I had one goal when I founded the CIJI Kristine Foundation, Inc.in 2013.I wanted to improve the current approach practiced by most mental health and drug rehabilitation systems across the world. I explored the data and rehabilitation success rates within the field and the conclusion was staggering, there is over a 90% relapse rate for any program across the globe for first time patients in a 6 week to 3-month program.

Most rehabilitation programs combine Mental Health, Suicide Ideation, and Addiction into a one-stop formula that tries to cure any diagnoses: Mental Health, Addiction and Suicide Ideation all receive the same or near similar program. Even in a dual diagnoses case, each area can be dissected and a then a full-frontal assault can be constructed with the right program to singularly attack each area one step at a time. My question became, “Is this the best we can do and does the success rate support this approach?” The answer was categorical “No”. What was even more shocking was the fact that in 2023, we had more suicides and overdoses than at any other time in history. Additionally, those loved ones dying are younger than ever. Now that I saw the problem, the more important question became, “What is the solution?” My passion to improve the system stems from the pain of losing my sister to suicide in 2010. She battled bipolar and chronic depression since she was 13. I then lost my dad to an opioid overdose in 2017.

These experiences are why I have dedicated my life to producing and designing the most personalized, up-to-date, and diverse recovery programs for each client that I work with. My primary objective is to produce and deliver lifelong positive behavior changes and teach everyone that I work with how to live a healthy and prosperous life. This is especially true with individuals who feel they are “different” than most people in our society. I use a combination of academic training from UC Berkeley and my MA degree to motivate and inspire my clients to improve their lives. My Recovery Specialist training taught me to guide, support, mentor, and advocate for future goals that we design and create together while we collaborate. As a married man and a father, I know first-hand the challenges that parents face.

Many of those who struggle are waiting for an extraordinary pharmaceutical breakthrough.  A drug or pill or singular program that will solve all PTSD, trauma, anxiety, drug use and suicide ideation all at once. Paradoxical to this view, I have seen the power that stems from within oneself and not from the outside. Positive communication and natural remedies have huge breakthroughs for those in pain. In the same way, a negative thought can produce suicide ideation, positive thinking can change someone’s attitude which directly connects to positive behavior changes and one’s self-worth. There are no shortcuts. Hard work, persistent action, and "failing with enthusiasm" are the keys to living a successful life. “Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying” is the starting point for my life’s work.


2011 B.A. Media Studies,
University of California Berkeley

2017 M.A. Communication Studies,
California State University Northridge

Emergency Medical Technician (2013),

Certified Recovery Specialist (2021),

Dustin Pollack
Suicide & Mental Health Specialist

[email protected]


Dustin & CIJI Kristine


CIJI's Annual Memorial For Her Suicide, 2011

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