Celebrating John R. Lewis, Suicide Prevention Champion

While we all celebrate the great contributions to America by civil rights leader John R. Lewis, the suicide prevention community remembers him also as the first person in our House of Representatives to publicly step into the fearsome and taboo subject of suicide and call on this country to recognize that the prevention of death by suicide is a “national priority.”

johnrlewis

John R. Lewis, speaking at the Lincoln Memorial, August 24, 2013

Congressman Lewis of Georgia, who died last week at age 80, was the first in the House to speak out and speak up. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada introduced a similar resolution in the Senate at nearly the same time in the same year. Reid had lost his father to suicide and chose to speak openly about his loss to the world.

Motivating John Lewis were Elsie and Jerry Weyrauch, who had lost their daughter to suicide—a promising young doctor. John Lewis was their congressman. He took their cause to Congress and sparked the fire that led to national action—or, in his words, some “necessary trouble.”

Thus, three loss survivors (Elsie, Jerry, and Harry), together with John Lewis, launched those key “first movements” that began only in 1997.  These bold actions not only broke through the barriers of shame and stigma, they fueled the first ever national movement to prevent suicide.

House Resolution 212 of the 105th Congress, introduced by Lewis with 92 co-sponsors on July 31, 1997 and adopted by the House, declared that “the House of Representatives recognizes suicide as a national problem and declares suicide prevention a national priority, acknowledges that no single prevention program will be appropriate for all populations or communities, and encourages certain initiatives, including the development (and the promotion of accessibility and affordability) of mental health services to enable all persons at risk for suicide to obtain services without fear of stigma.”

HR 212 and Reid’s resolution in the Senate were followed by the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Reno in 1998, viewed by many as the founding event of the modern suicide prevention movement.

Margret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” These brave few prove her case.

We may be running a little low on heroes just now, but we in suicide prevention will always have our John R. Lewis.

—By Paul Quinnett

Paul Quinnett is founder and CEO of the QPR Institute and author of Suicide: The Forever Decision

Mental Health Help During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The American Psychiatric Association is providing an online guide to resources to help families, professionals, and community leaders address mental health challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to go directly to the APA website.

3-17-20-CV-19-Banner

For patients, family members or friends in need of immediate assistance:

  • Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA)
    Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Link)
    Call 800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline
  • Crisis Textline (Link)
    Text TALK to 741741
  • Veterans Crisis Line (VA)
    Call 800-273-8255 or text 838255

 

For Families:

 

For Health Care and Community Leaders:

 

For Hospitalists and Primary Care:

 

For Psychiatrists:

With COVID-19 evolving rapidly across the world, APA’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters and the APA’s Council on International Psychiatry compiled the following list of resources for psychiatrists. The resources cover not only the physical impact of the coronavirus, but on its potential mental health and psychosocial issues and responses. The resources also include a section on telepsychiatry, to prepare for the possibility of isolation and/or quarantine.

Webinars

APA is producing webinars to provide up-to-date information as the situation evolves.

APA Spring Highlights Meeting 2020

  • Featuring psychiatry’s foremost experts and leaders, including federal mental health agency directors and APA leadership

Recordings and slide downloads from this live, virtual event are now available. Sessions include physician leadership, telepsychiatry, and healthcare worker and organizational sustainment during COVID-19.

Access Recordings

Serious Mental Illness and COVID-19: Tailoring ACT Teams, Group Homes, and Supportive Housing

  • Adina Bridges, LCSW; Kurt Cousins, M.D.; Helle Thorning, Ph.D., M.S., LCSW-R

This free townhall presentation, from a panel of SMI experts, answers questions about arising best practices being implemented by Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, and supporting those in supportive housing or group homes.

Access Recording

How to Address COVID 19 Across Inpatient, Residential and other Non-Ambulatory Care Settings

  • Faculty: Harsh Trivedi, M.D., M.B.A.; Ryan Kimmel, M.D.; Frank A. Ghinassi, Ph.D.

In this free webinar from APA and the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH), hear from experts about how to manage different types of services, key messages to give to your team leaders, unique challenges for people with SMI, how to handle group therapy, and more.

Access Recording

Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19

  • Faculty: Peter Yellowlees, MBBS, M.D.; John Torous, M.D.

This free webinar from SMI Adviser (APA & SAMHSA) offers learners an overview of how to use telemental health and video visits in the changing landscape surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Access Recording

Managing the Mental Health Effects of COVID-19

  • Faculty: Joshua C. Morganstein, M.D., CAPT; Stephen J. Cozza, MD, COL

This free webinar from APA will outline how psychiatrists can support patients, communicate with family members and children, and be a resource to other providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Access Recording

 

COVID-19 Psychiatric Practice Guidance

[UPDATED 4/17] APA is tracking guidance released by the Department of Health and Human Services and at the state level related to COVID-19 to assist psychiatrists with providing mental health and substance use services.

View recent changes and guidance impact telehealth, substance use disorders and treatment services, and inpatient psychiatric settings.

Learn More Here

 

APA’s Practice Management HelpLine

If you are an APA member, APA’s Practice Management HelpLine is ready to assist you with your practice management needs. Help is available on how to manage the day-to-day operations of your practice in the midst of this pandemic, including telehealth, coding, documentation, reimbursement, contracting with managed care companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.

Learn More Here

 

CDC Information

 

COVID-19 & Mental Health

 

New Telehealth Rules

Rules regarding the practice of telepsychiatry have changed quickly. CMS released guidance on March 17, 2020, that now allows patients to be seen via live videoconferencing in their homes, without having to travel to a qualifying “originating site” for Medicare telehealth encounters, regardless of geographic location.

To learn more about whether telepsychiatry may be a helpful option for your practice, and to access APA’s collection of resources on telepsychiatry, use the links below:

 

 

Ithaca Cupcakes 2019: Special Awards

Contestants in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on October 19 dished up spectacular entries—congratulations to these winners of Special Awards!

I Might be a Short Cake, But It Really Stacks Up Award

Madely Myers

I’ve FALLen For You Award

Natalie McCaskill-Myers

Pumpkiniest Award

Faith Heath

Un-Be-Leaf-Able Award

Monica Lee Cotto

Paws-itively Adorable Award

Kelsey Pipkin

Head Over Heels for the Chocolate Heart Award

Audrey Greene

It’s Early Gre(y)at

Veronica Fitzpatrick

It Takes Two To Mango Award

Mary Sever-Schoonmaker

Tea-Riffic! Award

Ashley Bacalso & Shiang Chin

Nonu Would Be Proud Award

Kyra O’Toole

Mint to Be Award

Violet Zoner

Berry Delicious Award

Erin Morris

Season’s Greetings Award

Miranda Crosley

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice Award

Rebacca Gray

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Award

Tabitha Gray

It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Award

Hannah & Cheryl Stephenson

Most Attractive to Bees Award

Hallie Sims

madelymyersMadely Myers’s entry: strawberry and cream cheese cupcakes reflecting “sweet” Sophie

nataliemccaskillmyersNatalie McCaskill-Myers’s entry: pumpkin and spice cupcakes inpired by the Farmer’s Market

faithheathFaith Heath’s entry: pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and gold and black crystal sprinkles

monicaleecottoMonica Lee Cotto’s entry: banana cream cupcakes decorated with a chocolate gold feather

kelseypipkinKelsey Pipkin’s tiramisu expresso-flavored cupcakes decorated with kitty-themed lady finger biscuits

audreygreeneAudrey Greene’s entry: chocolate and raspberry cupcakes with a chocolate heart decoration

veronicafitzpatrickVeronica Fitzpatrick’s entry: Earl Grey cupcakes with a candied grapefruit peel, brandy snap, and edible flower petals

maryseverschoonmakerMary Sever-Schoonmaker’s entry: “Mango Wango Tango” ginger cupcakes with homemade mango curd with a white chocolate bubble bark garnish

ashleyshiangAshley Bacalso & Shiang Chin’s entry: Green tea cupcakes garnished with a matcha pocky stick

kyraotooleKyra O’Toole’s entry: dark chocolate cannoli cupcakes with Italian meringue frosting

violetzonerViolet Zoner’s entry: chocolate cupcakes with mint Oreo, Italian meringue frosting, and Oreo crumbles and candy melt drizzles

erinmorrisErin Morris’s entry: Blueberry bourbon homegrown basil cupcakes iced with blueberry buttercream frosting

mirandacrosleyMiranda Crosley’s entry: pumpkin cupcakes filled with spiced cranberry sauce topped with leaf-shaped pie crust decorations and a sugared cranberry

rebeccagrayRebacca Gray’s entry: chocolate lime and black pepper cupcakes with coconut lime frsoting

tabithagrayTabitha Gray’s entry: lemon mango cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting decorated with chocolate chips and lemon drops

hannahcherylHannah & Cheryl Stephenson’s entry: “Puff-kin Patch” spice cupcakes with cinnamon caramel ermine frosting and jack-o-lantern decorations

halliesimsHallie Sims’s entry: wild blackberry cardamom cupcakes and lemon blackberry cream frosting decorated with sugared blackberries and mint leaves (all of which seemed to delight Ithaca’s honey bee population!)

Ithaca Cupcakes 2019: Honorable Mention Awards

This year’s annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest set a record for entries—66 bakers created their magic and brought it down to the Bernie Milton Pavilion on Saturday October 19. The judges had an impossible task, but besides the top three winners they selected six bakers to receive Honorable Mention Awards. Bravo and thanks to all 66 contestants—you were amazing!

All Honorable Mention awardees were presented with $25 gift certificates from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Honorable Mention

Active Minds at Ithaca High School

Rachel Allison

Akiko Cliteur

Kate Bagnell

Erica Brath

Heather Williams

7B584E0C-0F84-4436-AD61-E3BFB936284CActive Minds at Ithaca High School’s entry: Napoleon ice cream-themed cupcakes set in a classic cone with layers of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate cake topped with homemade whipped cream and sprinkles.

ADA14739-ADFC-4EA3-963B-B03605AE43FDRachel Allison’s entry: Chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate truffle and intense strawberry flavor, topped with a Nutella, raspberry and white chocolate buttercream swirl–and a pouring cup of chocolate sauce.

F80A9D81-A5A4-4862-B7D7-194B5E52B589Akiko Cliteur’s entry: Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting accompanied by lemon flavored macarons with almond, cranberry, and pistachio toppings.

B5FA12AB-ED89-4E13-94BB-39D9EC4F4AD4Kate Bagnell’s entry: The “cookie-lover’s cupcakes” are chocolate chip cupcakes with cookie dough core, topped with chocolate fudge, buttercream frosting, and a mini chocolate chip sandwich cookie.

F967CB72-7C7D-4402-A394-15CC95948654Erica Brath’s entry: All-vegan chocolate stout cupcakes with whiskey buttercream icing and dark chocolate dragon decorations.

0496724F-77CE-48CE-A870-74CC19275F96Heather Williams’s entry: Spiced pumpkin cupcakes filled with cranberry compote with cranberry cheesecake frosting.

Ithaca’s Best Cupcakes 2019

Here are the winners in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest organized by The Sophie Fund in the Ithaca Commons on October 19. (More winners will be posted soon!)

ZoeDubrowZoe Dubrow (right) won the Grand Prize

DubrowCupcakesZoe Dubrow’s “Cup(cakes) of Tea” were made of Earl Grey cake layered with fall flower honey cheesecake and honeyed lemon curd inside of an Earl Grey-infused white chocolate tea cup. The cupcakes were garnished with a candied lemon slice and a frosted Earl Grey short bread tea bag cookie.

1st Prize

$250 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Zoe Dubrow

2655AC04-F3E8-48E5-9A9D-2A72D3B17233Ann Phelan’s “Toasty Campfire Cupcakes” won second prize in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest!  Her chocolate cupcakes with Graham Cracker crust were topped with marshmallow-like frosting.

2nd Prize

$100 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Ann Phelan

F507859D-7B65-4DD4-B876-FDBFE8281B01Jennifer Dobmeier’s “I Love Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes” won third prize in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest! The pumpkin spice cupcakes were filled with expresso mascarpone filling, and topped with pumpkin spice vanilla frosting and a white chocolate coffee cup lid.

3rd Prize

$50 gift certificate for GreenStar Natural Foods Market

Jennifer Dobmeier

48628259-563B-410A-ACF5-F86388F8E9A2Takoda Warner’s vegan cupcakes won the Youth Award in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest! The fig and rosemary pound cake cupcakes were topped by a vegan white chocolate flower.

Youth Award

$100 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Takoda Warner