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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Local View: #Sexism, #Suicide Both Alive and Well

Nancy Lanthier Carroll.

 

#Mentalhealth and rising #suicide rates have been in the news, but do we care? The ugliness spewing from Washington, D.C., washes over millions of us like a tsunami of anxiety and hopelessness.

There are so many reasons why people like me attempt #suicide. One is #sexism, which is alive and thriving in America. It sometimes amazes me we don’t have higher rates of female #suicides.

Who or what causes us women to feel second-rate, demeaned, or invisible?

 

All major religions have male godheads and male hierarchies of power, and several restrict women to minor roles. People who say they are Christian are known to sometimes write hate-filled letters to the editor condemning those of us who do not follow Christ. I am not a rib or a second thought; I am human and equal.

Fueled by presidential vitriol, many folks feel emboldened to proclaim the white race as supreme. (Yes, I am white; no, I am not supreme.) The majority of these white supremacists are men, filled with anger and hate. Who are their popular targets? Women: 76 percent of serial killers in the 20th century were from the U.S., as Michael Newton reported in his 2006 book, “The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers.” Also, the majority of serial killers have been white males from lower- to middle-class backgrounds, according to the FBI. Sex is a primary motive of serial killers, sources suggest. And our legal system lacks stable programs to protect abused women or to safeguard justice for those who have been abused, raped, or murdered.

There are folks more concerned about stopping medically safe abortions (which impacts women) and who also loudly support everyone having the right to buy guns (which mostly men do).

The #NationalRifleAssociation would like to blame people like me for massacres. The primary purpose of guns is to kill. They are popular for #suicide because anyone can buy one and they can produce quick death with little pain. Killers obviously are not mentally stable people, but quit blaming people who suffer from #mentalillness for mass shootings.

Many movies, books, TV shows, magazines, and social media continue to project females in second-to-men status; we are there to be sexy, to be raped, to be murdered, to be helpless.

There are four major U.S. sports, and only one has female representation: basketball. In my view, the majority of colleges practice discrimination against females: in faculty positions and salaries — and particularly in sports. These colleges tend to be dominated, it seems, by male regents, male presidents, male department heads, and well-to-do male alum.

Why did the Holocaust happen? Because no one stopped it. Respectable people saw others behaving brutally. It became normal, acceptable, and even applauded. For the health and welfare of all American women, we need to stop behaving brutally.

I suffer from major #depression and general #anxiety disorder. I am considered high risk for #suicide because I have lived through family #suicides; as many already know, when there has been one or more #suicides in a family, the risk potential rises quickly.

Nancy Lanthier Carroll is a writer and editor who lives in Duluth.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – ‘Boy Crisis’ Threatens America’s Future with Economic, #Health and #Suicide Risks

group of friends hanging out

I have discovered that there is, in fact, a boy crisis, that it is a global crisis, and that it is particularly egregious in the U.S.

 

In an astonishing disclosure about the two greatest dangers to the future of America’s economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell revealed on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last month the peril posed by “#youngmales”: #youngmales not looking for work; being addicted to drugs (think opioid crisis); and being unprepared for the transition to technology. Powell posits that this economic problem is also a national security problem. He implies that we ignore this crisis at our own peril. Yet his warning is ignored.

In my half-century of research on #boys and #men, I have discovered that there is, in fact, a boy crisis, that it is a global crisis, and that it is particularly egregious in America. The crisis is more than economic. It is multifaceted, with each facet magnifying the others.

It is a crisis of education. Worldwide, 60% of the students who achieve less than the baseline level of proficiency in any of the three core subjects of the Program for the International Assessment are boys. Even boys’ IQs are dropping.

It is a crisis of #mentalhealth. Boys’ suicide rate goes from only slightly more than girls before age 14 to three times that of girls’ between 15 and 19, to 4 1/2 times that of girls between 20 and 24. Mass shootersprisoners and Islamic State terrorism recruits are at least 90% male.

It is a crisis of physical health.  American men’s life expectancy has decreased two-tenths of a year even as American women’s has remained the same. #Boys and #men are dying earlier in 14 out of 15 of the leading causes of death.

It is a crisis of shame — of boys feeling that their masculinity is toxic; that the future is female; that dads are but bumbling fools or deadbeats.

It is a crisis of economic health. The economy is making a transition from muscle to mental — or from muscle to microchip, as with the 1.7 million truck drivers predicted to be largely replaced by self-driving trucks. With the United States neglecting vocational education, boys with no college education have a 20% chance of being unemployed — about five times the national average.

 

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

Boys are falling behind without dads

Boys are falling behind girls in the 63 largest developed nations. As developed nations developed solutions to surviving, they allowed more permission for divorce and for children to be raised with minimal or no father involvement. A great solution — less fear of starvation — created a new problem: dad-deprivation.

I discovered that the boy crisis resides where dads do not reside. For example, The American Psychological Association found that father absence predicts the profile of both the bully and the bullied’s poor social skills, and the bully’s poor grades and self-esteem. According to a study in the Journal of Marriage and Family, every 1% increase in fatherlessness in a neighborhood predicts a  3% increase in adolescent violence.

It starts early. Before six months of age, the less interaction a boy has with his dad, the lower his mental competence.

And dad-deprivation is a significant predictor of the increasing rate of male suicide, drug overdose, obesity and withdrawal into video game addiction. It even predicts by age 9 a shorter life expectancy as determined by shorter telomeres, protective end caps of chromosomes. Aggregately, this leads to my predicting that the biggest gap between boys who are successful and unsuccessful in the future will be the gap between those who are dad-enriched versus dad-deprived.

As Powell points out, America exacerbates this problem by falling behind every developed nation in preparing our sons for the changes in technology. In contrast, Japan has extensive vocational education programs, with 99.6% of their graduates receiving jobs after graduation. A boy who is not academically inclined may be bored by physics and chemistry until he learns that to be a highly paid welder, he needs them. Then he sees purpose, and his motivation changes.

The solution is involved fathers

There is a straightforward solution to dad-deprivation. It is dad-involvement. Conservatives have long supported dad-involvement; and both feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem have said that mothers would not be equal at work until dads were equal in the home.

Plus, it addresses numerous problems: First, dad-deprived girls experience most of the problems faced by boys, albeit less intensely. Second, an involved dad predicts a son much more likely to be employed, so aspiring moms don’t have to search for a dad in unemployment lines. Third, with fewer boys defining their purpose as future warriors by being disposable in war, and fewer defining masculinity as being a sole breadwinner, millions of young men are experiencing a “purpose void.” Inspiring young men to become “Father Warriors” can fill that purpose void. But this also involves inspiring women to value father warriors.

Solutions to the boy crisis must be addressed simultaneously in the family, in schools and by policymakers. To name a few: Parents need communication training to prevent the divorces that breed the boy crisis. Schools need male teachers, vocational education and recess. Presidential candidates need to identify the boy crisis as a signature issue. And President Trump, with an executive order, can create a White House Council on Boys and Men to make the boy crisis a national priority, so millions of parents and sons do not feel isolated and ashamed — but supported to address a solution toward stronger families, more boy-friendly schools, and a more economically and psychologically secure America.

Warren Farrell, co-author of “The Boy Crisis,” is chairman of the Coalition to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. Follow him on Twitter:  @drwarrenfarrell

 

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #Suicidal Thoughts and Other #Mental-Health Problems Drive More Youth to Emergency Rooms

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

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Suicidal thoughts and other mental-health problems drive more youth to emergency rooms

 

The number of children and young adults visiting the emergency department for psychiatric concerns rose 28 percent over a four-year period, and visits having to do with #suicide more than doubled, according to a study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.

 

The findings amplify concerns that the #mental-health care system is failing to meet the country’s needs, forcing people to rely on emergency rooms ill-equipped to deal with psychiatric concerns.

 

“If it’s a true crisis, the emergency department is really one of the only places we have,” said Luther Kalb, a coauthor of the study and assistant professor at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. “But it’s not the best place to get routine care.”

 

Researchers examined national data on emergency department (ED) visits between 2011 and 2015.

 

They found the growth in visits was largely driven by adolescents and youth of color, but they’re not sure why. It could reflect a greater prevalence of #mentalillness, or it could be the result of greater awareness leading people to seek help, Kalb said.

 

Researchers also found only 16 percent of patients in the ED for psychiatric concerns saw a #mental-health specialist. When the visits were for suicide or self-harm specifically, that number went up to just 37 percent.

 

“Even in a crisis, you’re not going to get the most qualified care there,” Kalb said.

Many EDs don’t have a psychologist or psychiatrist on staff, and there’s an overall shortage of #mental-health providers in the country.

But as rates of suicide increase across the nation, and about one in 10 youth struggle with a serious psychiatric disorder, experts are increasingly turning to the ED as an opportunity to identify people at risk and get them help before they get worse.

 

A recent federally funded study found nearly a third of children ages 10 to 12 who were asked about #suicidal thoughts in the emergency room were identified as at-risk — including 7 percent of those who had gone to the ED for physical complaints only.

 

The study authors said their results show how important it is to screen kids as young as 10 for #suicide risk.

 

But in many EDs, this type of screening doesn’t happen, meaning youth with psychiatric concerns can go home without #mental-health care.

It also means the increase in psychiatric visits seen in recent years is an undercount. “When you actively screen for #mental-health problems in the ED, you’re going to get a much higher number,” Kalb said.

A safety net, not an answer

By the time individuals visit the ED for #mental-health concerns, they’re often in crisis, Kalb said.

 

People who don’t have insurance or cannot access #mental-health professionals turn to the ED as a safety net when situations get particularly bad. The ED is obligated to treat all patients regardless of time of day, insurance status, or financial means.

According to the study, 5 to 7 percent of all pediatric ED visits in the United States are related to #mentalhealth or substance abuse.

 

“It’s become the de facto provider for #mental-health crises,” Kalb said. “But it didn’t necessarily ask to take on that role.”

 

Kalb and his colleagues found more than half of all ED visits for #mentalhealth were longer than three hours. As the number of inpatient psychiatric beds has decreased in the last few decades, patients can wait days or even weeks to be admitted.

 

“They’re not safe to go home, so they’re stuck in this middle ground in the ED,” Kalb said.

Doctors and Suicide

Improving #mental-health care in the ED

Ideally, Kalb said, there should be emergency facilities for #mental-health care where patients can see a #mental-health professional 24/7, and get fast-tracked to inpatient treatment if needed.

 

Some behavioral crisis centers provide this type of service, but they’re rare. The cost and complexity of starting such centers are barriers, Kalb said.

 

Simpler ways to improve care include training more ED doctors in #mental-health response, from how to screen to what to do if someone is identified as high risk.

 

Researchers at the #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth have developed guidance on how to screen youth for #suicide in medical settings. Previous studies have shown universal #suicide-risk screening in the ED can lead to a nearly twofold increase in #suicide-risk detection.

Another promising effort is the use of telemedicine to have #mental-health specialists consult on emergency cases even if they cannot be with the patient in the ED.

 

“Now that we’re seeing #mentalhealth is a major, if not growing, issue in our society, we need to rethink the way we deal with crises,” Kalb said.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth -‘Am I #Depressed?’: How Teens Can Find #MentalHealth Help Online

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

Teens don’t need to read the headlines to know that they and too many of their peers are feeling lonely, sad, #anxious, and #suicidal. Recent headlines, however, confirm what’s happening in their lives.

This week, a Pediatrics study documented a 28 percent increase in psychiatric visits to the emergency room for American youth. The research, which looked at survey data collected between 2011 and 2015, found even higher rates of increased visits for adolescents and #AfricanAmerican and Hispanic youth. The rate of #suicide-related visits more than doubled.

“This study unmistakably reveals that adolescents are a population with urgent #mentalhealth needs,” the study’s authors wrote.

Meanwhile, new research also published this week used survey data to reveal a “steady rise” in youth rates of mood disorders and #suicidalthoughts and behaviors between 2005 and 2017.

Yet many young people grappling with psychological distress or #mentalillness are hesitant to tell someone who could help them. Instead, they may look for answers online, where Google searches can lead them to both information about effective treatment and therapy and to misleading or bad advice. 

 

Teens looking for hope amidst a sea of online resources can arm themselves with the following tips:

1. Take a reputable #mentalhealth screening. 

There are countless online quizzes designed to tell a user whether they’re experiencing a #mentalhealth condition. These tools can help verify that something is wrong, but only some of them are based on science. You’ll want to look for scientifically validated screening tools, which you can often find through #mentalhealth organizations or government websites.

“Sometimes taking the screening is the first step before having a conversation with someone.”

#MentalHealth America, a nonprofit organization, offers 9 screening tools that focus on mental illnesses like #depression, #anxiety, and disordered eating. One screening is specifically for youth 17 and younger, and many users arrive at the site by Googling phrases like “Am I #depressed?” and “#depression test.” Once they’ve received the results, users can print or email them to share with others.

“Sometimes taking the screening is the first step before having a conversation with someone,” says Theresa Nguyen, #MentalHealth America’s vice president of policy and programs. “People think, ‘Now I have something tangible that I can give to my parents or someone I trust.'”

2. Educate yourself with accurate information. 

If you’ve taken a screening indicating you should seek help, or received a diagnosis from a pediatrician or mental health professional, Nguyen recommends telling a trusted adult as well as learning more about your symptoms or condition. While it can be helpful to hear from friends or seek insight from social media, it’s important to remember that everyone’s #mentalhealth experiences are different. (MHA offers a tip sheet for vetting online mental health resources.)

To get basic information about symptoms or illnesses, you can check out evidence-based resources provided by government agencies like the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as nonprofit organizations like Crisis Text Line and the National Alliance on Mental IllnessEffective Child Therapy, a website created by the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, also offers helpful definitions and descriptions.

MHA maintains a comprehensive roundup of answers to numerous questions about depressionanxietybipolar disorderpsychosis, and self-harm. They tackle questions such as, “Am I just sad or depressed?,” “Will I always have anxiety?,” and, “Can an app help my mental health problems?

“The most powerful thing we can give young people first is education, so they have more of a sense of what they’re going through,” says Nguyen.

That education, she adds, can help them push back when a parent, adult, or #healthcareprovider minimize a child’s concerns about their #mentalhealth.

“It’s really empowering for young people to feel strong,” she says.

Teen Photos

3. Find treatment and recovery resources. 

There are science-backed treatment options for #mentalhealth conditions, but finding such information online can be difficult unless you know where to look.

Effective Child Therapy provides a thorough list of various evidence-based therapies in addition to explanations of which treatments work best specifically for illnesses like anxiety, depressionbipolar disorderschizophreniadisordered eating, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The site also offers a collection of search tools for finding a therapist as well as advice on how to choose a provider.

Getting the right help early on can be critical to recovery, says Amanda Jensen-Doss, director of the child and family division in the department of psychology at the University of Miami and a member of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

She encourages young people and their parents to ask psychologists and psychiatrists more about the treatments they offer, how patient progress is tracked, and why a certain approach is the right one to use. That information can help young patients make informed decisions about their care versus trying to handle the situation on their own.

“So often the problems linger for a long time before they come to someone’s attention.”

“So often the problems linger for a long time before they come to someone’s attention,” says Jensen-Doss. “Kids are suffering until the point where they need to be in the ER.”

If you’re searching online for information about suicide or hospitalization, Jensen-Doss says it’s time to contact a hotline that handles emotional crises, like the Crisis Text Line, the Trevor Project, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

MHA’s research does suggest that the majority of young people who use their resources don’t want to see a therapist. That’s why Nguyen often recommends the organization’s resources, including “DIY tools” comprising worksheets, fact sheets, and activities that help explain, address, and manage your symptoms.

Whether you decide to seek help for your #mentalhealth or not, it’s key to know that the right online research and resources can put you on a path toward healing and recovery.

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Here is a list of international resources.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #MentalHealth Crisis: #Depression, #Suicide Rates Among American Youth Skyrocketing

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

American youth are facing a #mentalhealthcrisis of tremendous proportions, new data shows, as rates of #suicide and #depression have skyrocketed in the past decade.

In an March 14 essay on The Conversation, San Diego State University professor of psychology professor Jean Twenge explained that new analysis of government research, specifically the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reveal a “staggering” epidemic of #mentalhealthproblems.

Among the most notable statistics documented are that the suicide rate among 18- to 19-year-olds has increased 56 percent in the years 2008 to 2017. In that same span of time, anxiety and hopelessness among 18- to 25-year-olds has risen 71 percent. #Depression among 20- and 21-year-olds has more than doubled from 2009 to 2017. Among 16- and 17-year-olds #depression grew 69 percent.

The #mentalhealthissues were particularly dire for young women and girls. By 2017, the data reveals that approximately 20 percent of 12- to 17-year-old girls had experienced “major #depression” in the previous year.

The survey data was obtained from over 600,000 American respondents.

“The large increases in #mentalhealthissues in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health appeared almost exclusively among teens and young adults, with less change among Americans ages 26 and over,” Twenge noted.

“Even after statistically controlling for the influences of age and year, we found that #depression, #distress and #suicidal thoughts were much higher among those born in the mid- to late-1990s, the generation I call iGen,” she said, referring to younger generations of youth who are tethered to their iphones and digital devices.

Twenge is the author of iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.

Some may attribute the rise in #mentalhealthissues among young people to recent economic turbulence and the loss of jobs, which are often causes of #mentalanguish, but the psychology professor believes that is not the case since U.S. economy was growing during the same years #mentalhealthproblems were also rising dramatically. Nor does she think academic pressures are to blame since teens today spend less time on homework on average than teens during the 1990s.

“But there was one societal shift over the past decade that influenced the lives of today’s teens and young adults more than any other generation: the spread of smartphones and digital media like social media, texting and gaming,” Twenge said, offering her diagnosis.

 

This has disproportionately affected their lives because the technology has shaped their social behaviors and ordered their everyday activities in a way unknown to previous generations who may use it, she explained

“No matter the cause, the rise in #mentalhealthissues among teens and young adults deserves attention, not a dismissal as a ‘myth.’ With more young people suffering – including more attempting #suicide and more taking their own lives – the #mentalhealth crisis among American young people can no longer be ignored.”

As The Christian Post has previously reported, she is not alone in her belief that smartphones are fueling a #mentalhealth crisis among the young and are urging parents to reconsider how much access they give their kids to smartphones.

Brook Shannon’s campaign, Wait Until 8th, urges parents to delay giving their children a smartphone at least until the eighth grade. A mom of three, she has already talked about tough topics like suicide, sex trafficking, and porn, and what to do in situations when these horrors emerge from pixilated screens.

“When you take out all that awkwardness and you dive right in, and you talk to your kids about that, they’re going to consider you an authority on that, and they’re going to come to you when they have a question,” she said at a January panel at the American Enterprise Institute on the harms of digital culture.

Her site notes that smartphones impair sleep, interfere with relationships, increase risk for #anxiety and #depression, puts children at risk for cyberbullying, and that tech executives ban them for their own children.

Danny Huerta, a licensed clinical social worker and vice president of parenting and youth at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado, told CP in a 2017 interview that so many young people are “seeking authenticity and our brain does not register online things as authentic, and there are a lot of comparisons that take place” within the human psyche.

Such constant #mental comparisons “create a sense of #depression, #anxiety, and #stress,” he said.

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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Leaders in #MentalHealth Field Teaming up to Fight #Suicide Trend Among #AfricanAmericanMen

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

Leaders in mental health field teaming up to fight suicide trend among African American men

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Everyone has their challenges. Life has a way of throwing obstacles in the way and it’s our job to cope. It’s how African American men are coping that’s causing a big concern nationwide.

 

“I get it. I know when a person gets into that zone, it’s a challenge,” said Tonja Myles with Love Alive Church.

Community leaders team up to battler suicide trend in African American man

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark said in a press conference in March that in 2018, 14 African American men took their own lives. That’s a huge jump from previous years.

 

“I was very alarmed,” Myles said. “I’m like, we need to do something.”

 

Now that community leaders have the facts, Myles and Clark say it’s time to find solutions.

 

“#Blackmales are struggling. They’re having some legit challenges and we need to deal with them,” Myles said.

In addition to Myles being an advocate for #suicideprevention through Capital Area Human Services (CAHS), she knows firsthand what it means to fight for hope. She’s a two-time #suicide attempt survivor. She says three of those men last year were dealing with a #mentalillness and whether the other men had been diagnosed or not, help in the form of counseling can put a stop to self-medicating.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 

Someone contemplating suicide might exhibit changes in behavior, start using drugs, or isolate themselves from family and friends, experts say. Myles says it can be challenging for someone dealing with stress to reach out for help and acknowledge there is an issue.

“Life happens to all of us,” she said.

 

While there isn’t a particular age group dealing with this issue or a specific cause, Myles says training loved ones to respond to people talking about #suicide can go a long way.

 

“A lot of times, people think, I can’t ask them if they’re thinking about harming yourself. It’s okay to ask them,” Myles said. “Even if someone says, ‘Yeah, I’m actively thinking about doing it’ and how it’s okay to pick up the phone and call 911 to get them the help that they need.”

 

Next up is creating a web of resources for people going through a rough patch and once someone realizes they’re not alone, hope is on the horizon.

 

“It’s okay for a man to be depressed. It’s okay for a man to have issues with #anxiety, but there is help and there is hope,” Myles said. “Look up a therapist. It’s okay to have a therapist.”

On Monday, Mar. 25 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the public is invited to attend an event with leaders in the #mentalhealth field.

 

My Brother, You Matter is expected to “shine a light of hope in the alarming rise of #suicide numbers in African American males.”

 

Several speakers, including Dr. Clark and Myles, Raymond Jetson with Urban Congress on #AfricanAmericanMales, Dr. Frank Campbell, a suicidologist, will be at the event.

 

Leaders in mental health field teaming up to fight suicide trend among African American men

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#JamesDonaldsononCBDOilandBenefits – Should You, Your Mom, and Your Dog Be Using #CBD?

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the bodys endocanabanoid system

They’re everywhere—in your supermarket, at the chain pharmacy, even in your local pet shop. The latest over-the-counter health fad for cannabidiol, or #CBD (the main ingredient of cannabis that won’t make you high), has spawned a seemingly infinite stream of new products and dubious health claims.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding CBD products, from them being able to help with anxiety and send you to sleep sooner, to cutting down the risk of dementia or treating cancer. But what does the science say about CBD’s health benefits? And just how excited should you be about buying yourself a CBD burger or your dog some CBD treats?

For starters, it’s worth clarifying the confusing legal landscape in the U.S. in which CBD and cannabis exist.

The federal government, via the Drug Enforcement Agency, has historically classified the cannabis plant and all ingredients processed from it, including CBD, as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it’s considered to have no accepted legal or medical use. But exceptions have been made at the state level for both the medical and recreational use of cannabis. Last June, the Food and Drug Administration also approved a drug derived from CBD, Epidiolex, for the treatment of certain types of seizure. And this past December, the government passed a provision in its farm bill that legalized the selling and growing of local hemp, a variety of cannabis grown with less than 0.3 percent of THC, the other major component of cannabis that’s responsible for its characteristic high.

Despite the legalization of hemp, the status of CBD as a consumer product remains murky. The FDA issued a notice soon after the farm bill was passed clarifying that it still had the authority to regulate any products with CBD, regardless of their source. The agency also warned that it doesn’t sanction the selling of CBD as a supplement, nor would it stand idly by if companies marketed their over-the-counter products with any specific health claims. The FDA has since sent warning letters to online retailers that are advertising these products to have specific health benefits.

One particularly egregious claim pointed out by the FDA, for instance, is that CBD can help manage type 2 diabetes. But while studies in mice have suggested a possible benefit, the only human study apparently ever done showed that CBD doesn’t do anything to manage the key aspect of the metabolic condition—poorly controlled levels of blood sugar—in actual patients.

That example highlights the most glaring flaw of CBD research to date. There’s just not much we know about its effects, thanks largely to the regulatory morass surrounding cannabis and its byproducts that has slowed down research. What little we do know often comes from studying animals.

“Based on the animal literature, or what we call preclinical research, it seems that CBD can have a wide range of therapeutic effects, ranging from decreased inflammation to helping with anxiety, pain, or substance use disorders,” Ziva Cooper, research director of the Cannabis Research Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Gizmodo. “The real issue is that we don’t have very much science translating what we see in animals and laboratories to humans.”

That doesn’t mean CBD won’t turn out to be even more useful medically than it’s already proven to be for some people with seizures. Nor should we discount the experiences of people who say their chronic pain or anxiety has been relieved with weed or products like CBD oil or creams. It just means we’re on the fringes of understanding CBD’s health effects. And it’s inevitable that some of the rosiest, farthest-reaching claims about it will evaporate under closer scrutiny.

“What we do know is that certain high doses of CBD—300 to 1,000 milligrams—have been shown to be helpful for certain indications, including schizophrenia and severe epilepsy disorders. And there’s a hint that it could help with anxiety as well,” said Cooper, referencing severalstudies and the Epidiolex approval. Cooper and others are also pursuing research in people that’s testing whether different strains of cannabis (including those that mostly contain CBD) can reduce pain better than others, as well as lower the dosage of opioids needed to manage that pain.

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“When I tell the public that I’m studying CBD for pain, or as a substitute for opioids, most people will say ‘Don’t we already know that? Don’t we already have that data out there and available?’” said Cooper. “But the truth is, we don’t. The majority of studies that have looked at CBD for pain have also included THC. We know very little, if anything, about CBD’s effects on pain when given by itself, in people.”

Despite this potential, there’s another big problem when it comes to the trendy CBD-based products you’re likely to see in your checkout aisle, according to Cooper. Even if a certain dosage of CBD could help with your anxiety or insomnia, you’re almost certainly never getting that much from these products.

“CBD-infused foods or the solutions you might pick up at dispensaries across the country will probably not contain those therapeutic, 300 to 1,000 milligram doses. They’ll probably be a lot lower, like 10, maybe 15 milligrams, and very far from what is likely an effective dose,” she said.

Were these products chock full of CBD, though, the different ways they’re introduced into the body, like whether they’re eaten or applied to the skin, could still have a dramatic influence on how we actually respond to them. Topical antibiotics, for example, have to be specially formulated to break through the hardy layers of our skin to get to an infection, while nasal sprays can deliver a drug’s effects quicker than holding a tablet under the tongue. And scientists aren’t sure as to how these differences would manifest with CBD.

“We have no knowledge on how CBD will work using all of these products—the lotions, creams, edibles, suppositories,” Cooper said.

Products marketed with CBD have a labeling problem too. A study in 2017, for instance, found that only 30 percent of such products bought online accurately labeled how much CBD they had. Many mislabeled products had more CBD than advertised, which isn’t a big problem, since there’s likely no dosage that can gravely harm you. But about a quarter had too little CBD, which essentially means you’d be taking a placebo.

Under-labeling isn’t the only risk with CBD products. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 50 people in Utah were poisoned by fake CBD products that actually contained synthetic cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are used to mimic the psychoactive effects of THC in the body, not CBD, but are more potent and capable of causing serious health problems, including hallucinations and psychotic episodes.

With that said, contaminated CBD products are probably rare. And the legalization of hemp will likely streamline and improve the safety of the CBD market overall, as well as speed along research efforts. The FDA has also said it’s beginning to develop a regulatory pathway that will allow the study and marketing of CBD in food or consumer products without any legal hassles. And states such as Utah are creating their own regulatory system for legally selling and accurately labeling CBD products. Given that, the CBD hype train will surely chug forward, with some financial experts estimating that it’ll become a billion-dollar industry by 2020.

It’ll take some time for the science of CBD to catch up with this hype, though. Cooper’s hypothesis that CBD-heavy cannabis could reduce the need for potentially addictive opioids might very well be proven soon, but people are undoubtedly already using CBD or cannabis for that exact purpose right now. And while the FDA might disparage that sort of hastiness, it’s tough to blankly tell chronic pain patients with few options to suck it up and wait for a laminated seal of approval.

You’re likely not putting yourself and your loved ones in mortal danger by buying that CBD-loaded cookie or hemp pet supplement, so long as you’re not using them to completely replace standard medical treatments or wholly disregarding the advice of your doctors. But if you’re an average person looking to keep your wallet safe from hucksters selling useless, novelty CBD products, you should probably wait to see how the science turns out.

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