How One Colorado Town Is Tackling Suicide Prevention

Eight of the top ten states with the highest suicide rates in the nation are in the rural mountain West, including Colorado. The region has been labeled “the suicide belt.” Even scenic mountain resort towns like Aspen and Durango, Colo., have reported upticks in suicide. Suicide is a problem everywhere in rural America though. More than half of those surveyed in a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said they knew someone personally affected by suicide.

HT Kaiser. 

Link to source article.

 

Advertisements

Is Marijuana Safe?

A new study confirms that cannabis use is related to impaired and lasting effects on adolescent cognitive development.

To understand the relationship between alcohol, cannabis use and cognitive development among adolescents at all levels of consumption (abstinent, occasional consumer or high consumer), the research team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian adolescents over a period of four years. Using a developmentally sensitive design, the authors investigated relationships between year-to-year changes in substance use and cognitive development across a number of cognitive domains, such as recall memory, perceptual reasoning, inhibition and working memory. Multi-level regression models were used to simultaneously test vulnerability and concurrent and lasting effects on each cognitive domain. The study found that vulnerability to cannabis and alcohol use in adolescence was associated with generally lower performance on all cognitive domains.

Yikes.  Read the full story here.

What the News Left Out About K2

As a psychiatrist, I have encountered countless individuals in the emergency room who come through and do not want help. “What K2? I don’t use that stuff.” They will deny it, laugh it off, or scoff at me. They threaten to commit suicide if I don’t let them stay the night, and demand extra sandwiches and clothes. These individuals have the ability to decipher their options.  If the person’s thinking suddenly clears and there is no sign of physical instability, he or she can just walk out the emergency room almost minutes after presenting. In the dead of night, I’ve had unconscious patients who wake up abruptly only to demand to leave. I have no choice but to discharge them “home” to no particular address, since none are listed.

Here’s the link to the full article.

 

Need a Grandchild? There’s an App for That

More than 40% of the elderly experience loneliness on a regular basis, according to a 2017 study. That loneliness puts them at a higher risk of cognitive decline, depression, stroke, and multiple other problems; even the symptoms of the common cold are more severe when someone is lonely. Seniors who report feeling lonely also have a 45% increased risk of mortality.

This is one of the coolest start ups I’ve read about.  Check it out here.

Happy Older Asians Live Longer

Happy older people live longer, according to researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. In a study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, the authors found that an increase in happiness is directly proportional with a reduction in mortality.

This is one of the few Asian studies to have assessed the association between happiness and mortality among older people, while accounting for several social factors, such as loneliness and social network, therefore extending the generalisability of the findings to non-Western populations.

Stay happy my friends.  Check out the entire article here.

Is Working Remotely Bad for Your Health?

On the other hand, research from Cornell University finds that remote workers are at greater risk for feeling personally and professionally isolated than their in-office colleagues. Social isolation has been associated with significant increases in both mortality risk and risk for a heart attack or stroke. More research had tied social isolation to depression and problems sleeping.

Nice article from Time online.  Read it here.

I’ve been working from home since 2006.  I totally get the social isolation aspect.

Fortunately the social isolation negatives are mitigated by my commute.

It takes me less than a minute after leaving the office to grab a beer from the fridge.