Snowbirds: Mental health migration

Snowbirds: Mental health migration

According to the Naples Daily News, Florida’s population swells by 20 to 30 percent beginning each fall. The reason is snowbirds—those ambulatory seniors—descend on the Sunshine State in groves. Most migrate to escape Minnesota, Calgary and other frigid climates. But traveling to warmer temps is not the only benefit these seniors enjoy. Studies show they live longer and retain a healthier mental edge than their homebound counterparts.

[…] Read more

Mass shootings: School shootings and surveillance cameras

Mass shootings: School shootings and surveillance cameras

According to a 2014 Associated Press analysis, school shootings did not decrease following the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In 2014, there were 11 shootings in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Tennessee, Colorado and other states. In a PBS Rundown story, Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center, says it’s easy to blame bad parents, video games, access to guns and a culture that does not value the sanctity of human life for the violence. The challenge is preventing the violence. “A line I often use is do everything you can, knowing you can’t […] Read more

Mass shootings: Guns and a lonely bitter existence

Mass shootings: Guns and a lonely bitter existence

Chris Harper Mercer killed nine people and wounded 10 before being killed by police. The Los Angeles Times reports Mercer left behind racist, anti-religious and anti-government writings. USA Today reports Oregon police found a document believed to have been written by Mercer. The contents reveal a bitter lonely individual with few outside contacts. According to police, Mercer expresses little hope for the future in the note.

[…] Read more

50 years later and Dallas still feels guilt

50 years later and Dallas still feels guilt

5,000 “Wanted for Treason” posters bearing John F. Kennedy’s photograph were distributed in Dallas, Texas, in the days leading up to the president’s November 1963 visit to the city. According to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza website, the poster was created by Robert Surrey, who was an associate of Major General Edwin Walker. Walker survived an assassination attempt by Lee Harvey Oswald months before Oswald shot the president. According to some Dallas residents, the city’s guilt over the president’s assassination continues to this day.

[…] Read more

Borderline border patrol agents

Borderline border patrol agents

In 2014, U.S. Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares took into custody a Honduran woman, her teenage daughter and another teenage female. The women surrendered to Manzanares in Mission, Texas on the banks of the Rio Grande River. Instead of transporting the three to a processing center, Manzanares drove them to a deserted location where he raped the mother and daughter. He slit the mother’s wrists and tried to break the daughter’s neck. Leaving them for dead, he took the other girl to his Mission apartment where he left her naked and bound. Manzanares returned to work, completed his shift and […] Read more

Mental illness, incarceration and alternatives in Texas

Mental illness, incarceration and alternatives in Texas

The Texas Department of State Health Services, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice published a report titled “Another Look at Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Involvement in Texas: Correlates and Costs.” The purpose of the report was to determine if individuals with diagnosed mental disorders who repeatedly run afoul of the law would be better served by pre-booking diversion programs for mental health and substance abuse counseling. The short answer is yes, but with stipulations.

[…] Read more

Complicated grief: Depression and Seniors

Complicated grief: Depression and Seniors

Medical Daily reports nearly 40 percent of all women over the age of 65 are widows. As they get older, in addition to grieving the loss of their spouses, these women often endure the deaths of friends and relatives. When the cumulative effect of this grief becomes too great, many experience a conditional called complicated grief. According to physicians, complicated grief includes all of the symptoms of typical grief but lasts for a protracted period of time. People in the throes of complicated grief ruminate on the loss of their loved ones and have trouble finding a purpose to life. […] Read more

Youth sports and concussion policies

Youth sports and concussion policies

In the last 10 years, emergency room visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries—TBIs—among youth increased 62 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s—CDC—report, “Implementing Return to Play: Learning from the Experiences of Early Implementers,” football and hockey have the highest incidence of concussion. Concussions are not as common in individual sports, though they do occur at some regularity in gymnastics and diving. According to the CDC report, the 15 to 19 year-old age group for both sexes is at the greatest risk for sustaining concussions.

[…] Read more

Concussions and the tau of chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Concussions and the tau of chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy—CTE—is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It affects individuals—boxers, football players—who have received repeated blows to the head and concussions. CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem. There is no cure.

According to a PBS Frontline episode that aired in 2014, the researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ brain repository examined the brains of 128 individuals who played professional, college or high school football. 101 tested positive for CTE. The brains of 76 of 79 former NFL players had CTE.

[…] Read more