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9/12/2019  |   1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   |  Cascade E

Intimate Partner Violence and Suicidality: Intersections and Interventions

According to the latest data released by the CDC, there were 47,173 deaths from suicide in the United States in 2017. The report states that from 1999 through 2017, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased by 33%. It is reported that domestic violence is a factor in up to one-quarter of all suicide attempts by women, and those women have 8 times the risk for suicide compared to the general population. While there are many studies describing a clinical relationship between domestic violence victimization and suicidal ideation and behavior, there is a gap in the literature that provides an evidence-based clinical model for assessment and intervention. The purpose of this presentation is to address the interaction of suicide and DV victimization, engage the audience in dialogue about effective assessment and intervention practices, and collaboratively create possible best-practice procedures when assessing and intervening with DV survivors experiencing suicidality.

CJ Sorenson (Primary Presenter), Utah State University, carl.sorenson@usu.edu;
C.J. Sorenson is an Associate Clinical Professor of Social Work at Utah State University and coordinates the program’s BSW program across the USU regional campus system. He completed his BSW at the University of Utah in 2005 and his MSW at Brigham Young University in 2007. He worked in a mental health and substance abuse clinic for 6 years providing individual, couples, family, and group therapy for a wide variety of client situations, including intimate partner violence. He also provided inpatient therapy for individuals, families, and groups in the behavioral health unit at Logan Regional Hospital, as well as crisis work in the hospital emergency room. C.J. joined the faculty at Utah State in 2012 where he teaches courses primarily focused on clinical practice. He opened Resilience Counseling Services, a private clinical practice in Logan, in 2013 and continues to provide individual, couples, and family therapy as an active clinician. He has presented locally and nationally on topics including mental health and trauma, suicide prevention and intervention, sexual compulsivity, emotional wellness, and innovative teaching and learning strategies. He has served on several community boards and coalitions.

Leila Elmi-Stuart (Co-Presenter), CAPSA, leila@capsa.org;
Leila immigrated from Iran to the United states in 2009. She began her career working with at-risk children and youth as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and later at Bear River Health Department as an MSW intern. Leila graduated from the USU MSW program in 2014. Following graduate school she was invited to work as a full-time therapist in the Clinical Program at CAPSA (Citizens Against Physical And Sexual Abuse), a non-profit organization providing services to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2015 she became the Clinical Director. Leila has dedicated more than 5 years to serving survivors and empowering victims and their family and friends by working with them to prevent abuse in our community. As the Clinical Director of CAPSA she has grown the clinical program from a “single therapist” to a team of 7 therapists providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of DV and Sexual Assault survivors. Leila is serving on several coalitions such as Cache Valley Suicide Prevention Coalition, Cache Valley Suicide Interagency Coordination Workgroup, Utah Zero Suicide Learning Collaborative, Utah Association of Domestic Violence Treatment Providers and Utah Coalition of Sexual Assault. Leila is a Certified QPR Trainer.


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