Cheryl Puntil is the Chief Nursing Officer at the Austen Riggs Center. She has more than 30 years of psychiatric mental health (PMH) experience and has worked in specialty areas such as geriatric, medical, and adult psychiatric nursing. Her expertise lies in caring for: those who have diagnoses of depression, dementia, and delirium; those at risk for suicide; and those receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She was a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA for more than 20 years where she served on multiple hospital committees (and led performance improvement initiatives).
Cheryl has also been a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) since the mid-1980s, serving on the APNA California Chapter as treasurer, member-at-large, and president-elect. She served on a task force for the APNA Education Committee to develop registered nurse (RN) competencies for the assessment and management of individuals at risk for suicide in the in-patient setting, which resulted in publication and curriculum course development (Advocates of Hope). Cheryl is also a lead trainer in the APNA facilitator suicide prevention training. In addition, Cheryl was asked to partner with other experts to be a part of the APNA Transitions in Practice (ATP) Certificate program where she co-taught risk assessment and mental status exam. She has presented nationally on suicide prevention, ECT, counter-transference and transference (boundaries), and depression.
Most recently, Cheryl was an instructor at Hawaii Community College, where she was on the tenure track teaching ASN/LPN students. While working in Hawaii, she was an active member of the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force and served on the University of Hawaii's Suicide Prevention Committee. Cheryl has a passion for advocating for nursing professionalism in the healthcare arena.