Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

**Documentary Review: In Our Community: Mental Illness: Diana Guido

In Our Community.  It is so difficult to lay your life open, but in this case Ms. Diana Guido does this and does it very well.  She is a peer support, substance abuse counselor for Santa Clara County.  She gives a very good over view of mental health services.  This includes a discussion of the WRAP course.  Wellness Recovery Action Plan is an evidence based peer support service in which attendees develop their person plan for wellness.  She also talks of being a Mental Health First Aider. This also is a national training to help encourage people to look out for each other.  She also educates people to the county's crisis and warm line, 1-855-278-4204.

**Ebola: Letter from Jeff Smith, County Executive

This is a bit dated but still good information.  I am taking excerpts from a letter by Jeff Smith, Santa Clara County Executive

...Please know there is no Ebola in Santa Clara County.  The risk of Ebola infection in our community is extremely low and we mean to keep it that way...

There are a few things that you should know about the current situation:  

Ebola only spreads from sick people and is not spread through the air or water.  The virus spreads only by contact with bodily fluids from an infected person.  It is NOT SPREADby people who have been exposed to the disease but are not yet sick.  In essence, spread of this disease requires very close contact with an infected individual.

...Ambulance providers are now being required to begin all patient interactions by asking those who have a fever whether he or she has traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, or Guinea. These are the countries in West Africa where Ebola is currently spreading. 

...Staff at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center are currently screening patients for travel to the West African countries mentioned above and symptoms of a possible Ebola infection, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.  

·         There is no Ebola in Santa Clara County or California.
·         Santa Clara County has been preparing and continues to prepare for the extremely unlikely chance that a person in Santa Clara County becomes sick with Ebola.
·         The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided information to medical providers and hospitals in our community so that they are informed and prepared.
·         Ebola can only be spread by contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is sick and has symptoms of the disease. The disease is ONLY spread by direct contact with a sick person’s body fluids.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

**Distracted Driving

Tailgate Topic: Distracted Driving
By: Tristan Robledo
It’s likely that everyone’s been guilty of distracted driving in one form or another. Everyone knows not to use their
phone while driving, but what about mental distractions. Have you ever missed your exit or gotten home and can’t
clearly remember the drive? This isn’t to say that there’s nothing that can be done. In fact, it’s actually the opposite.
Learning the different types of distractions is the start. The next step is to recognize it when you are driving. A new
approach to distracted driving attempts to help with this task by categorizing distracted driving into three simple types:
 Visual Distraction—Doing something that
requires the driver to look away from the
roadway. Common visual distraction include
sight seeing, rubbernecking, etc.
 Manual Distraction—Doing something that
requires the driver to take their hands off
the steering wheel. This may include using
your phone, eating, adjusting your radio or
navigation system, etc.
 Mental Distraction—Thinking hard about
something other than driving. Mental distraction
occur frequently, but are more difficult
to recognize. Whatever the thought, if
it’s distracting you it’s a hazard. Mental distractions
are particularly dangerous in residential
areas where the road is shared with
walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 420,000 people were injured involving
distracted driving in the US during 2012. It’s important to note that these statistics only include visual and manual distractions.
Whether driving for the County, commuting to and from work, or just stuck in traffic it’s hard enough to
drive without distractions. When you get behind the wheel, make a commitment to focus on driving and avoid visual,
manual and mental driving distractions.
County of Santa Clara, Employee Services Agency, Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance Department

2310 North First Street, Suite 204, San Jose, CA 95131, Phone 408-441-4280 Fax 408-432-7555 Intranet http://OSEC

Thursday, May 28, 2015

National Trauma Awareness

This is taken from internal email at work.
Its National Trauma Awareness Month
National Trauma Awareness Month celebrates its 27th anniversary with the campaign slogan, “3D
Trauma Prevention” and a focus on contributors to motor vehicle crashes: Drugs/Drinking,
Distraction and Drowsiness. This is an all too familiar list that makes driving in the United States a
risky endeavor.  Here are some important statistics:
  • In 2013, the US saw over 32,000 fatalities and over 2.3 million injuries from motor vehicle
crashes.  Of those, 31% involved an alcohol-impaired driver and 18% involved a distracted driver.  
  • 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were
then hospitalized.
  • Crash injuries in 2012 totaled $18 billion in lifetime medical costs. More than 75% of
costs occur during the first 18 months following the crash injury.
By reducing and ending these causes of injuries, we are helping people live longer and healthier lives.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

**Documentary Review: More than Sad

More Than Sad, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2009.
This is a collection of two videos.  The first is a general awareness video More than Sad: (teen depression).  This presents four young people who have been going through depression and talks about their specific issues, and how they dealt with depression.  10 to 15 percent of youth will have depression during a school year.  However, most will not get treatment.  This video focuses on reducing stigma about treatment, giving examples of how treatment has helped others, and shows the results of the treatment.

The second video takes off where there first video left off: More than Sad: (Suicide Prevention).  It is more geared for teachers and how to recognize when someone needs help.  In addition to following the youth from the first video, this video also adds several testimonials from teachers who intervened with students who they recognized as needing help.  This video gives examples of when a teacher might intervene.  The teachers had positive results and some even later got thank-yous from the students.

Monday, May 25, 2015

**Suicide Prevention Website
This is a very informative website from HelpGuide about suicide prevention.  This page covers common myths about suicide, warning signs, how to talk to someone about suicide, risk for teens and the elderly, risk factors and how to talk to someone about suicide.  I suggest keeping this as a resource if you ever need a quick reference about suicide prevention.  It can walk you through how to handle a suicide crisis.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

**Rachel's Challenge
My brother shared information about Rachel's Challenge on Facebook a while back, and I have left it as something I wanted to comment on.  Now is the time to make that comment.  Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in 1999 during the Columbine tragedy.  Rachel's Challenge is a school improvement process designed to create a culture of kindness and compassion.  It has helped with suicide and bullying prevention.  It is based on something Rachel wrote shortly before her death:

"I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go."

One of the principals of the challenge is to start a chain reaction.  To show a little kindness, which in turn will lead to others being more kind and kindness spreads.  Rachel's Challenge is a nonprofit organization out of Colorado.  I would encourage you to check out their website.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Suicide Prevention: QPR Free On Line Training

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer.  This is a web based training to help individuals become more aware of suicide prevention, but also so they can effectively intervene.  It is a training all should talk.  The online course is only an hour.  Click here to learn more.

As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:
  • recognize the warning signs of suicide
  • know how to offer hope
  • know how to get help and save a life

Monday, May 11, 2015

**May is Mental Health Month: Santa Clara County

Join the Mental Health Matters Month Celebration!
The Behavioral Health Services Department and its prevention and early intervention programs
invite you to a celebration of hope, wellness and recovery. If you are interested in attending during
work hours, you must have prior approval from your supervisor. The celebration will be held May 27
from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the Learning Partnership, 1075 E. Santa Clara St, San Jose. There will
be music, program information, resources, giveaways, wellness booths, and cultural ceremonies. 
The first 50 to attend will receive a free Each Mind Matters t-shirt.  You can also participate by taking
an online course on suicide prevention or attend a Mental Health First Aid Training. For more information,