Esperanza: “Working around depression” (Cover Story)

Pressures at work can threaten your mental health, so you need a plan to handle the stress and safeguard your mood.

 When stress on the job saps your mental health, it’s time for a new business model. 

“Absenteeism, errors, conflicts with colleagues, missed deadlines, fatigue, difficulty concentrating—these are all indications that depression is an issue,” explains Dr. Richard Shadick, PhD, director of the counseling center at New York City’s Pace University, in the Winter 2011 issue of Esperanza.  Shadick says recent economic woes have only exacerbated the stress and anxiety levels of workers in the United States and Canada.

According to Shadick, when financial and family conditions permit, workplace depression actually can be an important impetus for change.  In that light, the very real pain of depression might be compared to the agony of labor, giving birth to a new existence.

“It can give us a chance to re-examine our lives and where we are,” Shadick says, “and in that sense it can also be a gift.”

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

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.

For more information:

Samuella Becker
Media Relations/Pace University
(212) 346-1637 or (917) 734-5172


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.


To read the article in Spanish, visit