Parish Nurse

November is:

Suicide Prevention

Risk Of Suicide

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

It can be frightening if someone you love talks about suicidal thoughts. It can be even more frightening if you find yourself thinking about dying or giving up on life. Not taking these kinds of thoughts seriously can have devastating outcomes, as suicide is a permanent solution to (often) temporary problems.

According to the CDC, suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999. Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016 alone. Comments or thoughts about suicide — also known as suicidal ideation — can begin small like, “I wish I wasn’t here” or “Nothing matters.” But over time, they can become more explicit and dangerous.

Warning Signs

Here are a few other warning signs of suicide:

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior

Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911:

  • Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
  • Giving away possessions
  • Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess.

Risk Factors

Research has found that 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. Several other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

  • A family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse. Drugs can create mental highs and lows that worsen suicidal thoughts.
  • Intoxication. More than 1 in 3 people who die from suicide are under the influence of alcohol at the time of death.
  • Access to firearms
  • A serious or chronic medical illness
  • Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4x more likely to die by suicide.
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • A recent tragedy or loss

Like any other health emergency, it’s important to address a mental health crisis like suicide quickly and effectively. Unlike other health emergencies, mental health crises don’t have instructions or resources on how to help or what to expect (like the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR). That’s why NAMI created Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency, so people experiencing mental health emergencies and their loved ones can have the answers and information they need when they need it.

If your friend or family member struggles with suicidal ideation day-to-day, let them know that they can talk with you about what they’re going through. Make sure that you adopt an open and compassionate mindset when they’re talking. Instead of “arguing” or trying to disprove any negative statements they make (“Your life isn’t that bad!”), try active listening techniques such as reflecting their feelings and summarizing their thoughts. This can help your loved one feel heard and validated.

Let them know that mental health professionals are trained to help people understand their feelings and improve mental wellness and resiliency. Psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can help a person with thoughts of suicide recognize ineffective patterns of thinking and behavior, validate their feelings and learn coping skills. Suicidal thoughts are a symptom, just like any other — they can be treated, and they can improve over time.

Suicide is not the answer. There is hope.   (www.nami.org)

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

  1. Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy

You can help yourself and others stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage.

2.  Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.

3.  Use Hand Sanitizer Only When You Can’t Use Soap and Water

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.  You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer[423 KB] that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Someone with no access to soap and water putting hand sanitizer one. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Remember these key facts about alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

  • Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations.
  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
  • Be cautious when using hand sanitizers around children. Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple mouthfuls is swallowed.

4. How to Use Hand Sanitizer

  • Apply the gel to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

For more information on handwashing, please visit CDC’s Handwashing website. You can also call 1-800-CDC-INFO or contact CDC-INFO for answers to specific questions.

Influenza Updates:

  • Flu activity is low overall, but is increasing in the United States.

CDC on Flu Vaccine:

AED

  • The church has purchased an AED so I thought I’d give a little information from the web on cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is vital to the survival of a cardiac arrest victim. When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart is no longer pumping oxygenated blood to the brain and vital organs. CPR circulates oxygenated blood remaining in the body to minimize neurological damage until defibrillation can be administered. It may also convert someone in a state of asystole (flatline) into a rhythm that is “shockable” by an automated external defibrillator (AED), allowing the heart to reset itself. Statistics for best survival rates usually mention “High-Quality CPR”, but what makes CPR high-quality?

When it comes to out-of-hospital bystander CPR, there is one factor which is always variable in each situation – bystander CPR is performed by humans, and humans come in different sizes, capabilities, knowledge, and responses. Even trained EMS professionals may perform tasks differently depending on their fatigue, training, and the particulars of a situation (environment, trauma level, on-lookers, etc.).

To define “High-Quality CPR” for teens and adults, there are certain courses of action identified by the American Heart Association’s 2015 CPR & ECC Guidelines to maximize the benefits of CPR, and they are simple:

Compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute

Compressions at a depth of 2” – 2.4”

Full recovery of chest after each compression

Minimal interruptions to compressions

In a nutshell: “Press the chest – fast and deep” until an AED is utilized (and again after, if necessary), EMS arrives, or the person shows signs of life.

Note rescue breaths are not included in this list. The AHA (American Heart Association) does recommend rescue breaths at a rate of 30 compressions to 2 breaths when the rescuer has been trained and is confident in the technique, so interruptions to the compressions are no more than 10 seconds (and still stresses the importance of breaths when performing CPR on children and infants), but has recognized “hands-only” CPR is an effective alternative when the rescuer is not confident in their ability to provide ventilations or is untrained. Hands-only CPR also removes the potentially uncomfortable step of placing one’s mouth onto the mouth of a stranger if no mask is available.

Never hesitate to attempt CPR, regardless of experience or skill level. Someone in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead, and you cannot make them any more dead! Any CPR is better than no CPR, and if there is an AED handy, it should be retrieved and deployed as quickly as possible for the victim’s best chance for survival.

Remember: “Press the chest – fast and deep!”

http://www.aedsuperstore.com/

 

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