PARENT ALERT: What is a “Back to School Necklace”? What parents need to know about.

Author: Gill Dufour

As summer approaches, it’s normal to hear about all the things in school. Shopping is an activity that’s all too common to hear about at the moment—after all, going to the store for new school clothes and accessories is exciting for both kids and parents.

But if you hear students discussing back-to-school necklaces, it’s important to note that they’re not talking about new, cute jewelry. Instead, it’s a disturbing phrase (which on the surface doesn’t sound alarming) you might hear in conversation or see on social media. So what exactly is a back-to-school defeat? We explain.

What is a “back-to-school defeat”?
Urban Dictionary describes the back necklace of the school as “another name for the noose”. This is entirely because of the frustration you feel when school resumes.

Some examples of its use include: “I’m about to buy my back-to-school necklace,” “I can’t wait to get that back-to-school necklace,” “With that back-to-school necklace.” thinking about,” “That back-to-school necklace is calling me,” “I can’t wait to wear my back-to-school necklace,” etc.

So, although the necklace behind the school seems innocent enough to those who are unaware of its true meaning, it is actually a cry for help as it is a code for death by hanging.

How should parents talk about this trending back-to-school necklace phrase with their kids?
If you’re not sure how to talk about it, Samantha Westhouse, LLMSW, a psychotherapist and mother-child health social worker, recommends letting your child lead the conversation. “Start off by saying, ‘I heard about this thing called a back-to-school necklace—do you know anything about it?’” she advises. “I think an open conversation is always beneficial. It’s always important to avoid judgment so that your child feels comfortable sharing how they’re feeling.”

A lot can happen than just trying to check in. “Parents should feel empowered to talk to their children about mental health in general,” explains Emily Cavallari, LLMSW, a school social worker and child and family therapist. And in regards to back-to-school conversations, she adds, “Share personal stories about starting school each year, especially if you had feelings of dread as a child. Tell them you can teach them through any medium.” Feel the feelings or seek professional help if needed.”

Why are there so many fears among students as the school year approaches?
Some of the apprehension is understandable as students look forward to adjusting to a new normal after the summer months. “Returning to school can be overwhelming for many reasons,” shares Cavallari. “Some students struggle with ideas of a new school, a new teacher, a new schedule, etc. Students are going from a sleepy and relaxed schedule to early mornings and busy days.”

And at times, this struggle seems insurmountable for the students. After all, the CDC has revealed, “more than 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009.”

Westhouse elaborates, “I think it could be a combination of what looks like socialization on top of the age of the last two years.” “If we think about it now, 13-year-olds were 10 years old when we were all in lockdown. [They were] Virtually schooling and missing out on regular clubs, sports and socialization. Add to that the mass school shootings over the years and what we’ve experienced in our world. It all makes an impact.”

What warning signs should parents pay attention to?
“If someone is using this phrase, there is a high chance that they are struggling with their mental health,” Cavallari says. “Whether your child is seriously contemplating suicide or they use this phrase as a cry for help, signs you can look for [include] spending time alone, acting out, irritability, crying easily and frequently, sleeping more than usual, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, giving stuff up and overall behavior changes.”

Even if you haven’t heard your child use this phrase, it may be a phrase they use on their phone, explains Cavallari. “They can use it via text or social media platforms,” ​​she says. “Parents need to be aware of their children’s electronic use. Students of any age will be using this phrase and feeling these feelings, hence the symptoms in their children from young children to teens.” seek.”

What should students know about hearing or using the phrase “back-to-school-necklace” with friends?
“Students should be aware that using this phrase is very serious,” warns Cavallari. “It’s not okay to joke about harming themselves and especially killing themselves. If they’re really feeling these feelings, they shouldn’t be ashamed and seek help. If students use this phrase While listening to or seeing their friends, they should tell an adult, even if their friend tells them not to.”

Westhouse agrees, adding that even if your child or teen is quick to brush it off, they should know that “it’s serious, even if they think it’s a joke. I recommend you educate your child.” And if they see their friends using this phrase to address it with school staff.”

What resources are recommended to help children and teens who are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of returning to school?
Parents are able to be the first line of support for their children. The CDC recommends that parents “monitor their teen to facilitate healthy decision-making,” “enjoy shared activities with their teen,” and with the school by regularly volunteering or communicating with teachers and administrators. Join.

Westhouse will also advocate for schools to create a policy to help students. According to the CDC report, before the pandemic in 2019, “nearly 1 in 6 youth reported planning suicide in the past year, a 44% increase since 2009.”

To help your child feel less overwhelmed by going back to school, Cavallari recommends preparing for school early by “organizing, going to school/walking.” [their] Schedule, sleep and eat healthy, if permitted.”

Ultimately, knowledge is power, and knowing that this is an issue affecting many children and teens means that parents can have greater awareness and receive additional support. Westhouse and Cavallari both recommend seeking medical attention as well as using the new 988 suicide helpline when needed.

9-8-8 is the 9-1-1 for Mental Health

The United States’ first nationwide three-digit mental health crisis hotline went live on Saturday, July 16. It is designed to be as easy to remember and use as 911, but instead of a dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors.

The federal government has provided over $280 million to help states create systems that will do much more, including mobile mental health crisis teams that can be sent to people’s homes and emergency mental health centers, similar to urgent care clinics that treat physical aches and pains.

“This is one of the most exciting things that has happened” in mental health care, said Dr Brian Hepburn, a psychiatrist who heads the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

Hepburn cautions that when 988 kicks off, it will not be like “the flick of a switch. It’s going to take a number of years in order for us to be able to reach everybody across the country.”

Some states already have comprehensive mental health crisis systems, but others have a long way to go. And widespread shortages of mental health specialists are expected to slow their ability to expand services.

A RAND Corp survey published last month found that fewer than half of state or regional public health officials were confident about being ready for 988, which is expected to generate an influx of calls.

Nearly 60% said call-center staffers had specialized suicide prevention training; half said they had mobile crisis response teams available 24/7 with licensed counselors; and fewer than one-third had urgent mental-health care units.

The 988 system will build on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an existing network of over 200 crisis centers nationwide staffed by counselors who answer millions of calls each year — about 2.4 million in 2020. Calls to the old lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, will still go through even with 988 in place.

“If we can get 988 to work like 911 … lives will be saved,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Dispatching paramedics for heart attacks and police for crimes makes sense — but not for psychiatric emergencies, mental health advocates say. Calls to 911 for those crises often lead to violent law enforcement encounters and trips to jail or crowded emergency rooms where suicidal people can wait days for treatment.

The 988 system “is a real opportunity to do things right,” said Hannah Wesolowski of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Sustained funding will be needed. According to the National Academy of State Health Policy, four states have enacted laws to impose telecommunications fees to support 988 and many others are working on the issue.

A desperate call to a Utah state senator in 2013 helped spark the idea of a three-digit mental health crisis line.

Senator Daniel Thatcher says a good friend sought his help after taking his suicidal son to an emergency room, only to be told by a doctor to come back if the boy hurt himself.

Thatcher has battled depression, and at 17 he also considered suicide. He knew that despondent people in crisis may lack the wherewithal to seek out help or to remember the 10-digit national suicide lifeline number.

Thatcher found that many of Utah’s in-state crisis lines went straight to police dispatchers or voicemail. He wondered why there was no 911 service for mental health, and the idea got national attention after he mentioned it to longtime Sen Orrin Hatch.

In 2020, Congress passed the bill designating the 3-digit crisis number and then-President Donald Trump signed it into law.

Thatcher’s mother was a nurse and knew where to get him help. He says 988 has the potential to make it that easy for others.

“If you get help, you live. It really is that simple,” Thatcher said.

NAMI FAQ Site

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has published a comprehensive FAQ site — review it by visiting nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/PDFs/NAMI-FAQs-for-Nationwide-Availability-of-988.pdf.

The Q&A content of the site highlights the following:

Can I only call or text 988 if I am experiencing a life-threatening crisis?

No, you can call or text 988 for yourself or a loved one if you are in any type of emotional distress. However, if you are not in a crisis, there are other services that may meet your current needs better, including a peer-support Warmline for emotional support or the NAMI HelpLine (1-800-950-NAMI or helpline@nami.org) for information, resources and support.

How can I reach 988? Only by phone?

You can call 988, text 988 or chat via the Lifeline’s website (988lifeline.org).

What happens when I call 988? What information will I receive, or does the Lifeline only offer immediate crisis support?

The goal of the 988 Lifeline is to provide free, confidential, immediate crisis intervention and support. When you call or text or chat 988:

  1. You’ll hear a message that you’ve reached the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — you are in the right place! If you are a veteran, you can press “1” to reach the Veterans’ Crisis Line or “2” to reach the Spanish subnetwork for the Lifeline.
  2. If you don’t select either option, a trained crisis counselor will answer.
  3. The counselor will listen to you to understand how your problem is affecting you or your loved one.
  4. The counselor will provide support and share resources and referrals.

In some communities, the crisis line may be able to connect you to additional services or follow up with you to ensure you’ve connected with care (note: not all communities have this capacity).

Can I only call 988 for myself, or can I call for someone else I know or see in crisis?

You can call or text 988 if you are concerned about someone else in distress who may need crisis support.

Does 988 collect my information/data? What do they do with that information?

All contacts with the 988 Lifeline from people seeking help are confidential. According to the Lifeline FAQs, information about callers/chatters/texters will not be shared outside the Lifeline without documented verbal or written consent from the person seeking help, except in cases where there is imminent risk of harm to self or someone else, or where otherwise required by law.

The Lifeline protects all the confidential and identifying information shared. During your contact with the 988 Lifeline, you may voluntarily share certain information about yourself that could be identified, and that information may be documented in notes about your conversation. The center may also have access to the phone number or IP address you used to contact the Lifeline.

You will never be required to provide other identifying information to receive help from the Lifeline. The Lifeline may use de-identified and aggregated data for reports to stakeholders, funders and policymakers about the numbers and types of conversations they have with people in crisis. They might also reference the general aggregate demographics of people seeking help from the Lifeline.

CTMirror and Associated Press content from Lindsay Tanner is used in this report.

For More Information on 9-8-8


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Prolonged Grief Disorder

www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/health/prolonged-grief-disorder.amp.html

Article: Is Stress Making You Sick?

Emotions Reflect Your Body’s Physiology

David Hanscom MD
Emotions reflect your body’s physiology; you must be aware of them to change.
Reviewed by Davia Sills

Thriving is not as instinctual and must be cultivated and nurtured. If you are trying to use pleasant experiences, power, and material possessions to compensate for unpleasant survival emotions, it can’t and doesn’t work. You cannot outrun your mind. The key to thriving is developing a “working relationship” with anxiety and anger, and then you are able to create the life you want. Just solving problems doesn’t yield a good life. You must live a good life to have a good life.

Additionally, having awareness is critical to dealing with life. You can’t solve problems in any domain without understanding details from both your perspective and also that of other involved parties. If you are projecting your views onto a given situation, you are not going to come up with consistently viable solutions. For example, you may have repeated troubles with relationships at home and work and can’t figure out why.

To Read More

Alcohol Consumption During A Pandemic

Written By Granite Recovery Centers
Clinically Reviewed By Cheryl Smith MS, MLADC

During times of stress, people often reach for alcohol. A substance long-relied upon for social relief, celebratory occasions, and for pleasure, it is also used as an escape mechanism, or to cope with difficult times, tiring days, or distressing situations. The latter scenarios are played out in all pockets of society—from mothers clamoring for their ‘wine-thirty’ after a long day with their kids, Wall Street financiers hitting the bar after work for whiskey sours, college students partying nonstop after finals week, to union workers gathering at a pub for beers after their shift is done. This socially accepted, popular way to unwind releases inhibitions and temporarily abates worry and anxiety from the day, week, month, or year. In cases of extreme use, these drinking patterns increase and evolve in severity, and problems begin to crop up. This is recognized as Alcohol Use Disorder, which wreaks havoc in the drinker’s life and for everyone around them.

So, naturally, in a year like 2020, faced with the blistering reality of the COVID-19 global pandemic, people are reaching for the bottle more often than not. There is considerable fear of the unknowns surrounding the virus, and it is a time unlike anything we have ever experienced. We don’t know when or if things will ever return to normal.

In order to better understand the dangers posed from indulging in a ‘quarantini,’ or recognizing trouble curtailing alcohol intake, we broke down why people are drinking so much right now, why it could lead to consequences, and what you can do if you or a loved one can’t stop.

During times of stress, people often reach for alcohol. A substance long-relied upon for social relief, celebratory occasions, and for pleasure, it is also used as an escape mechanism, or to cope with difficult times, tiring days, or distressing situations. The latter scenarios are played out in all pockets of society—from mothers clamoring for their ‘wine-thirty’ after a long day with their kids, Wall Street financiers hitting the bar after work for whiskey sours, college students partying nonstop after finals week, to union workers gathering at a pub for beers after their shift is done. This socially accepted, popular way to unwind releases inhibitions and temporarily abates worry and anxiety from the day, week, month, or year. In cases of extreme use, these drinking patterns increase and evolve in severity, and problems begin to crop up. This is recognized as Alcohol Use Disorder, which wreaks havoc in the drinker’s life and for everyone around them.

So, naturally, in a year like 2020, faced with the blistering reality of the COVID-19 global pandemic, people are reaching for the bottle more often than not. There is considerable fear of the unknowns surrounding the virus, and it is a time unlike anything we have ever experienced. We don’t know when or if things will ever return to normal.

In order to better understand the dangers posed from indulging in a ‘quarantini,’ or recognizing trouble curtailing alcohol intake, we broke down why people are drinking so much right now, why it could lead to consequences, and what you can do if you or a loved one can’t stop.

Please click here: Alcohol Consumption During Pandemic to read the complete article.

What to Know About Binge Drinking

By James Gamache

Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Alcohol has been around since ancient times. Its use has been traced back 10,000 years, when it was first consumed for its psychoactive effects. Today, it fuels a billion-dollar industry and is socially accepted almost globally, having become a major part of human recreation and consumption. 

While many things about this drug have changed in the last 10,000 years (like flavoring, alcohol content, and most definitely the packaging), some things about it remain the same. It is still a mind-altering substance, can affect the brain both long-term and short-term, and can be addictive. When consumed too often, in copious amounts, and recklessly, it can severely alter a person’s life, and the lives of those around them. 

One of the dangerous forms of alcohol use is binge drinking, which is drinking a large amount in a brief period. If a person makes this a habit, this pattern of abuse can eventually result in a serious addiction. 

Please click here: Alcohol Abuse and Binge Drinking to read the complete article.

Depression Treatment That Shows Results in About 5 Days!

‘It Saved My Life’: Depression Treatment Is Turning Lives Around in Five Days

By Lesley McClurg

After 40 years of fighting debilitating depression, Emma was on the brink.

“I was suicidal,” said Emma, a 59-year-old Bay Area resident. KQED is not using her full name because of the stigma of mental illness. “I was going to die.”

Over the years, Emma sat through hours of talk therapy and tried countless anti-depression medications “to have a semblance of normalcy.” And yet she was consumed by relentless fatigue, insomnia and chronic nausea.

Depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, partly because treatment options often result in numerous side effects or patients do not respond at all. And there are many people who never seek treatment because mental illness can carry heavy stigma and discrimination. Studies show untreated depression can lead to suicidal ideation.’This study not only showed some of the best remission rates we’ve ever seen in depression, but also managed to do that in people who had already failed multiple other treatments.’Shan Siddiqi, a Harvard psychiatrist

Three years ago, Emma’s psychiatrist urged her to enroll in a study at Stanford University School of Medicine designed for people who had run out of options. When she arrived, scientists took an MRI scan to determine the best possible location to deliver electrical pulses to her brain. Then for 10 hours a day for five consecutive days, Emma sat in a chair while a magnetic field stimulated her brain.

At the end of the first day, an unfamiliar calm settled over Emma. Even when her partner picked her up to drive home, she stayed relaxed. “I’m usually hysterical,” she said. “All the time I’m grabbing things. I’m yelling, you know, ‘Did you see those lights?’ And while I rode home that first night I just looked out the window and I enjoyed the ride.”

The remedy was a new type of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) called “Stanford neuromodulation therapy.” By adding imaging technology to the treatment and upping the dose of rTMS, scientists have developed an approach that’s more effective and works more than eight times faster than the current approved treatment.

A man wearing a business suit holds a thin metal object over a woman's head who is seated in an office.
Nolan Williams demonstrates the magnetic brain stimulation therapy he and his colleagues developed, on Deirdre Lehman, a participant in a previous study of the treatment. (Steve Fisch)

A coil on top of Emma’s head created a magnetic field that sent electric pulses through her skull to tickle the surface of her brain. She says it felt like a woodpecker tapped on her skull every 15 seconds. The electrical current is directed at the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that plans, dreams and controls our emotions.

“It’s an area thought to be underactive in depression,” said Nolan Williams, a psychiatrist and rTMS researcher at Stanford. “We send a signal for the system to not only turn on, but to stay on and remember to stay on.”

Nolan says pumping up the prefrontal cortex helps turn down other areas of the brain that stimulate fear and anxiety. That’s the basic premise of rTMS: Electrical impulses are used to balance out erratic brain activity. As a result, people feel less depressed and more in control. All of this holds true in the new treatment — it just works faster.

A recent randomized control trial, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, shows astounding results are possible in five days or less. Almost 80% of patients crossed into remission — meaning they were symptom-free within days. This is compared to about 13% of people who received the placebo treatment. Patients did not report any serious side effects. The most common complaint was a light headache.

Stanford’s new delivery system may even outperform electroconvulsive therapy, which is the most popular form of brain stimulation for depression, but it requires both general anesthesia and a full medical team.

“This study not only showed some of the best remission rates we’ve ever seen in depression,” said Shan Siddiqi, a Harvard psychiatrist not connected to the study, “but also managed to do that in people who had already failed multiple other treatments.”

Siddiqi also said the study’s small sample size, which is only 29 patients, is not cause for concern.

“Often, a clinical trial will be terminated early [according to pre-specified criteria] because the treatment is so effective that it would be unethical to continue giving people placebo,” said Siddiqi. “That’s what happened here. They’d originally planned to recruit a much larger sample, but the interim analysis was definitive.”

Mark George, a psychiatrist and neurologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, agrees. He points to other similarly sized trials for depression treatments like ketamine, a version of which is now FDA-approved.

He says the new rTMS approach could be a game changer because it’s both more precise and faster. George pioneered an rTMS treatment that was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for depression in 2008. Studies show that: It produces a near total loss of symptoms in about a third of patients; another third feel somewhat better; and another third do not respond at all. But the main problem with the original treatment is that it takes six weeks, which is a long time for a patient in the midst of a crisis.’I wake up now and I want to come to work, whereas before I’d rather stick a sharp stick in my eye.’Tommy Van Brocklin, civil engineer

“This study shows that you can speed it all up and that you can add treatments in a given day and it works,” said George.

The shorter treatment will increase access for a lot of people who cannot get six weeks off work or cover child care for that long.

“The more exciting applications, however, are due to the rapidity,” said George. “These people [the patients] got unsuicidal and undepressed within a week. Those patients are just clogging up our emergency rooms, our psych hospitals. And we really don’t have good treatments for acute suicidality.”

After 45 years of depression and numerous failed attempts to medicate his illness, Tommy Van Brocklin, a civil engineer, says he didn’t see a way out.

“The past couple of years I just started crying a lot,” he said. “I was just a real emotional wreck.”

So last September, Van Brocklin flew across the country from his home in Tennessee to Stanford, where he underwent the new rTMS treatment for a single five-day treatment. Almost immediately he started feeling more optimistic and sleeping longer and deeper.

“I wake up now and I want to come to work, whereas before I’d rather stick a sharp stick in my eye,” said Van Brocklin. “I have not had any depressed days since my treatment.”

He is hopeful the changes stick. More larger studies are needed to verify how long the new rTMS treatment will last.

At least for Emma, the woman who received Stanford’s treatment three years ago in a similar study, the results are holding. She says she still has ups and downs but “it’s an entirely different me dealing with it.”

She says the regimen rewired her from the inside out. “It saved my life, and I’ll be forever grateful,” said Emma, her voice cracking with emotion. “It saved my life.”

Stanford’s neuromodulation therapy could be widely available by the end of next year — that’s when scientists are hoping FDA clearance comes through. Nolan, the lead researcher at Stanford, says he’s optimistic insurance companies will eventually cover the new delivery model because it works faster, so it’s likely more cost-effective than a conventional rTMS regimen. Major insurance companies and Medicare currently cover rTMS, though some plans require patients to demonstrate that they’ve exhausted other treatment options.

The next step is studying how rTMS may improve other mental health disorders like addiction and traumatic brain injury.

“This study is hopefully just the tip of the iceberg,” said Siddiqi. “I think we’re finally on the verge of a paradigm shift in how we think about psychiatric treatment, where we’ll supplement the conventional chemical imbalance and psychological conflict models with a new brain circuit model.” In other words, psychiatrists will use electricity instead of talk therapy and drugs to treat mental health disorders.