AMHF 2011 Stefan de Schill Award


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THE STEFAN DE SCHILL AWARD

The Second Stefan de Schill Award has been announced. AMHF is honoring Suicide Prevention International. The award and a check to SPI for $5,000 will be presented at the SPI Walk For Life on Saturday, May 7, 2011, rain or shine, to Herbert Hendin, MD, CEO and Medical Director of SPI (pictured), the Principal Investigator on the projects. Most recent has been the exciting development of an instrument, the ASQ (Affective States Questionnaire), which has the unique ability to predict acute risk for suicidal behavior (within 3 months). A major VA medical center is now using it to identify veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are at risk for suicide. Prior to the SPI Walk For Life (to participate, register here) and Award Ceremony, a breakfast will be held at the Boat Basin Cafe. Additionally, AMHF is hosting an honorary wine-and-buffet supper at CityView restaurant, Long Island City, New York, on Wednesday evening, April 27, 2011.

SPI has issued the following announcement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2011
Press Contact: Claire DeVoogd
(212) 427-1500
cdevoogd@spiorg.org
New York, NY – Suicide Prevention International (SPI) to Receive Performance Award at its annual WALK FOR LIFE on May 7th.

This year Suicide Prevention International’s annual Walk for Life in Riverside Park will be a celebration of its remarkable achievements as well as a means of enabling the organization to go forward with its work.

At the event SPI will receive the American Mental Health Foundation’s Stefan de Schill award presented by the American Mental Health Foundation to a not for profit organization for outstanding research and treatment contributions to the field of mental health.

Evander Lomke, the Executive Director of AMHF who will present the award plaque and a check to SPI for $5,000 to Dr. Herbert Hendin, CEO and Medical Director of Suicide Prevention International, who has been the Principal Investigator, on the projects. Most recent has been the exciting development of an instrument, the Affective States Questionnaire (ASQ), that has remarkable ability to predict acute risk for suicidal behavior (within 3 months) on the basis of the patient’s experiencing a number of intense affective states ranging from rage to desperation.

The ASQ asks no questions about suicide but is successful in predicting suicidal behavior even in patients who deny being suicidal or are unaware that they are. Tested successfully at a major VA Medical Center, it is now being employed with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. SPI’s goal is to see it employed throughout the VA.

Mr. Lomke will also note SPI’s success with a project in China which, with 20 percent of the world’s population, has between 30 and 40 percent of the world’s suicides. Three quarters of them are in rural China where the villages have virtually no mental health care personnel. SPI affiliated psychiatrists in the countiesare training lay personnel in “health clinics” in the villages and towns to recognize and refer individuals at risk for suicide to county hospitals for treatment. The Chinese government is sufficiently impressed to with the results to date to request that we begin training psychiatrists to implement the program throughout rural China.

Lastly, Mr. Lomke will express AMHF’s interest in SPI’s newest project aimed at youth suicide prevention. The suicide rate for adolescents and young adults 15-24 in the United States has tripled in the last 60 years. Suicide is the second major cause of death among college students. SPI is implementing a program at Columbia University Medical Center that will improve the treatment of young people who are preoccupied with suicide or have made suicide attempts. The program is intended to serve as a model for other medical
centers.

SPI’s 5K walk winds through Riverside Park’s gardens on the shores of the Hudson River. A social gathering and light breakfast and precedes the walk at the Boat Basin cafe a few blocks south of the starting point for the walk. Registration for the walk starts at 8:30 AM with breakfast at 9:00 AM and the Walk For Life immediately following the Award ceremony at 10:30 AM. You can register to walk by going to http://www.firstgiving.com/spi. Dr. Hendin can be reached by email at hhendin@SPIorg.org.


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