A Suicide Prevention Solution Hiding in Plain Sight

If you were duck hunting, when do you load your guns… When you see the ducks? Of course not.

By the time Homecoming Veterans who need the help the most end up on the doorsteps of their families, for many, it’s already too late.

The solution: Help Veterans before they become Veterans. Help them better prepare for homecoming during the critical months prior to separation from military service and during the dangerous months after they arrive home.

The Decompression Dilemma

The entire military and VA heath systems are operating with a major disconnect for Veterans and their families. A “Catch 22” exists for Veterans who are suffering the most from PTSD and other Combat related mental health issues. It is a major contributing factor to not only Veteran suicide but it explains some of the underlying reason why Veterans and their families are spiraling out of control and falling between the cracks of our society. The “Catch 22”: Warriors are trained to accomplish their mission or to die trying. Adapt, improvise and overcome is the ethos that is galvanized into their being. This Spartan code has been trained into young men and women of every nation since before Homer wrote the Iliad. Remember the old saying? “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Full story of suicide prevention at the Huffington Post

Teen recalls bullying stirred thoughts of suicide

Michael Miller clearly remembers the day he was called a “fat faggot.” It was in 2006, the year he was in seventh grade, and Miller had already gotten a strong taste of bullying from day one of middle school.

When enough slurs, exclusions and taunts added up, Miller found himself at the brink of suicide — close enough to consider details that would save his family as much pain as possible, he said.

“Sixth and seventh grade were the worst. When I got to Central, I remember everyone was on edge a lot. Half the kids we didn’t know came from Ferndale (Elementary School), new groups were starting up, everyone was going through puberty.”

Those foul words didn’t come from a troubled peer, however. They came from a teacher’s lips, Miller said.

“People thought it was funny,” he said. “And that’s when we realized it was OK to do that to each other. As negative as he was, he was a role model. He made it seem OK to harass kids in front of each other. And talk about them when they were out of the room.”

That educator had plenty of company. Starting in fifth grade at Freewater Elementary School, Miller’s classmates started marching to peer pressure about how to dress, whom to talk to and what attitude to adopt, he recalled.

Full story of bullying and suicide at the Union Bullentin

Empty desks: Suicide’s touch infiltrates school

Suicide's Touch Infiltrates SchoolStephanie Livingston woke on Dec. 12 to seven text messages from friends asking if she knew what happened to Antonio Franco.

Her mind raced as confusion set in.

Then she got a text from the mother of a former classmate. In a few short words, Antonio was gone.

She didn’t believe it at first. Antonio was one of the smartest kids in class and nice to everyone "no matter what" — he was the last person she believed would kill himself.

"I didn’t know how, exactly. I didn’t know what to believe," the now 17-year-old said this winter, two months after his death.

That same day, rumors about the 16-year-old baseball player’s death started circulating through Fort Collins High School, borne by whispers in the hallways, posts on Facebook and text messages.

Full story of suicides affect on schools at The Sacramento Bee

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Online Media and Teen Suicide

Online Media and Teen SuicideIn the wake of 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina’s suicide late last month, devastated parents and startled communities are seeking answers for how to best protect children and teens from the pressures of cyberbullying and digital harassment. Molina, a repeated victim of aggression from peers at school, also may have dealt with recurrent bullying online. A video of Molina fighting another student worked its way onto YouTube before her death, and Molina made reference to cyberbullying events in a suicide note left behind before she hanged herself in her home in Queens Village.

According to a preliminary report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38,285 deaths were attributed to intentional self-harm in 2011, which represented the 10th leading cause of death for the year. During the same year, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey found that 16% of high school students experienced some form of digital bullying within the past year.

Clearly, the pressures children and teens face online are more considerable now than in years passed. Victims are often unable to separate themselves from bullies who are just a click away online. Hateful text messages and the spreading of inappropriate content on social media, cell phones and video websites also represent serious concerns for parents, law enforcement agencies and educators. In addition to intentional aggression, today’s young people are also more aware when they are left out of social events due to real-time updates on Facebook.

Full story of teen suicide at Huffington Post

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

PoV: Opening minds and doors to mental health

Opening Doors to Mental HealthMental wellness crucial in all walks of life

When you picture someone battling a mental illness, who do you see?

Do you envision an overburdened working mother? A businessman with a successful career? Or a firefighter who can’t shake the erase the images of a deadly blaze from his mind?

All of these people of course could be grappling with mental illness, but they’re likely not the first faces who come to mind.

If you live in Sarnia-Lambton, you’ll likely first picture a distraught teen — and for good reason.

Over the last few years, the community has banded together on the issue of teen mental health after a series of youth suicides.

Teen mental health advocates have stood up and shared their stories. Families of teens who took their lives have joined in community rallies.

Full story of mental health view at The Observer

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

TeachME: New CEU Courses

TeachME LOGONEW: Nutrition and Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults

$4.00 [1.00 CE Hours]
This short course provides tips and tools to help people ages 65 and over eat healthy foods and be physically active. Course information was taken from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Weight Control Information Network (WIN), and reminds older adults how positive lifestyle choices will help maintain physical and emotional health. Healthy body weight, nutrition guidelines, physical activity standards, and other factors that are pertinent to older adults are discussed.

NEW: Suicide Prevention Guideline for Schools

$8.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
This brief intermediate level course was developed using information provided by the University of South Florida Department of Child and Family Studies and is designed to provide guidelines for implementation of a suicide prevention program in schools. The course covers policies and procedures, staff training, education of parents and community members, strategies to assist students, and school climate considerations. Mental health practitioners, educators, and other professionals who work with young people could benefit from this important information.

NEW: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

$20.00 [5.00 CE Hours]
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a components-based psychosocial treatment model that incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral, attachment, humanistic, empowerment, and family therapy models. It includes several core treatment components designed to be provided in a flexible manner to address the unique needs of each child and family. There is strong scientific evidence that this therapy works in treating trauma symptoms in children, adolescents, and their parents. This model was initially developed to address trauma associated with child sexual abuse and has more recently been adapted for use with children who have experienced a wide array of traumatic experiences, including multiple traumas.

NEW: The Impact of Underage Drinking

$8.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
This brief course was developed using information from the U.S. Department of Justice to evaluate the effects and consequences of underage drinking and to assist practitioners and policy makers in their efforts to prevent it. The course summarizes literature findings, identifies factors that contribute to underage drinking, and summarizes ways that this behavior impacts a youth’s overall health.

Full information on new courses and many more at TeachME CEUs

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/