Suicide as it Transcends Cultural Boundaries

Nicci Spinazzola, Ed.S., LMFT, LPC, ACS

Course Description:
The relationship between suicide behavior and culture is an important one because traumatic experiences are part of the life cycle, universal in manifestation and occurrence, and typically demand a response from culture in terms of healing, treatment, interventions, counseling, and medical care. To understand the relationship between suicidal behaviors and culture requires a “big picture” overview of both concepts. This workshop will explore the dimensions of psychological suffering, the dimensions of cultural systems as they govern daily life, and opportunities for healing. Additionally, participants will learn at least 5 distinct elements of healing in cultures, as well as how cultures create social and psychological mechanisms to assist its members who have suffered significant traumatic events.

Participants will be able to:
1. Describe how cultural issues influence the way we define and experience mental health and mental illness
2. Recognize how cultural variables impact and shape risk and protective factors
3. List at least 5 distinct elements of healing in culture
4.Identify how personal belief systems align with cultural values for suicide

Presenter Bio:
Nicci Spinazzola is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, NJ Disaster Response Crisis Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is currently the Executive Director at the Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center of Somerset County responsible for the direction, development, and creation of programs, planning, and contracting.

Nicci has more than 35 years of experience working across the developmental spectrum in crisis intervention, recovery from trauma and complex grief following an unexpected loss,  and maintains a small a private practice in Morristown, NJ. She provides consultation and training for local universities, school systems, social service and public safety agencies and supervision to clinicians seeking licensure or consultation.

Location: Raritan Valley Community College, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, New Jersey
Date:   November 17, 2017    Time: 9:00am-3:30pm
Registration and continental breakfast will take place between 9:00-9:30a.m.
The workshop will begin promptly at 9:30a.m.


9:30 –10:00am Course Overview
Challenge Question and Discussion


Trauma Principles
Complex Loss
10:55-11:00am Morning Break
11:00-11:30am Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
11:30am-12:00pm Risk Across Cultures
12:00-12:45pm Lunch on your own
12:45 – 1:45pm Identification of Risk
1:45 – 2:45pm Value System and Risk
2:45 – 2:50pm Afternoon break
2:50 – 3:30pm  Interventions and Healing
Wrap-up and evaluations

 Target Audience:  Social Workers, Counselors, and other mental health professionals

This course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate level participants.

Continuing Education Credits: FAMILYConnections, Provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. FAMILYConnections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3.5 clinical and 1.5 social and cultural competency continuing education clock hours.
 This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards – ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #34 Course #1593 from 10/10/2017 to 10/10/2019. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Clinical Social Work Practice 3.5, Social and Cultural Competence 1.5
FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 5 CE hours.
FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded to participants after they have signed out at the completion of the course.

Directions & Parking Information: Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

Facilities: If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki Stromko, Program Manager, at 973-323-3454 or by email at

Registration: Free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until November 10, 2017. Cancellations must be made by November 13, 2017.

To register, please click here

Grievances: Please contact Niki Stromko, Program Manager, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances. Please see attached Grievance Policy for more information.

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