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February 2017 Newsletter

We  Our Students, Faculty & Leadership
Live, laugh, love?
Six Reasons why Individuals Choose Suicide.

By Dr. Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH

Although we are just beginning to say hello to February, this year has been off to a sad start with several people in my immediate circle – individuals I knew personally, or who are connected to friends or family members – committing suicide.  There’s no easy way to acknowledge or accept this, or even any uncomplicated way to type those words.  Each has had a different reason for doing so, but what remains constant is the sadness left in the wake.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with an average of 121 individuals dying a day.  With such an important topic like suicide, why is it not addressed more often? Of course there is a National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September and a World Suicide Prevention Day, but we also have “national days” for things like tacos and doughnuts. Now, I am not saying tacos and doughnuts do not deserve recognition, but when it comes to suicide, there is a difference in importance.
Every day should be suicide prevention awareness. Every day should be an opportunity to communicate the importance of knowing the signs of a person contemplating self harm what steps to follow to get help, and resources available.

There are many reasons an individual may decide to end his or her life, but here are five reasons that are notable:
  1. Depression – The feeling of despondency and distress; it can strike at any age and can encompass a roller coaster of emotions. Different groups of people do experience depression in different ways for example men and women display depression differently and men are four times more likely to die of suicide than women (NAMI).
  2. Despair – Hopelessness can be a sign of depression, but it can also stand alone. Research has shown that severe despair and hopelessness can be predictors of suicide (NCBI 2012).
  3. Decline – Individuals suffering from chronic illness and/or chronic pain resist seeking psychiatric or psychological care for fear their pain symptoms will be minimized or considered reflective of an underlying mental disorder. A survey by Hitchcock et al [17] found that 50% of chronic pain patients had serious thoughts of committing suicide due to their pain disorder (NCBI 2011).
  4. Defeat – A feeling that “it’s all wrong” or “I can’t do anything right.” The inability to escape from defeating or stressful circumstances provides the setting conditions for the emergence of suicidal thoughts (Lancet Psychiatry 2014).
  5. Desolation – Feeling alone, isolated and sometimes, bullied. This is more commonly seen in teens and older adults, but it can apply to anyone. Loneliness has been attributed to social anxiety and suicide in teens (Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2014).
  6. Demographics -  Among American Indians/Alaska Natives aged 10 to 34 years, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14 and the second among persons aged 15-34 years
  7. CDC 2015).
There are many reasons why an individual may consider suicide as a viable option, such as our society being engrained in a 24-hour news cycle.  There is not much good news these days – every headline warrants “Breaking News.”  Social media is another difficulty.  People of all ages engage in a variety of these of platforms and most concerning are the young people trying to measure up to those in their circle.  Measure up to what?  Friends?  Followers they don’t know?  Reality stars?  It’s disturbing.
I chose February to bring this subject to light to remind ourselves that as we become deluged with Valentine’s ads, posts and stories, we need to pay close attention to those around us.  Take the time to notice.  Notice what, you may wonder.  Notice the behavior of friends, family, loved ones – take a moment to ask, “How are you?”  and care about what the answer may be.  Don’t settle for just, “Fine.” Most individuals are not “fine,” yet use the term loosely to avoid a personal discuss of feelings. Step-up and initiate the conversation, take the lead!
Suicide is life changing, life ending, and only a brief moment that can be altered with intervention.

If you know someone who is showing the signs, take the time.  If you need support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.
Did you know that Dr. Boring-Bray is a content contributor at Psychology Today? Check out this article or Dr. Boring-Bray's other articles here.


Super-Charging the DBH Curriculum

Thanks to feedback from our advisory council, CGI is now offering our students, faculty, and alumni access to Open School Online Courses offered by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The IHI Open School Online Courses cover a range of topics, including Quality, Safety, Leadership, Person- and Family-Centered Care, and Population Management.

CGI has integrated the IHI Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety coursework into core DBH program courses. DBH Students will complete all 13 required courses to earn the IHI Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety before they graduate; a huge value-add to a professional resume!

As if if that weren't enough exciting good news for one day, we are also proud to announce that we've embedded curriculum tools and resources from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) across the curriculum in the DBH program. 

In addition to the uniquely innovative curriculum in our program, the tools and resources offered by leading agencies in healthcare quality and research will assist our students, faculty, and graduates in catalyzing and leading the change they wish to see in healthcare delivery.

For more information, please email
Welcome Stephanie!

Stephanie Rosa is Institute’s Office Manager and Registrar. She supports students after admission with any needs they may have outside the classroom at Cummings Graduate Institute. Additionally, she oversees operations of the administrative office based in Phoenix, AZ. Stephanie joined CGI in February 2017, and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome her to the CGI family! Send Stephanie your warm wishes!
We need you!
CGI is developing new specialty courses and we are seeking new doctoral-level faculty associates! Please send CV and areas of subject matter expertise to Cara
Spring II Admissions Deadline Approaching!

Join the DBH student body and earn a degree in a growing field that's revolutionizing the healthcare industry. The next DBH cohort begins April 10, 2017!

Whether you have a background in medicine, behavioral health, or allied health, the 60-credit hour, fully-online Doctor of Behavioral Health degree will give you the tools you need to practice Integrated Behavioral Health Care at a high level in any clinical setting. 

Spring II Admissions Deadline:
March 10, 2017

For more information on the admissions process
Call: 480-285-1761 ext 1
Apply now!
Thank you!
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We wish you a positive, productive, and disruptive Spring!

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