NOTEWORTHY
BRIGHT MIND

Perhaps no one is better suited to help suicidal individuals than someone who has experienced the dreadful depths of suicidal despair. DeQuincy Lezine is one of those people. Raised in a family of four in Los Angeles, Lezine witnessed firsthand family members grappling with alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, mania, psychoses and suicide attempts. Overcoming tremendous odds, Lezine entered Brown University in 1995. There he attempted suicide three times before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or manic depression. His illness and personal experience, coupled with his insight and empathy, spurred Lezine to organize the nation's first college-based chapter of SPAN USA, the Suicide Prevention Action Network. He went on to achieve national prominence in suicide prevention advocacy, and was the only youth invited to participate in the formation of the 2001 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Last fall, Lezine, 28, began a new chapter in his life as a postdoctoral student at the University of Rochester. There he works with university colleagues, plus nonprofit and federal partners, to develop and evaluate sound suicide prevention programs for colleges.

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