Who Runs for Newfield High?

Fancy a splash of color in your life? We mean that literally! Come out and join the annual Color Run at 10 a.m. Saturday June 16 at Newfield High School. Participants in the five-kilometer trek (walkers and cheering supporters are welcome, too) are doused at eight intervals with colored, non-toxic cornstarch. All for a great cause: to support Newfield’s Sources of Strength, a school club dedicated to spreading hope, help, and strength in the community.

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Scene from Sources of Strength’s 2017 Color Run

Runners and walkers wearing white t-shirts pass through eight color stations, each one representing a “source of strength”: family support, positive friends, mentors, health activities, generosity, spirituality, medical access, and mental health.

Besides fostering community spirit, the event is a fundraiser for Sources of Strength, which promotes mental health and wellness for fellow students. The group meets regularly for rap sessions focused on promoting personal strengths and community-message brainstorming, and directs struggling students to helpful resources. It organizes de-stressor events like SOS Extravaganza, which turns the high school campus into a night-long party with movies, games, and snacks.

Click here for the sign-up form.

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Can Tompkins County Prevent Suicides?

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain lived the American Dream—professional success, financial security, happy families. No wonder the nation was shocked to learn of their deaths by suicide last week. Were there warning signs? Spade’s husband revealed that the iconic fashion designer was receiving treatment for depression and anxiety. Bourdain’s mother said the celebrity chef and journalist was in a “dark mood” shortly before his death.

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To share current efforts to fight suicide in our community, the Tompkins County Suicide Prevention Coalition invites the general public to a presentation on the Zero Suicide Model. The presentation, by Olivia B. Retallack of the New York State Suicide Prevention Office, will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. Monday June 18 in the Borg Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library.

The Coalition has taken up the proposed adoption of the Zero Suicide Model as a priority. Zero Suicide is a set of strategies and tools for suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems. Zero Suicide argues that suicides can be prevented by closing cracks in healthcare systems—that “suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable.”

Zero Suicide considers suicide prevention a core responsibility of healthcare. Specifically, this entails a systematic clinical approach in healthcare systems—training staff, screening for suicide ideation, utilizing evidence-based interventions, mandating continuous quality improvement, treating suicidality as a presenting problem—and not simply relying on the heroic efforts of crisis staff and individual clinicians.

As the Suicide Prevention Resource Center puts it: “The programmatic approach of Zero Suicide is based on the realization that suicidal individuals often fall through multiple cracks in a fragmented and sometimes distracted health care system, and on the premise that a systematic approach to quality improvement is necessary.”

Presentation on the Zero Suicide Model

Olivia B. Retallack

New York State Suicide Prevention Office

June 18, 2018   2–3:30 p.m.

Borg Warner Room

Tompkins County Public Library

To RSVP, click on the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZeroSuicidePresentation

Anthony Bourdain: “The Sheer Weirdness of the Kitchen Life”

Anthony Bourdain was a character much loved by chefs, servers, and bartenders everywhere. This was no less the case in Ithaca, a small town with a large appetite for life—and life’s culinary pleasures. Thus, Bourdain’s death by suicide is very hard to comprehend and absorb. To The Sophie Fund’s dear friends in the kitchens and dining rooms of Ithaca: please take the time to care for yourself and show extra kindness to friends and colleagues.

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The Sophie Fund is proud to sponsor training in Mental Health First Aid, which gives us tools for supporting ourselves and others when we may be experiencing a mental health crisis. If you or your establishment would like to participate in a training, please contact us at thesophiefund2016@gmail.com.

Anthony Bourdain put it well, in a poignant reminder of why we need to look after each other in the food and drink business:

“I love the sheer weirdness of the kitchen life: the dreamers, the crackpots, the refugees, and the sociopaths with whom I continue to work; the ever-present smells of roasting bones, searing fish, and simmering liquids; the noise and clatter, the hiss and spray, the flames, the smoke, and the steam. Admittedly, it’s a life that grinds you down. Most of us who live and operate in the culinary underworld are in some fundamental way dysfunctional. We’ve all chosen to turn our backs on the nine-to-five, on ever having a Friday or Saturday night off, on ever having a normal relationship with a non-cook.” (The New Yorker)

A wonderful talk with Bourdain about his life in the kitchen, on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2016:

 

Photo Credit: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (Facebook)

How To Get Help for Suicidal Thoughts

The suicide deaths of celebrity chef and journalist Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade this week are sobering reminders that thoughts of suicide can afflict many of us. Amid these tragedies—news of which itself can trigger suicidal impulses in some people—it is vital to know how to get help.

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The Jed Foundation provides the following valuable information—please check out these links if you are having thoughts of suicide, or know someone who may be at risk:

I’m having thoughts of suicide

Someone I know may be at risk of suicide

From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Know the risk factors and warning signs for suicide

For immediate help:

If you are thinking about harming yourself, please get help now:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Text “START” to 741-741 or Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to your local health care provider or campus counseling service (during business hours) or campus security

If you are having thoughts of self-harm, know that you don’t have to deal with your difficult thoughts and feelings alone. There are resources out there to help you – if you feel like the people you know can’t handle your problems or if you feel like you are beyond being helped or you don’t want to tell your problems to people you know, there are many other ways to get help, support and guidance from people who are available to you 24/7. Counselors at hotlines, crisis centers, or emergency rooms are able to assist you during your worst hours – they will not judge you or force you to do something that will make things worse.  They are there to listen, support, understand and help.

If you are having thoughts about suicide, it probably means that your pain is unbearable and that you feel like the only way to solve your problems is to harm yourself. It is likely that you feel hopeless, alone and beyond help. At this very low point in your life, it is really important to know that it all can get better and the pain can ease if you get help. If you are able to give yourself a chance, and give it time, you can get to a better place in your life and you will be able to figure out ways to cope with your problems.

If you’re feeling suicidal and are not sure if you can stay safe, please call 911 or a hotline, call campus police/security, or go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital. There are many ways to get help right away.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, but you aren’t immediately thinking of hurting yourself and don’t have a plan, consider doing the following:

  • Reach out to someone you feel you can trust (a friend or family member)

It might help you feel less alone and overwhelmed if you talk about your feelings. Remember, now is not the time to worry about hurting their feelings – if it seems like a good friend or family member doesn’t “get it,” move on to someone else who can listen in a way that helps you and give you support in a way that is useful.

  • Make an appointment at the campus counseling center or with a health care provider

Ask to be seen as soon as possible even if you feel your situation is not an emergency. If they question your request for an urgent appointment, tell them you are having thoughts of harming yourself. When you have thoughts of suicide, it is best not to put off talking about your struggles – this is a very vulnerable time for you and the sooner you find support and guidance, the better.

  • Connect to an academic advisor or a religious/faith counselor

Most faith and academic professionals have access to resources to get you help.

  • Call a crisis hotline to talk with someone who has experience with these issues and can offer you support and connect you to resources

Text “START” to 741-741 or call (800) 273-TALK (8255)

Remember: With time and support, it can get better; remember that even if suicidal thoughts and impulses come and go (or even go away), they signal a serious problem and getting help is the best way to get better and heal.

Source: The Jed Foundation