The Surgeon General’s Call to End the Opiod Crisis November 2016

Today, U.S. Surgeon Vivek H. Murthy published a landmark report on a health crisis affecting every community in our country. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health is a comprehensive review of the science of substance use, misuse, and disorder. The report is available here.

Nearly 21 million people in America have a substance use disorder involving alcohol or drugs, an astonishing figure that is comparable to the number of people in our country with diabetes and higher than the total number of Americans suffering from all caners combines. In spite of the massive scope of this problem, only 1 in 10 people with a substance use disorder receives treatment.

Together, we can prevent addiction and create hope for millions of people in treatment and recovery.

Mentally Challenging Activities are Key to a Healthy Aging Mind

One of the greatest challenges associated with the growing numbers of aged adults is how to maintain a healthy aging mind. Taking up a new mental challenge such as digital photography or quilting may help maintain cognitive vitality, say researchers reporting in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

To read more click here

What You Should Know About ADHD

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

At St. Sophie’s we have special expertise in diagnosing and treating ADHD. It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

  • A child with ADHD might:
  • have a hard time paying attention
  • daydream a lot
  • not seem to listen
  • be easily distracted from schoolwork or play
  • forget things
  • be in constant motion or unable to stay seated
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • not be able to play quietly
  • act and speak without thinking
  • have trouble taking turns
  • interrupt others

If you are concerned that your child may have ADHD, there are a variety of treatment options that our providers can explore with your family. To set up an appointment, call (701) 365-4488.

Depression Increasing Among U.S. Teenagers, Especially Girls.

Reports from APA recently published found the number of U.S. teenagers and young adults with untreated depression is increasing. The study found the prevalence of depression in youth ages 12 to 17 increase from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2013. Yet the study also found “there hasn’t been much change in the proportion of teens and young adults seeking mental health treatment.” Read the full report here.

Managing Student Stress

Fall brings a lot of changes; weather, school, and routine. Many people, especially students, experience stress with the changes that fall brings. The CDC has developed an interactive Stress-O-Meter to help students determine their level of stress and to determine your stress profile, with tips to help you deal with the stress you are feeling based on your answers to the quiz.

Tedx Talk by Director of National Institute of Mental Health Emphasizes Early Detection and Early Prevention

This year the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel, MD, has focused on increasing early prevention and early detection as a necessary component of mental healthcare. Insel argues that by re-thinking how we view mental illness, the focus can be shifted away from behavioral symptoms and toward the underlying causes. “If we waited for the ‘heart attack,’ we would be sacrificing 1.1 million lives every year in this country,” Insel said. ““That is precisely what we do today when we decide that everyone with one of these brain disorders, brain circuit disorders, has a behavior disorder. We wait until the behavior emerges. That’s not early detection, that’s not early prevention.”

To read more, click here.

Understanding Bullying

In a 2011 nationwide survey, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey. And cyber bullying opens the door for students to experiencing bullying 24/7. Here are some tips to help you better understand who is at risk and what the warning signs are:

What is Bullying?

Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death. Victimized youth are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood. Compared to youth who only bully, or who are only victims, bully-victims suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems

How can we prevent Bullying?

The ultimate goal is to stop bullying before it starts. Research on preventing and addressing bullying is still developing. School-based bullying prevention programs are widely implemented, but infrequently evaluated. Based on a review of the limited research on school-based bullying prevention, the following program elements are promising:

  • Improving supervision of students
  • Using school rules and behavior management techniques in the classroom and throughout the school to detect and address bullying by providing consequences for bullying
  • Having a whole school anti-bullying policy, and enforcing that policy consistently
  • Promoting cooperation among different professionals and between school staff and parents

Where Can I learn more?

Visit your student’s school website or inquire about the bullying policies they have in place.

Suicide now tops car crashes as the leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S.

Statistics gathered from 2000 to 2009 from National Center for Health Statistics research show a 25% decrease in car accident deaths which elevates Suicide to the leading cause of injury deaths during that time period.  In 2009 more than 37,000 Americans committed suicide and while that number is staggering, many experts believe that number could actually be as much as 20% higher due to underreporting.

 

Risk Factors for Suicide

A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide—they may or may not be direct causes.

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts
  • Protective Factors for Suicide

Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. Identifying and understanding protective factors are, however, equally as important as researching risk factors.

 

Protective Factors

 

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation
  • (U.S. Public Health Service 1999)