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 

###

 

Forbes.com: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy: With Grief, A Dialogue On Depression, Stress And Anxiety Takes Shape”

In the wake of the suicide of a promising tech entrepreneur this weekend, Dr. Richard Shadick helps us – and Forbes.com readers – to understand the mindset of young founders in a startup culture who may be dealing with issues of isolation/stress/depression.

In the wake of the passing this weekend of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the four founders of much-hyped open-source social network Diaspora, an unsettling conversation has begun within the tech community. Zhitomirskiy’s death, rumored to be a suicide but officially the cause is unknown, has ignited what many see as a much-needed and long-awaited dialogue in the industry: the mental health repercussions of the immense pressure and scrutiny—both internal and external—that young tech founders weather in their quest for the new American Dream.

“These are the new masters of the universe,” says Richard Shadick, Ph.D., the director of Pace University’s counseling center and adjunct professor of psychology in an interview with Forbes.com. “We saw the same profile with Wall Streeters in the 80s: lots and lots of pressure and enough money to motivate them to keep striving for more.” Entrepreneurs, especially those in the high-risk-high-reward startup game tend to have a specific type of personality profile, he says: exceedingly driven, creative, often idiosyncratic thinkers with what can be overwhelmingly high ideals. “It takes a little bit of craziness just to undertake such a huge endeavor to begin with.”

But are entrepreneurs any more prone to depression than the rest of the world? New research does link the creative thought process and capacity for highly focused work so often seen in founders with depressive thinking. Amongst themselves, founders point to isolation, pressure and lack of adequate health care as fuel to the fire of depression. One fund-raising entrepreneur notes that looking for funding might make it especially difficult for a young founder to address any mental health issues he might face. “I do believe it is an impediment to getting investor backing,” he says. “Depression is not well understood by people who haven’t experienced it.”

In the wake of a tragedy like the death of a member of the community, an outcry for a solution is natural. By all accounts the opening of a dialogue on the mental health issues of entrepreneurs—a possible predisposition to depressive thinking and the insurmountable pressure of attempting to reach superstardom by 30—is a step in the right direction.

But Shadick thinks it’s imperative that the conversation surrounding mental health become an industry priority.“The prototype of a Zuckerberg can be quite dangerous for someone to try and attain,” he says. To that end he says it’s essential to address the issue of stress management within the community and the encouragement of realistic work-life balance. “Particularly for founders. Because if someone is starting a company, they’re going to be the model for all future employees and the health of the corporate culture.”

And if work-life balance plays even the tiniest part of the mental health of an individual, that seems like one place where the risk just isn’t worth it.

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.

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

###