News Roundup: Golden Gate Safety Net, Seth Rogen Speaks to Senators

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, CaliforniaAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the third leading cause of death among adolescents, especially teenage boys.

Groups such as SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) dedicate their efforts to raising awareness about the signs of suicidal ideation and behavior, as well as educating the public on how to prevent suicide. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that more than 30,000 people in the United States take their own lives each year—and nearly 11 times that amount attempt suicide.

Earlier this week, SFGate reported that suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge have reached an all-time high with 46 deaths in 2013. Locals and loved ones of those who have lost their lives by jumping off the bridge are clamoring for an already approved but underfunded safety net to be installed to prevent future bridge suicides.

Here in Olympia, Washington, a former University of Washington student who nearly attempted suicide at age 24 and is now in recovery, says that when he first sought help at a primary clinic, the nurse practitioner did not ask him how he was feeling or if he was suicidal; she simply wrote a prescription. On Tuesday, February 25, he appealed to Washington state officials in Olympia—along with other suicide prevention advocates—to make suicide prevention training a requirement for medical professionals.

In other mental health news…

Bullying Affects Mental Health For Years

A study published in Pediatrics reveals that the effects of bullying during school-age years linger long after the incidents and interactions take place.

Why Six Nonviolent Offenders with Mental Illnesses Are Being Forced to Stay in a Nevada Jail

Insufficient funding and a shortage of beds in state mental health facilities have kept at least six people with mental health issues in Nevada prison cells for up to three months longer than their sentences require. Significant cuts to mental health funding from 2009 to 2012 have contributed to the lack of resources for appropriate care.

Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Fatalities to Hold First Public Meeting

On February 24, 2014, the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Fatalities held their first public meeting in Washington, DC. The individuals who participated in the event at an administrative level were appointed by President Obama in September of 2013.

FY2014 Funding for SAMHSA Expands Vital Mental Health Services—Especially for Children and Youth

Additional funding in the amount of $276 million has been granted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to address the mental health needs of children and youth, specifically. Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) is one of the initiatives being launched to provide adequate mental health training to teachers and other professionals who work with youth and their families.

SAMHSA Is Accepting Applications for up to $25.2 Million for Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Approximately $25.2 million in grant money is available through SAMHSA to help pregnant and postpartum women access residential treatment for substance abuse. Public and private nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

It Happened to Me: I Almost Became a Victim of Sex Trafficking at the Sochi Olympics

A former NFL cheerleader turned writer, reporter, and sports broadcaster was lured into a potential sex trafficking trap at the Sochi Olympics. She tells her story firsthand to XO Jane.

Feel-Good Story of the Week: Seth Rogen Gives Touching Personal Testimony to Senate on Alzheimer’s

It’s always encouraging to see someone of celebrity status stand up for a cause. In an effort to raise awareness and appeal for increased government funding for Alzheimer’s, Seth Rogen, whose mother-in-law has the condition, shared his sentiments in a congressional hearing. Though only two senators stuck around to hear his story, video footage of Rogen’s testimony already has over one million views on YouTube.

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  • Coley

    March 1st, 2014 at 5:52 AM

    Kind of surprised that SF hasn’t done anything more to protect their ctizens re: Golden Gate bridge jumps

  • geena

    March 3rd, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    All of the stories this week are so interesting! I love the Olympics every few years or so and to think that something so insiduous could happen around that time that should be celebrating life and its abilities puts a little bit of a stain over the games that the Russians hosted.

  • Chapman

    March 4th, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    I applaud Seth Rogen for his bravery in speaking up. That must be so intimidating and yet he did it. This is a star with some heart!

  • T Harris

    March 5th, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    I have never really understood the thought process behind locking up people with mental illness in the same facilities as those who are criminally violent. Are they getting the help that they need to return into society? Doubtful. And shameful that there has been so many cuts in funding for the programs that could be of use to them that now there are many with nowhere to go. I keep holding out hope that our country will do a better job providing for this population but I am starting to think that this may just be a pipe dream. The funding isn’t there and other than our little corner of the world the support isn’t there to keep the funding going.

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