Back-to-school = back-to-stress?

As the demanding school year draws near, many teens begin to experience higher stress levels. Here are tips from Pace’s Dr. Richard Shadick as to how you can help your teen get a handle on stress before it wreaks havoc on their psyche.

“Often teens feel stress about the start of the school year because their schedule is quite different during the summer,” says Richard N. Shadick, director of Pace University Counseling Center and adjunct professor of psychology, in Myrna Beth Haskell’s back to school/August column which has a circulation of over 500,000 readersand appears in a number of parenting publications across the country, including Carolina Parent.  

“They are used to fewer demands and expectations. Also, during the summer, some teens tend to lose their social network. This makes for an awkward transition and the need to get reacquainted with peers after much time has passed.”

Teens might be concerned about considerable changes as well, such as more intense academic loads or new school environments.

“Depending on the year, teens may be facing major challenges such as starting high school, applying to colleges or looking for work,” Shadick says.

Don’t underestimate stress

“Signs that your teen’s stress is getting out of hand include drastic changes in grades, personality or habits,” Shadick says. “For example, if a neat and orderly teen starts to become disheveled and disorganized, parents may need to be concerned.”

Parents can help

Shadick believes planning a structured summer is essential because this alleviates a drastic transition. He also advises maintaining your teen’s social activities and connections.

“Encourage your teen to stay in contact with their friends from school so that they will have the social support they need when they return to classes,” Shadick says. He also says it’s a good idea for parents to talk frequently with their teens about the transition from summer vacation to school, and to work with them on being properly prepared for the change.

San Diego Red/San Diego Union-Tribune: “Mental health professionals analyze murder-suicide cases that claim eight lives in San Diego area in little more than a week, including four children”

San Diego recently experienced back to back murder suicides involving Hispanic families. Looking for insight, San Diego Red, the bilingual partner of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reached out to Pace’s Dr. Richard Shadick, asking him to shed light on these tragedies, put them into context of economic times and address cultural factors.

What are the warning signs of potential murder suicide; how rare is it and what resources are typically available?

Dr. Richard Shadick, director of the Counseling Center at Pace University in New York, said people who want to kill themselves usually give warning signs.

“Most notably, if someone has a history of violence they report feelings of depression, anger management difficulties, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness,” Shadick said. “There is social withdrawal from the family, community and friends. Substances can be involved.”

“Typically there are some difficulties that have occurred prior to a murder-suicide, financial difficulties, perhaps domestic violence,” he said.

The SanDiegoRed, the bilingual partner of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reported that according to health experts, Latinos suffer from mental illness about the same rate as the rest of the population but are less likely to seek help. In San Diego County, Latinos make up one-third of the region’s population but are just 20 percent of the adults who seek help at county mental health facilities.

“There is some shame associated with it,” Shadick said, echoing a well-known cultural barrier. There is an expectation among Latinos, he said, that “men should be able to handle their problems on their own, that they should be able to make money for the family and handle marital or relationship difficulties without relying on others.”

EverydayHealth.com: “Why Are So Many Gay Teens Depressed?”

Too often, hostile environments at school and at home make gay and lesbian adolescents depressed. Dr. Richard Shadick, director of Pace’s NYC Campus Counseling Center, suggests how teens in the LGBT adolescent scene can find the emotional support they need.

A recent National School Climate Survey of 7,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) students, ranging in age from 13 to 21, found that 80 percent had been verbally harassed, 40 percent physically harassed, 60 percent felt unsafe at school, and one in three had missed a day of school in the last month due to fear of violence.

Given these struggles, it’s no surprise that a LGBT teen may experience depression.

“Family members and friends can provide needed support for a loved one who might be depressed,” advised Richard Shadick, PhD, director of the Counseling Center and an adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University in New York City, in an interview with EverydayHealth.com.  “Warning signs include a change in how a gay teen relates (they become withdrawn and isolated), how they look (they may become unkempt, sad, or dispirited), or how they act (they may give away prize possessions, talk of wanting to die, and/or engage in impulsive and dangerous behavior).  They may also drink or use drugs heavily.  And if a teen has a family member that has died because of suicide or they have tried to kill themselves before, then there should be extra concern,” said Shadick.

Click here to read more of the article – “Why Are So Many Gay Teen Depressed?” – which appears on EverydayHealth.com, a leading provider of online health solutions with more than 28 million monthly unique visitors.

The Associated Press: “College mental health screenings go high-tech”

Many college counseling centers are more swamped than ever, therapists say, particularly at this time of year, in the frenzy of final exams and job searches.

Dr. Richard Shadick, Director of Pace University’s Counseling Center in New York City and an adjunct professor of psychology, was interviewed about trends in screening college students for mental health issues – what works, what hasn’t.

Within the counseling field, there is no consensus about whether there really are more college students with mental health issues or whether they are simply increasingly willing to ask for help.

Some say that antidepressants and more support has made it more possible than ever for a student who is mentally ill to attend college. Others have noted that this generation of students seems less able to cope with stress, for whatever reason.

At Pace University in New York, counseling director Richard Shadick and his staff give a presentation at each “University 101” class for freshman and give them a survey to help them get a read on substance abuse and mental health problems they may be having. The mental health staff also spends time on campus giving mini screenings called “checkups from the neck up” and refers students who need help to the counseling center.

Learn more about how mental health is being taken seriously here at Pace and at other college campuses.

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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The Largest Spanish Newspaper in the U.S. Seeks Pace Professor’s Expertise

La Opinión, the Largest Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S. quoted Pace’s director of the Counseling Center and Associate Professor or Psychology, Dr. Richard Shadick.

La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S., quoted Pace’s director of the Counseling Center and Associate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Richard Shadick, about the impact of the recession on the mental health of students.

Translated text of the article:

Kristina Segura-Baird is now considered a “normal” teenager. But for a long time she had to cope in silence with the negative emotions caused by the sexual abuse she suffered.

“I did not want to talk to anyone about this, but now I’m glad to have received professional help,” says Young, who participated yesterday in a ceremony to support new laws that expand mental health services in schools.

Alarming data revealed that suicide is the third most common cause of death among 15 to 24 years and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics , one in five children and adolescents in the country suffer from some kind of mental problem, which is now compounded by the current economic crisis.

Dr. Richard Shadick , director of the Counseling Center at Pace University in New York and associate professor of psychology, said that the situation has worsened in recent times.

“Young people are suffering from the stress in their families and there are fewer services due to budget cuts,” says Shadick, noting that all of this greatly affects their academic performance as well as spurs other social ills.

Mental health programs were cut by 4% in 2009 and 5% in 2010, and will be reduced by 8% in 2011 – at a time when they are needed most.

A recent survey conducted jointly by The New York Times and CBS shows that four out of 10 children of unemployed parents show behavioral changes.  But Shadick clarifies that in many cases parents are so affected by their own problems, they don’t even notice these changes in their children.

Convinced that many of these problems can be prevented, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano spoke yesterday before a packed auditorium at the middle school youth Eastmont the Montebello Unified School District ( MUSD ).

Both she and a player for the Lakers, Ron Artest, shared some personal experiences, emphasizing the idea that we should not feel embarrassed when asking for help.

“I am a better father and husband because I have spent a lot of time and money to receive counseling. But I think everyone should have free access to these services,” said Artest.

Napolitano, author of the measure, HR 2531 Mental Health Act in Schools, stated that if it is approved by the legislature, the plan she created in 2001 in his district which has now expanded to 11 schools, including Eastmont, could be replicated throughout the country.

“What motivated me to create the program was to learn that one in three young Latinas has contemplated suicide,” said Napolitano.

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To read the article in Spanish, visit http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/primera-pagina/2010/9/10/salud-mental-recibe-apoyo-209816-1.html#commentsBlock

National Eating Disorders Awareness Event – “Eating Disorders, Body Image, Perfectionism”

In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – and a society that often places high value on physical beauty and thinness Pace University is holding an event called “Eating Disorders, Body Image, Perfectionism.”

PACE UNIVERSITY MEDIA ALERT

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 – NYC Campus, 7 pm

In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – and a society that often places high value on physical beauty and thinness …

“EATING DISORDERS, BODY IMAGE, PERFECTIONISM”

• Documentary Screenings/Q & A with filmmakers:

— “Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld” by Liza Figueroa Kravinsky;

— “Wet Dreams & False Images” (Sundance Award Winner) by Jesse Epstein

• Emilie Zaslow, Pace Assistant Professor of Communications Studies and author of “Feminism, Inc.: Coming of Age in Girl Power Media Culture” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) discusses how mediated images work to shape young people’s perceptions of beauty as well as body size and shape.

Event is FREE and open to the general public (male & female)

Why: To raise consciousness during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 21 – 27) about the potentially life-threatening seriousness of eating disorders and the societal pressures, attitudes and behaviors which contribute to them. Also to spread a message of hope: Help is available, recovery is possible and those affected are not alone in their struggle!

According to Dr. Brian Petersen, Pace Counseling Center, “Eating disorders occur in both male and female college students and often are exacerbated by the stresses of the college/university environment. An eating disorder can have serious medical and psychological consequences. Symptoms may even become life-threatening. Even if you don’t have an eating disorder, you may know of someone who does – and we hope that you’ll urge them to attend this event. It’s incumbent on all of us in a caring community to become more aware of this important issue.”

Who/What: “Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld” is a documentary by Liza Figueroa Kravinsky looking at modern perceptions of beauty – including weight. “Being beautiful is overrated,” says the filmmaker, who interviewed and followed the lives of former beauty pageant queens, a physician, an exotic dancer, an entrepreneur and a musician who worked with famous rock star Prince.

“Wet Dreams and False Images” is a Sundance award-winning documentary by Jesse Epstein that utilizes humor to raise serious concerns about the marketplace of commercial illusion – photo retouching in magazines and ads – and unrealizable standards of physical perfection.

When: Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 7 pm – 10 pm

Where: Pace University/East of City Hall, One Pace Plaza, Student Union – B Level, New York, NY 10038. Directions: http://www.pace.edu/pace/about-us/all-about-pace/directions-to-all-campuses/new-york-city-campus

Media Contact: Samuella Becker, Pace Public Information, sbecker2@pace.edu; 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172.

RSVP/General Information: Dr. Brian Petersen, Pace Counseling Center, email: bpetersen@pace.edu

About Pace University: For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Visit Pace on the web at www.pace.edu| Facebook | Twitter (@PaceUNews) | Flickr | YouTube

Event Co-Sponsor/Pace Counseling Center: The Counseling Center Staff is available to discuss any personal or emotional difficulties in complete confidentiality. Services include individual and group counseling and range from counseling for personal and professional problems to crisis intervention. Student concerns include relationship and family issues, roommate problems, drug or alcohol use, self-esteem, and problems with eating. http://www.pace.edu/page.cfm?doc_id=5105

Event Co-Sponsor/Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Body and Mind (BAM) House: Academic success has been linked to healthy bodies and healthy minds. BAM House focuses on personal, physical and emotional wellness as well as social change as related to health and wellness. Activities include weekly yoga; workshops about fresh food, happiness, relaxation techniques, journaling; and fun activities such as movie nights, ice skating, and baseball games.

Event Co-Sponsor/Women’s and Gender Studies engages in research and exploration concerning all areas of women’s experience. Interdisciplinary and multicultural by definition, Women’s and Gender Studies emphasizes the importance of gender while including other essential categories of analysis such as race and class.

Event Co-Sponsor/The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in Seattle, Wash., a not-for-profit organization, supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and advocates for prevention, treatment and research funding for eating disorders. Since the inception of its Helpline in 1999, NEDA has referred more than 50,000 people to treatment and tallies more than 40 million hits annually on its Web site. For more information on eating disorders, visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org.