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.”

Hispanic Executive: “Top Scholar” Sergio Castillo, The Actors Studio Drama School (MFA ’11)

The July/August issue of Hispanic Executive explores the leaders in today’s Hispanic community that elicit change – such as “Top Scholar” pick Sergio Castillo (MFA ’11).

Here are highlights from a full-page interview with “Top Scholar” Sergio Castillo which appears in the July/August issue of Hispanic Executive (see pages 11 and 13): 

When looking at MFA programs, why did you choose the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University?

I always wanted to go to New York and study there.  One of the reasons I chose this program is because of Delia Salvi, a woman I studied with during my undergrad at UCLA.  She was an alumni of the Actors Studio and one of the strongest acting teachers I have ever had.  I also remember watching Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton when I was young, and being inspired by everyone he interviewed.  Another thing that attracted me to this school is its commitment to the teachings of Lee Strasberg.  I think all of the great actors of modern America came out of this tradition of teaching.

What do you like about your program?

I think the program really tests each student and his or her talents.  Inevitably, it helps the artist discover things about himself. It demands you to be truthful and explore your own character.  The program forces you to ask questions about yourself and reality that you wouldn’t normally ask, and it is through this exploration that truthful forms of humanity come out.  Overall, I think it is the intimacy of the program that is appealing to me.

After completing the MFA program at Pace University, what do you hope to do?

I hope to work as an actor, writer, and director.  Right now, I am actually planning to direct a show for the New York Fringe Festival.  I am very much committed to doing theater, but I hope to occasionally do some film.