Why This Work?
“Focus is saying no to a 1,000 good ideas” Steve Jobs
As a Social Entrepreneur, I’ve had what I thought were a number of good ideas. I've learned how to edit most of those. This thought, I pursued. Its time has come to do something about the addictions and suicides amongst our targeted professionals.
I’ve also had a few life altering events. I paid attention to them. Maybe you have too. Do you listen to your intuition? I do, and I’m getting better at it every day.
On September 12, 2010, a colleague of my husband and a friend to both of us, took his life by suicide. The impact had a greater effect on his family, especially his children. Yet, our lives, our children’s, and the entire community in Pueblo, Colorado felt the ripple effect.
You see, Steve was a dentist, so is my husband. I and our children were well aware of the statistics surrounding dentists and suicide. Our oldest daughter was away at college and dropped out for a semester as a result of Dr. Steve’s suicide decision. She grew up playing Barbies with his daughters in the basement of the Dental Clinic where her Dad and her friends’ Dad practiced dentistry. As our daughter grew up, she had interactions with Dr. Steve in the Pro Shop at the Golf Course she grew up on and then worked at during breaks from college.
Suicide and Dentistry always feels personal to me.
Another life altering event happened before Steve’s suicide. I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as a result of a virus. For years, I was the only known survivor of a hemorrhage as a result of that particular virus. Experiencing that traumatic of a health scare was enough to rock my world, then to find out the rarity, had even more profound impact. I had a strong sense, and my intuition led me to believe that there was something I was to do with my life, beyond raising my five children.
Then there was another event. I was having lunch with Jack Canfield (yes the Co-author of Chicken Soup for Your Soul, series). When he asked what I was working on, I replied, “I am working on programs to address the high suicide amongst dentists.” He grabbed my arm and said, “You have to do that, lives are at stake.”
I've come to realize that I think differently than others. We all have gifts and talents. I have no doubt that you have some excellent ones. One of my gifts is to see clearly problems and solutions. I believe I came into this world with this gift. I am grateful I have honed my gift with training by some of the top thought leaders in the world.
That response by Jack Canfield was the confirmation that I was doing the right thing. I believe that #yourlifematters applies to each one of us, even dentists.
As I pursued this work, I realized that each one of us, here in the United States of America, we benefit from the skills of well trained dentists, physicians, and most of us, also attorneys. These professionals impact you and each one of us. It's personal to you and me when we require their skills. That is the reason for Personal Impact Foundation.
Written by Deanna L. Robinson, Founder/CEO
Our Approach and Alarming Facts
Personal Impact Foundation (PIF) will reduce and then eliminate the excessive occurrences of suicide, depression and other mental health issues prominent within the Dental, Medical, and Legal professionals. We develop and deliver evidence-based personal growth skills programs directly to Universities and are an example in our community (Pueblo) of what living these skills looks like.
- To be the leader in providing evidence based training to reduce stress, substance abuse, and decrease suicide risk in the student population and past graduates of dental, medical, and law schools.
- To impact the dental, medical, and law school curricula by including personal development/growth skills as a mandated curricular offering.
- To be the primary source of personal development/growth research and training for dental, medical, and legal professional organizations.
- Professions with the top suicide rates include doctors (1st), dentists (2nd) and lawyers (4th)
- The suicide rate of the general population in the United States is 2% vs. 4% of all physician deaths
- Studies suggest dentists are more likely to suffer from mental disorders and not seek treatment which may contribute to their rate of suicide being 1.67 times the general population
- According to studies, a reported 40% of law students suffer from depression and practicing lawyers are nearly four times more likely to suffer from depression than the average American
- Develop pre-packaged evidence-based training programs aimed at reducing stress, substance abuse, and decrease suicide risk in the student population
- Deliver the programs to the Medical, Dental, and Law school students at all stages of matriculation for 3 development universities
- Identify statistically significant improvements in key metrics such as life satisfaction, authentic happiness, depression symptoms, grit or gratitude
- Improvements in these indicators have proven impacts on mental health while decreasing depression, drug abuse, and suicide rates
- Improvement in the mental and emotional stability of students entering 3 of the top 4 professions with the highest risk of depression and suicide
- Research-based results, success stories and program champions from the developmental universities
- An “out-of-the-box” program available to over 500 schools of medicine, dentistry, and law in the U.S.