DeQuincy Lezine, or “Quix” as he is often called, is one awesome human being.
There’s no other way to say it. When conducting research on suicide, his name pops up quite often, but it wasn’t until the past couple months that I’ve really learned about the great work he’s doing. Lucky for me, he agreed to be the mentor for my Emerging Scholars Fellowship project. Overall, I could list several reasons why you should know who he is, but I’ll be brief and stick with only 50. . . I’m kidding, I’ll only cover five.
(1) His book is the perfect mix of credible and personal.
DeQuincy’s book, Eight Stories Up, tells his personal story with suicide and also reviews the risk factors and treatment options for suicidal behavior. He has a talent for writing about research findings while simultaneously throwing in personal anecdotes. The result is that you feel as though you’re chatting with an old friend who cares deeply about your own experiences and well-being.
(2) He founded Prevention Communities
Prevention Communities is a resource for college and university studies. They translate research findings into everyday language so that more people can understand the information. DeQuincy is the president and CEO, and his goal is to help every student access the skills, and subsequently the hope, to cope with a mental health challenge. Their blog, 8 Stories Up, is an excellent resource for students.
(3) He brings a unique perspective to the table.
Because his personal experiences led him to suicide prevention, DeQuincy brings a perspective to his work that is quite rare. He has three different lenses through which to view suicide prevention: an attempt survivor, who became an advocate, who then became a researcher.
After his attempt during his freshman year in college, DeQuincy became heavily involved with Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA), and he is now the director of the Suicide Attempt Survivors and Lived Experience Division for the American Association of Suicidology. He also became a researcher, earning a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and completing a postdoctoral fellowship in suicide prevention research at the University of Rochester. He now wears 3 different hats that allow him to see a richer perspective about where the field needs to go.
(4) He has hobbies!
I always love seeing people who have made great strides professionally but still have time to engage in outside interests. DeQuincy has managed to balance the two. He originally attended college for computer science and visual arts. Even though he later switched his major to psychology, he still has a passion for computers and technology. He even built his current computer “from the ground up.” DeQuincy is also a loving father of two – Benjamin and Nina (who is in the picture below).
(5) He’s a self-described chocoholic.
Because who doesn’t love someone who loves chocolate and doesn’t care who knows it? I mean… come on.