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(Continued from Part I…)

Care – Show you care. The context of caring makes it a lot easier to ask the hard questions about suicide. By actively listening and engaging, without judgment, you are showing that you care – this might just be enough to help the person feel relief and that they are not alone.

Escort – When someone acknowledges that they are feeling suicidal or hopeless, care enough to connect them to the nearest helping resource. Do not leave them alone! If possible, separate them from methods of harm.

Resources that are available 

  • Take the person to the nearest Emergency Room, where they will receive a full suicide assessment and receive needed care. If the person is hesitant to receive emergency healthcare, call 911.
  • Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and follow their guidance. You can also visit their website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org for further information.
  • If the person you know has a mental health professional that they see, help them schedule an urgent appointment. If they do not have an existing connection with a mental health professional, help them make an urgent appointment with their family physician. 

This year Suicide Prevention Week is celebrated September 10 – 16. The week is about prevention awareness but it is also about reducing the stigma surrounding suicide and encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance, such as therapy.

Suicide is a problem that affects people of all different walks of life. Many of us know someone, such as a friend, family member or coworker that has committed or attempted suicide. Over the past 20 years, suicide rates have risen rather steadily in the United States. Suicide is currently ranked as the 10th highest cause of death of among all ages.

During the month of September, we celebrate Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, as suicide is preventable and together through treatment and support, we can help reduce the number of suicides.

Warning signs of suicide

  • Feeling extreme depression, guilt, or shame.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Talking about, or preoccupation with, death or suicide.
  • Preparing for death, such as updating/preparing a will, giving away possessions, or taking steps to access lethal means (buying a firearm, acquiring quantities of pills/medication, researching ways to die).
  • Exhibiting a dramatic change in behavior, including withdrawal from friends or usual activities, increased alcohol/drug use, difficulties in sleeping or eating, decreased self-care.

What to do if someone you know is experiencing a crisis or hurting

If you believe someone needs help, we encourage you to follow the ACE (Ask, Care, Escort) suicide prevention model, with these easy-to-remember steps:

Ask – Ask, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” Although it may feel awkward, research shows that people having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks them in a caring way.

(Continued in Part II…)

Everyone has heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but if you are a woman over the age of 50 then you should be having a banana or two along with that apple. 

Recent studies show that woman over the age of 50 who ate foods high in potassium were 12 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke in general and 16 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke caused by a blood clot, or an ischemic stroke. 

Lastly the study showed that women were 10 percent less likely to die, from any cause, than those who ate low amounts of food containing potassium.

Another interesting finding from the study was that the correlation between potassium intake and stroke prevention was highest amongst women who did not have high blood pressure.  Therefore, nutritionists suggest that women should increase their potassium intake before high blood pressure has the chance to develop.

For women who aren’t big fans of bananas, never fear.  You can get twice as much potassium in a serving of spinach than you get in one banana. Become a label reader as many foods contain potassium that you may not know about.

It’s time to get fit for Fall, with this 30-day Cardio Challenge featuring 2 exercises – high knees and mountain climbers.

Day 1:  40 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 2:  60 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 3:  20 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 4:  40 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 5: 60 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 6: 60 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 7:  80 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 8: 40 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 9: 80 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 10: 80 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 11: 100 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 12: 80 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 13: 40 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 14: 80 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 15: 100 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 16: 140 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 17: 100 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 18: 40 high knees, 80 climbers

Day 19: 100 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 20: 140 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 21:  160 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 22: 120 high knees, 60 climbers

Day 23 :60 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 24: 100 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 25: 160 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 26: 200 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 27: 160 high knees, 40 climbers

Day 28: 100 high knees, 20 climbers

Day 29: 100 high knees, 80 climbers

Day 30: 240 high knees, 60 climbers

  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • The nutrients in sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, which means that besides being great tasting, sweet potatoes can help reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6.

Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato Brownies 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Spread over the brownies while they are still warm

Recipe: Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries 

  • 6 sweet potatoes cut into French fries
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries overusing a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.