I have had personal experience with mental health issues both with myself and my children. My expertise is in sharing my lived experience with individuals who need or want a positive view on the possibility of recovery with mental health and substance abuse. I too have a passion for working on my mental health issues and learning everyday from set backs I have had. It makes my recovery a priceless endeavor.
I am Miss Capital City! As part of my year of service, I am promoting my platform: Saving Lives: Preventing Suicide in our Youth and Young Adults. I have always been interested in suicide and mental health, but wanted to learn more about how to help so I dug right in.
Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student who knows how difficult it can be to sift through the mountains of health-related information on the web. She created Public Health Library to help people find reputable information on health topics.
Shannon Decker, executive director and co-founder of The Speedy Foundation, understands how MLA and APA style is intended to work, but she truly doesn't care. Shannon's blogs are mainly resources lifted from other groups. She tries to give credit where credit is due and states that none of this information should be attributed to her. She disseminates information from various organizations.
Suicide is a complex social issue which needs a whole-of-community approach. Learn more about PHN’s approach. This community-led approach is integral to building the capacity of people to greater support those facing a suicide crisis and helping people in the local community to be informed and better connected. This is an opportunity to have a significant and sustainable impact on suicide in the region. Anyone in the community can get involved and there are many ways to contribute such as undertaking online suicide prevention training and learning about what services and supports are available in the community.
Fiction: The fictional storyline revolves around a young cross-country skier, Penelope (played by Alexi), and a volunteer in the Olympic Village, Ezra (played by Nick), who cross paths and form an unlikely relationship. Penelope and Ezra each have transformative experiences at the Games, returning home with a new outlook on life enriched by the Olympic values they have experienced.
Reality: Alexi’s unique perspective as a current Olympic athlete results in films that portray the Olympic experience from the athlete’s point of view, in a way that has never been seen before. Athletes in competition like American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (the confidant), American cross-country skier Anne Hart (the stunt double) and American freestyle skier Morgan Schild (the team-mate) star in small acting roles and offer stellar performances! A first!
Sally Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker and an impact entrepreneur. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her younger brother, a Denver entrepreneur, died of suicide after a difficult battle with bipolar condition. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Spencer-Thomas has helped start up multiple large-scale, gap filling efforts in mental health, including the award-winning campaign Man Therapy and the nation’s first initiative for suicide prevention in the workplace.
She will be keynoting Lewiston’s “Taking Action, Saving Lives: Aspiring to a Zero Suicide Mindset” conference on April 15, 2019.
“It's important that particularly young people, but actually everybody knows that everyone breaks. That it’s sort of part of life. That what you have to do at that point is acknowledge it and get help, if you’re lucky enough to be able to get that help. There is no shame in admitting that you can’t cope…ultimately there’s nothing to feel ashamed about. I think particularly with men there is a big feeling that you shouldn’t have these emotions and that you should be able to cope and you should be able to man up…men do have to acknowledge their emotions and they do have to talk about and it’s okay to cry, because you’re a human being.” - Kira Knightley
Nearly all those surveyed (88 per cent) said that mental health is a priority concern for them, but one in three felt they lacked reliable access to mental health resources.
The study found that 15 per cent of people said they discuss their mental health “often”, while almost half (49 per cent) admitted to “rarely” or “never” discussing the topic, and more than half (55 per cent) said they were stressed.
Shannon Decker is the Executive Director of the Speedy Foundation and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition. The Speedy Foundation was started in 2011 in memory of Shannon’s cousin, Olympic Freestyle skier and three time Olympian, Jeret Peterson. Jeret died a year after the Vancouver Olympics in which he had taken home a silver medal for USA. His death compelled Shannon and her family to help others affected by suicide. At Jeret’s memorial, Mayor Bieter approached the family and told them that Idaho was the only state in the USA that didn’t have a suicide prevention hotline. The family felt that the Speedy Foundation could help that cause by providing help with funding as well as using Jeret’s legacy to gain traction—something that Shannon feels he would have wanted. Since 2011, the hotline has evolved and Shannon says that they’ve added several different aspects. Besides campaigning in the legislature for important funding, Shannon says that education has been a primary focus for the foundation. The Speedy Foundation believes that education for the general public is a tremendously important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked.
The number of deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide in 2017 hit the highest level since federal data collection started in 1999, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by two public health nonprofits.
The national rate for deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide rose from 43.9 to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017, a 6 percent increase, the Trust for America's Health and the Well Being Trust reported Tuesday. That was a slower increase than in the previous two years, but it was greater than the 4 percent average annual increase since 1999.
Deaths from suicides rose from 13.9 to 14.5 deaths per 100,000, a 4 percent increase. That was double the average annual pace over the previous decade.
What does a #TraumaInformed school look like? How do #ACEs impact the world of education? Nebraska opens their school doors and shares a glimpse. Please watch this powerful 30 minute film, "The Mind Inside: Episode One."
“Everywhere we went for two years, schools were talking about the importance of mental health – from the need to the access of services, to the growing urgency of the issue,” Sally Nellson, director and executive producer shares. “We listened and started to explore.”
The Mind Inside, an I Love Public Schools docuseries, explores the landscape of mental health issues in Nebraska schools.
A spike in suicides in Washington County schools has parents looking for answers. According to the school district, they've seen five suicides this school year across all Washington County schools. (Photo: KUTV)
HB373 — which has the single largest ongoing funding request for any education measure this session — would spread the money among all public K-12 schools in the state to fund more licensed counselors and nurses, with several districts pointing to a critical shortage. Rep. Steve Eliason, the measure’s sponsor, said it’s specifically intended for schools that have a high number of students who have experienced trauma.
“I believe this is a very important step to help our students who are at risk,” added Eliason, R-Sandy.
The proposed $32 million, still pending final approval, would be given to the Utah Board of Education to run a mental health grant program. To get a share, schools would have to draft a plan based on their needs and prove that they could provide matching funds to improve their services.
After winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, Lady Gaga is shifting her focus towards mental health, seeking to highlight how many people are facing challenges in isolation without others knowing.
Gaga penned a letter to supporters of the Born This Way Foundation, sharing how she had suffered from mental health issues and what it meant for her to have someone to support her, and who could understand what she was going though:
“Talking about mental health is one of the bravest things a person can do. It’s brave to ask for help, to find a way to reach out through the pain and the fear and - all to often - the shame that you’ve been taught to feel. And it’s brave to see someone who’s hurting and to resist the urge to look away, to find the confidence and the words to be there for another human when need they need it the most.
As many of you know, Idaho is 4th in the nation for suicides per capita, and our legislative district is first in the state. Idaho has been spending more than a million dollars a year working at this problem. Last year I asked the Department of Health and Welfare for some figures, including the number of lives saved. Health and Welfare didn’t have the data. I believe in accountability in state government. I understand some of you will think the state should not be in the suicide prevention business. However, the program has too much support in the legislature to get rid of. We had to make it better. And accountable.
I required a plan to be written, using private money, that would describe a path to specifically saving lives. If we can’t demonstrate life saving efforts, why are we spending the money?
Five years ago, in 2014, port worker Remco Span’s sister committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. Some months later, Remco, now 44, began to experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He works in the Netherlands for a ferry company, in a ferry terminal where there are incoming and outcoming trains for discharging containers to go to the UK, and one day, while working on the rail service, he collapsed.
“I just, in my mind, saw what must have happened,” he reflects.
From that moment, every time Remco had to work on the rail service, he had a negative experience, triggered by the environment in which he was working. Remco is a union representative, meaning he has a closer relationship with his HR manager than other employees, and at one point, she asked Remco how he was doing following the death of his sister. Remco told her about the problems he had been experiencing, and she told him to speak to the company doctor about what he had been going through. In the Netherlands, all businesses have their own doctor.
Hannah Lucas was inspired to create an app-based “panic button” in the moment she needed one the most: after a suicide attempt during a difficult battle with depression in her freshman year of high school in Atlanta. Within a year, she and her brother Charlie had created the app notOK, which allows users to instantly alert five trusted contacts at the onset of a mental health crisis. Now, one year after notOK’s launch, she’s hoping to bring what she’s learned about mental health to the Georgia legislature.
“We came up with the idea for the legislation because unfortunately at my school there was this girl around my age who did end up dying by suicide two weeks before Christmas,” Hannah, an energetic, outspoken 17-year-old junior in high school, tells Inverse. With the help of their mother Robin Lucas, Hannah and 14-year-old Charlie are hoping to make mental health first aid certification a necessary part of teaching certification across the state.
BOISE — A full dozen Idaho House members spoke out in favor of covering first responders’ post-traumatic stress under workers’ compensation on Thursday, as the House passed the bill 59-10 and sent it to the governor’s desk.
As lawmakers debated, the House’s public gallery was filled with Idaho firefighters, watching closely and silently.
Under current law, there’s no coverage unless a first responder with post-traumatic stress also suffers an accompanying physical injury, like “a back injury or an ankle injury,” House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, the lead sponsor of SB 1028, told the House. “This bill seeks to fix that.”
We're never too young to look out for one another and lend support. While primary school-aged children can't be expected to fix someone’s problems, they can be encouraged to listen to what their friend is saying, show they care and tell a teacher, school counsellor or trusted adult if they are worried about their friend. That's why we've released a new animation where our friendly character ALEC shows children how to be a good friend and ask "Are you OK."
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO), in partnership with Springfield Public Schools, is participating in the country’s first teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) pilot program. CPO was selected as one of eight sites across the country by the National Council for Behavioral Health and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation who are piloting the course in high schools this spring, making it the first training of its kind developed for high school students in the U.S. The pilot will occur with students at Kickapoo High School this spring.
tMHFA is an in-person training designed for high school students to learn about mental illnesses and addictions, particularly how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers. Similar to CPR, students learn a 5-step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicide.
Noting rising suicide rates and mental health problems among the state’s youth, a bill in the California Senate would require all new teachers to have mental health first-aid training.
State Senators Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) introduced the bill earlier this month with the support of county health officials, mental health program providers and child health advocates. Senate bill 428 would require all new teachers, as well as those renewing their teaching credentials, to complete a course on youth mental health first-aid.
If approved, the requirement would go into effect in January 2020.
BOISE — Legislative budget writers on Wednesday approved a $200,000 increase in funding for state suicide prevention efforts next year, rather than the $1 million boost the state Department of Health & Welfare requested and Gov. Brad Little recommended.
Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, said it’s still a 20 percent increase in state funding for suicide prevention; it comes as hundreds of stakeholders have spent the past year working on a detailed action plan aimed at reducing Idaho’s high suicide rates.
“Just because you have a plan doesn’t make it successful,” Crabtree said. “Our hope is we can develop the relationships that are required to make a plan successful, then test the plan. I don’t think it’s a delay. It’s a way to build it solid first, and then put the fuel to the fire.”
The funding decision came just a day after suicide prevention advocates made presentations to lawmakers in both houses about their plan to reduce Idaho suicides by 20 percent by 2025.
BOISE, Idaho — Suicide prevention agencies, advocates, and families of Idahoans who have died by suicide came together at the Capitol Tuesday to see Governor Brad Little proclaim February 26 as "Suicide Prevention Day" in Idaho.
I introduced myself to various attendees at the gathering, and in the very moment I said, 'Hello my name is Madeline,' to Carmen Stanger-Barney, I immediately noticed a flicker of emotion in her eyes. She showed me her locket around her neck that she said contains her daughter's ashes.
"She played the electric guitar. She was an artist. She got good grades," said Stanger-Barnye, Public Policy Chairwoman, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
When Elizabeth Gong-Guy was named director of U.C.L.A.’s counseling and psychological services in 2005, the university was providing mental health services to less than 10 percent of its students. A decade later, when she moved into a different role, as executive director of U.C.L.A. campus and student resilience, more than 20 percent were under the university’s care.
If you and a friend get in an accident and your friend breaks their leg, you know to call 911 for help. But when people struggle with mental illness, outward signs of distress aren’t always recognizable, and many people don’t know how to help their friends and family members who are struggling with their mental health. But fortunately, you can learn how to help by getting mental health first aid certified. Much like getting first aid certified, or taking a five-hour for a driver’s license, you can take a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course to learn how to help people with a wide range of mental illnesses, including mood disorders like depression or anxiety, substance abuse, or even trauma.
“It’s important for people to have the knowledge to help people,” Elyse Fox, founder of Sad Girls Club, tells Bustle. “When there’s a mental illness involved it’s easy to ignore because people don’t know how to react ... we need more ways to help them.”
Though you won't become an expert psychologist in one day, you will learn about the risk factors and warning signs for mental illness and substance abuse, strategies for helping those in crises and non-crisis situations, and where to refer people for further treatment.
The Boise Police Department is proud to release the 2018 Report to Our Citizens. This report includes data from fiscal year 2018 and stories about some of our major initiatives and projects in 2018. You can download a copy by clicking on the photo below or pick up a copy at our police department 333 N. Mark Stall Place.
I’m going to rein it in here, but we had the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare give budget presentations this past week in JFAC. We are talking serious money here…about $4 billion. What has happened to us? This is money taken from hardworking Americans to help those less fortunate. I know we have a huge population increase since the good ol’ days, but my gosh this is a gigantic price tag. As many of you know, I have been trying to help our district with our serious suicide issue. But under the concept of trying to save lives AND be accountable for the money spent. This is a concept that is really difficult for department personnel to grasp.
BOISE — The Department of Health and Welfare’s request for another $1 million in suicide prevention funding prompted some skepticism from one north central Idaho lawmaker Monday.
Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, said he fully understands the significance of Idaho’s suicide problem and supports efforts to tackle the issue. Nevertheless, he wants the department to demonstrate it has an effective plan in place before the Legislature appropriates more money.
As the platform and service I choose to promote as Miss Capital City this year is Saving Lives: Preventing Suicide in our Youth and Young Adults. I have always been interested in suicide and mental health, but as a college student, wanted to learn more about what I can do to help others. I enrolled in a Mental Health First Aid training course to get my certification and learn how to help someone undergoing a mental health crisis. The course is a national program available in communities across the country, and teaches the same material everywhere. I want to explain what the process was like, who should take the course, and how you can become Mental Health First Aid certified.
How It Works
The course is a one day, eight hour event that covers topics such as depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders. While eight hours might seem like a large commitment, you really do need that much time to learn about these topics, go through the exercises, and walk away prepared. There are snacks, group activities, and simulations that make it fun!
I promise this is the last time (for a while) I will talk about suicide prevention! But, this is becoming a bigger deal to our district and our state every day. Just a couple of weeks ago, two young people in Moscow took their lives. This week, I met with administrators of health and welfare, representatives of the Governor’s Suicide Council and representatives of two private foundations working on suicide prevention in Idaho. What I know for sure:
There is no coordinated effort for suicide prevention in Idaho.
Most can’t even agree on who is in charge. When an effort has no agreement on leadership, I have found participants often work hard, but often duplicate effort. Results are obscure.
There is no agreement on measurable outcomes for suicide prevention activities in Idaho.