24 Sep

Mental Health Issues in Indiana Youth: Not the Typical Teen Angst

first_imgPresident and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, Bill Stanczykiewicz, says a high number of Indiana teens have contemplated or attempted suicide. (Photo: IYI)Hoosier children are facing a health crisis, experts say, with almost 20 percent experiencing mental health challenges.Many are not getting the care necessary to help them deal with those issues, said Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and chief executive of the Indiana Youth Institute. Even more concerning, he said, is that 19 percent of Indiana students have contemplated suicide – the highest rate in the nation.“Eleven percent of Indiana teenagers have actually attempted suicide,” he said. “That’s the second-highest rate in the country. So here in the Hoosier State, our teenagers are telling us this is a serious challenge that we need to be aware of.”Stanczykiewicz said the best prevention and detection of mental-health challenges happens through relationships at home, at school, and at community organizations. The State Commission on Improving the Status of Children listed undiagnosed and untreated mental illness as top concerns among Hoosier youth.Stanczykiewicz said parents and educators should watch for warnings signs including changes in behavior or attitude.“Young people who are overly despondent, overly sad for weeks at a time, not just the normal teen angst,” he said. “Kids who start giving their possessions away, start talking about not being around anymore. Kids who had favorite activities and they abruptly stop. Kids who had friends and they abruptly stop hanging out with those friends.”According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stressful life events such as death of a loved one, a relationship breakup, or school difficulties can increase the possibility of suicide. In addition, youth who identify as homosexual, bisexual or transgender are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.Stanczykiewicz said the key is to detect that a child has a challenge and get them the help they need. He said the family physician is a good place to start.“Physicians more and more are receiving specific training on mental illness,” he said. “Even if they are not an expert themselves, they have enough awareness to watch for the warning signs to detect where mental illness may be occurring and make the proper referral.”If the situation seems urgent, he said, people should call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.Stat Flight.News Servicelast_img read more

19 Aug

Drivers Slow down and help reduce wildlife deaths on highways says university

first_imgResearch by the University of Costa Rica’s (UCR) Ecotourism School has found that speeding drivers are the main cause of death of wildlife on roads in Costa Rica’s Pacific region.Professor Carlos Pérez Reyes and a group of students traveled the region’s busiest roads in 2012-2103, including Route 27 between San José and Caldera, Route 23 in Caldera, Route 17 between Caldera and Puntarenas, Route 34 in the South Pacific and Route 2 connecting San José with the Panama border at Paso Canoas.For a full year the group traveled 650 kilometers, working from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. to count the number of wild animals killed on the roads. Their research determined that Route 34 is the most dangerous for animals, tallying 95 percent of animal roadway deaths, according to the university report, released last Friday.Most of the animals were mammals, accounting for 41.8 percent of the total, followed by reptiles at 23.5 percent, birds at 32.6 percent and amphibians at 1.31 percent.The species most affected by speeding motorists were the black vulture (Coragyps atrattus), iguanas (Iguana iguana), opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and anteaters (Tamandua mexicana). These species represent 60 percent of the total found.“The roadways’ consequences for animals [in Costa Rica] are numerous, especially the fragmentation of their habitats by our constant need to transport products. We have divided mountains without considering that there are many species living there,” Pérez said.The study also showed that most animals die in the early morning hours, mostly on straight stretches of roads, where the speed limit is over 60 kilometers per hour at altitudes no below 50 meters above sea level.Most deaths occurred in November, January and April, the months that coincide with an increased influx of tourists to destinations in the Central and South Pacific. Most animals were killed near agriculture farms and forested areas.Pérez urged drivers to help reduce wildlife deaths by slowing down. “It is evident for us that more animals die in straight stretches of roads, where drivers feel safer and therefore drive faster. Speeding is the main cause of death,” he said.Pérez and his students now plan to distribute information to help raise awareness. He also recommended the government place more barriers, predator decoys and animal repellents.“Every animal has an important role in the ecosystem, and each death causes an imbalance in nature,” he said.Several public and private initiatives to reduce wildlife roadway killings started in 2006, including the hanging of ropes over roads and the building of culverts that cross under them.A Public Works and Transport Ministry report earlier this year noted that currently the South Pacific — the area with the most deaths — has 33 wildlife crossings, including four hanging ropes for monkeys, squirrels and other arboreal species, and 29 tunnels.Pérez believes these efforts are important, but more needs to be done, he said.“We must increase the number of street signs, we need more wildlife crossings and more monitoring on the roads to evaluate results,” he said. Facebook Comments Related posts:New traffic signs aim to reduce wildlife deaths on Costa Rica’s roads Costa Rica utility company helps protect wildlife along 250 km of power lines President Solís promises to submit bill in December against animal abuse President Solís signs new Animal Welfare Lawlast_img read more