Sunday, December 17, 2017
Health

Numbers reflect groups' drive to prevent suicides

TAMPA — The numbers can't restore the lives of those gone.

They can't mend the broken hearts of loved ones who grieve.

They can't help family and friends solve questions that have no answers.

But the numbers can illustrate why the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Suicide Prevention Task Force will recognize World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

•One suicide was committed every 13 minutes in 2013.

• For people ages 15-34 in the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

•An estimated 9.3 million adults in the nation reported having suicidal thoughts in 2013.

Add to those numbers the reported high rate of suicide among veterans, and it's appropriate for the event to be held at James A. Haley VA Medical Center, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday. It's equally important, said Crisis Center president and CEO Clara Reynolds, to take a message of prevention to the public.

"It's so important we provide more education, provide more awareness to the general population on how they can help other people," Reynolds said. "Connect, Communicate, Care is the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day and it's important that each person realizes they can help deal with this public health crisis."

Reynolds said that while some may be daunted by the task of talking to someone who seems distant, disconnected or depressed, it's important to have the conversation and ask simple but key questions: How are you feeling? Are you okay?

"Talking about how they're feeling goes a long way," Reynolds said. "If we don't ask the questions, if we don't engage, we're not going to know."

She added that if a friend or family member senses the conversation has gone beyond their capacity to help, they can ask the person to call 211, the Crisis Center's hotline that offers a variety of services, including suicide prevention. The center expects an uptick in calls during September, suicide prevention month.

"There have been studies proving that people want to feel connected to someone and often times that may be someone on the other end of the phone," said Kelli Deaton, a member of the suicide prevention task force. "If we can keep someone safe for now with safety planning and limiting access to means, then that person may think twice."

The center also offers an extensive list of suicide warning signs and symptoms on its site that can be found using this link tbtim.es/15ys.

Reynolds said helping people involves the recognition that mental illness falls into the same category as any other sickness and people have to push beyond the stigmas and beyond the shame when trying to help.

"If someone has a broken arm, I know to refer them to a doctor or an ER," Reynolds said. "Someone contemplating suicide also is sick, also is hurting and when they are we have to know where to send them."

For those struggling with negative thoughts, Saturday's event will feature a number of interactive displays that provide techniques for coping and building resiliency, plus a demonstration of self-care and relaxation techniques.

Comments
Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Shrieks of laughter echoed off the walls of the hospital as Thunder the mini pig flopped onto his side and the children huddled around him, scratching his pink, hairy belly. He and his wet-nosed partner, Bolt, drew patients in wheelchairs and bandage...
Published: 12/15/17
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Published: 12/15/17
City Council sinks deal to alter ownership of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

City Council sinks deal to alter ownership of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — After months of tense negotiations and weeks of political impasse, the City Council on Thursday derailed a proposal that would have changed the ownership structure of the city’s largest hospital, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.The 5-...
Published: 12/14/17
Florida hospitals call for more funding in effort to address looming doctor shortage

Florida hospitals call for more funding in effort to address looming doctor shortage

The number of doctors practicing in Florida has not kept up with the state’s surging population growth, and more money is needed to recruit and keep them here, hospital leaders said Wednesday.The shortage is particularly acute in four speciality area...
Published: 12/13/17
An overlooked epidemic: Older Americans taking too many unneeded drugs

An overlooked epidemic: Older Americans taking too many unneeded drugs

Consider it America’s other prescription drug epidemic.For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchers estimate that 25 per...
Published: 12/13/17
How is Florida’s health? Not so great, report says

How is Florida’s health? Not so great, report says

Florida slightly improved its national standing this year, rising from 36th to 32nd overall in the annual America’s Health Rankings report. But the takeaway for the nation’s third-largest state is that it has a long way to go in many important health...
Published: 12/12/17
Driven by demand, Planned Parenthood opens second clinic in Tampa

Driven by demand, Planned Parenthood opens second clinic in Tampa

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows are heavily tinted and the inside is hidden behind rows of curtains. Security cameras monitor every corner, and only patients with an appointment and valid identification can pass through the intentionally cramped e...
Published: 12/12/17
Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Video: Jimmy Kimmel holds his baby son, post-heart surgery, in emotional health-care monologue

Jimmy Kimmel was absent from his ABC late-night show last week while his 8-month-old son, Billy, recovered from his second heart surgery. Ever since Billy was born with a heart defect and required immediate surgery, Kimmel has become an outspoken adv...
Published: 12/12/17
Record numbers are signing up for Obamacare in Florida as enrollment period draws to a close

Record numbers are signing up for Obamacare in Florida as enrollment period draws to a close

With just four days left to enroll for health insurance on the federal exchange, advocates for the Affordable Care Act say Florida is headed for a record-breaking year. In week five of the six-week open enrollment period, about 823,180 people signed ...
Published: 12/12/17
A boy shares the pain of being bullied - inspiring thousands to show him love (w/video)

A boy shares the pain of being bullied - inspiring thousands to show him love (w/video)

While fighting back tears, young Keaton Jones couldn’t stop asking one question: Why?"Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it?" he asks his mother while in the passenger seat of a parked car. "Why do you find joy in taking in...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17