Suicide Prevention

02/10/2015

With Help comes HOPENatl Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.

History

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA of NYC) launched the Lifeline on January 1, 2005. MHA of NYC’s independent subsidiary, Link2Health Solutions, Inc. (L2HS), the administrator of the grant, works with its partners, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and MHA of NYC to manage the project, along with Living Works, Inc., an internationally respected organization specializing in suicide intervention skills training. The Lifeline is independently evaluated by a federally-funded investigation team from Columbia University’s Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene. L2HS receives ongoing consultation and guidance from national suicide prevention experts, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders through the Lifeline’s Steering Committee, Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, and Standards, Training and Practices Subcommittee.

Learn more: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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President Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act

President Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act

Clay Hunt

Clay Hunt

Obama to hold public ceremony for veterans suicide prevention bill

2/09/15 12:09 PM EST By Martin Matishak – TheHill

President Obama on Thursday will sign legislation meant to help prevent suicides among veterans during a public ceremony.

The president will sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act into law in a ceremony from the East Room of the White House, said a spokeswoman for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The advocacy group had pushed for Congress to pass the bill and had urged Obama to hold a public signing ceremony.
The Senate voted 99-0 to pass the legislation last week; it sailed through the House in a 403-0 vote last month.

The legislation, named after a Marine Corps veteran [Clay Hunt] who took his life after serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, calls for independent audits of suicide-prevention programs in the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments to determine which are successful and which should be eliminated.

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The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act will: 

  • Increase access to menal health care by, amoung other things, creating a peer support and community outreach pilot program to assist transitioning service members as well as a one-stop, interactive website of avaiable resources.
  • Bettter meet the demand for mental hearlth care by stating a pilot program to repay the loan debt of students in psychiatry so itis easier to recruit them to waork at the VA.
  • Boost the accountability of mental health care by requiring an annual evaluation of DOD and VA suicide-prevention practies and programs.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015
President Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act
East Room

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Pres. Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

01/29/2015

Personal Omics Profile

 

Precision Medicine Initiative

“‘Personalized medicine’ refers to the tailoring of medi- cal treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. It does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to a patient but rather the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their sus- ceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. Preventive or therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not.”

American Society for Clinical Pathology

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Precision Medicine: Improving Health and Treating Disease

Last night, at his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced that he is launching a new precision medicine initiative that will help deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.

Many of you may be wondering: What exactly is “precision medicine,” and how can it transform medicine as it is practiced today?

Today, most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” In too many cases, this “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t effective, as treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others. Precision medicine is an emerging approach to promoting health and treating disease that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles, making it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases. In short, precision medicine gives clinicians new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

This approach is already saving lives. Bill Elder, one of the First Lady’s guests at the State of the Union last night, was eight years old when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, at a time when patients typically lived until only early adulthood. But in 2012, as a result of a collaborative effort between a patient organization, researchers, and a pharmaceutical company, a new drug was developed that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in about 4% of patients—those with a particular genetic mutation. Bill was among the 4 percent, and as a result, now looks forward to a long, full life and career as a primary care doctor. His story is a testament to the promise of precision medicine.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/01/21/precision-medicine-improving-health-and-treating-disease

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“Twenty-first century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development.  I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.  
 
In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable.  So tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.  We can do this.”

1/20/15 President Barack Obama in his  State of the Union Address

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National Institutes of Health – Precision Medicine

Friday, January 30th
President Obama hosts patients, clinicians, researchers, leaders in government and industry
to announce details of his Precision Medicine Initiative

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Call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act

01/15/2015

FACT SHEET: White House Unveils New Steps to Strengthen Working Families Across America

Tomorrow, the President will unveil new proposals to strengthen the middle class by giving working families the flexibility to balance their families and jobs and giving all Americans the opportunity to earn sick days.  Building on the steps the Administration announced last year during the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, tomorrow’s announcement includes:

  • Calling on Congress, as well as States and cities, to pass legislation [The Healthy Families Act] that would allow millions of working Americans to earn up to seven days of paid sick time per year;
  • Proposing more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to develop paid family and medical leave programs and announcing that the Department of Labor will use $1 million in existing funds to help States and municipalities conduct feasibility studies; and
  • Modernizing the Federal workplace by signing a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for parents with a new child and calling on Congress to pass legislation giving federal employees an additional six weeks of paid parental leave.

The challenge of balancing work and family has grown as families have shifted so that today in most families all parents work and all parents contribute to caregiving.  Across married and single parent families, all parents are working in more than 60 percent of households with children, up from 40 percent in 1965.  And today, more than 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 participate in the labor force, compared with around 30 percent in the 1970s.  Yet the fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job. In fact, the United States remains the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

That is why the President is announcing additional efforts to help working families that build on the steps he announced at last June’s White House Summit, including support for states to design paid leave programs and a Presidential Memorandum that established a “right to request” flexible workplace arrangements for Federal workers and directed Federal agencies to expand flexible workplace policies to the maximum possible extent. The White House Council on Economic Advisers also released a report (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/leave_report_final.pdf) last June on the economic benefits of paid leave. From increasing the minimum wage, to equal pay for women, to workplace flexibility, to child care, to paid leave – President Obama is taking action on issues that impact America’s working families.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/fact-sheet-white-house-unveils-new-steps-strengthen-working-families-acr

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Maternity Leave Law by Countries

The United States it the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

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President Obama 2014 Year In Review

12/18/2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: Creating Economic Opportunity for All Americans in 2014

December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took office in the depths of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Six years later, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, and the decisive actions he took early on – to bring the economy back from the brink, to save the auto industry, and to build a new foundation for middle-class growth – we’ve made real progress.

The economy grew at a combined 4.2% pace in the second and third quarters of this year, the strongest six-month period of growth in more than a decade.  American businesses have added new jobs for 57 consecutive months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record, for a total of 10.9 million new jobs. The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has come in industries with higher wages.  And wages across the economy are rising – a very welcome sign for millions of American families.

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones:

The President pledged that 2014 would be a year of action and he has spent the last 12 months working with Congress where he could and taking action on his own where needed to revitalize the economy. He also worked closely with leaders from businesses, nonprofits, education, and communities to expand opportunity for more American families. These efforts have helped contribute to economic progress in a number of ways. Some critical efforts include:

Supporting Job Creation Through Manufacturing and Exports

Manufacturing job growth doubled this year – to about 15,000 jobs per month compared to 7,000 jobs per month last year. In total, since February 2010, the United States has directly added 764,000 manufacturing jobs, with the sector expanding employment at its fastest rate in nearly two decades. And the United States’ renewed competitiveness in manufacturing is bringing production back, with 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group actively considering bringing production back from China to the United States, up from 37 percent only 18 months prior. The Administration has helped support these efforts by taking steps including:

  • Launching New Hubs as Part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States
  • Growing Our Investments in Advanced Manufacturing Research
  • Another Year of Record-Breaking Exports
    • The Made in Rural America Initiative Leads to a Boost in Small Rural Manufacturing Exports and Other Companies
    • Intensifying and Broadening Our Export Promotion
    • The Advocacy Center at the Department of Commerce Enjoyed a Record-Breaking Year in Helping U.S. Firms Win Contracts Abroad to Create Jobs at Home

Taking Action to Raise the Minimum Wage

Following President Obama’s call on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, states, cities and counties, and business leaders have taken action on their own to increase wages across the country. And on February 12, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, requiring that workers on new Federal contracts be paid $10.10 an hour.

  • 14 States Passed Minimum Wage Increases – and 7 Million Workers Are Set to Benefit From Increases Passed Since the President’s Initial Call in 2013
  • Cities and Counties Have Also Taken Steps to Raise Wages
  • Businesses – Both Large and Small – Are Taking Action
  • President Obama’s Action will Ensure that All Employees of Federal Contractors are Paid at Least $10.10 an HourSupporting Job Skills and Employment Opportunities

Working with Congress, businesses, states and cities and non-profits, the President has taken action to make sure our job-training system is preparing and connecting Americans to the jobs that employers are looking to fill. From an across-the-board review of our job-training system to new grants that support apprenticeships and help connect the long-term unemployed to work, the President and his Administration have used every tool available to train Americans with the skills they need, and connect them with businesses that are looking for skilled workers.

  • Reforming Our Job-Training System to Make It Demand Driven
  • Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work: President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are out of work, including the long-term unemployed, find jobs or get the skills they need so they can succeed in the labor force. Since that call to action, long-term unemployment has declined by 1.1 million and progress has been made on all three fronts, including:
    • $170 million in grants awarded in October to programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
    • A new set of best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed signed by over 200 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process.
    • Toolkits created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the input of about 100 White House Best Practice signatories to help more employers implement the best practices.
    • Finally, following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
  • $450 Million in Grants to Nearly 270 Community Colleges Partnering with More than 400 Employers Nationally
  • Investing in a Competitive Workforce Through Apprenticeships

Providing High-Quality Education to America’s Students

Ensuring that all Americans are prepared for the jobs of the future and strengthening middle-class security, starts with a strong education system.  The President has taken a number of steps over the past year to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, connect every student to high-speed Internet, and make college more affordable.

  • Committing to Affordable Higher Education
    • Expanding Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity
    • Protecting Students from Unaffordable Debts at Career College Programs
  • Committing to Early Education: Throughout 2013 and 2014, the President challenged states, business leaders, and Congress to help more children gain access to the early education they need to succeed in school and in life.  On December 10, 2014, the President convened philanthropists, educators, community leaders and others to announce a collective investment of over $1 billion for early childhood education.  Federal commitments of $750 million will support early learning for over 63,000 children while corporate and philanthropic leaders’ independent commitments of $330 million will expand the reach and enhance the quality for thousands more.
  • ConnectED to the Future:  In June 2013, President Obama visited Mooresville, NC to announce the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to ensure 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband in the classroom by 2017, and called for private sector leaders and the FCC To help connect our students. Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, providing a $2 billion down payment and passing a proposal that provides recourses needed to meet the President’s ConnectED goals.  Additionally, private-sector companies have committed more than $2 billion in resources to schools to supplement federal actions and help support cutting-edge technologies across a greater number of schools and homes. On November 19, 2014, The President hosted school leaders and educators to push this effort forward and make all schools “Future Ready”.  More than 1,200 superintendents joined the Administrations Future Ready District Pledge to set a vision for digital learning across America.  Combined, this pledge will already reach 10 million students across 16,000 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/year-review-creating-economic-opportunity-all-americans-2014

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UPDATE:

12/23/14 Financial Headlines:

Dow Busts Through 18,000 on Hot GDP and a Patient Fed

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.6 Percent in October

Consumer Sentiment Ends 2014 at Seven-Year High in Michigan Poll

Economy Grows by 5% Most in a Decade on U.S. Consumer-Spending Gain

Pres Obama Year of Action

2014 the Year of Action

In his 2014 State of the Union, the President said that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. He’s making good on that promise (despite that Congress did not help, labeling them the ‘Worst Congress ever’.

What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.

And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.

Here’s an update on the more than 40 actions he’s taken since January to do just that.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

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List of President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions to Help Americans – ProPresObama compilation

Pres Obama US - Cuba Relations

and on 12/17/14 President Obama Charts a New Course on US – Cuba Relations

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World AIDS Day 2014

11/30/2014

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day

 

U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap

* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF)
* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PDF)
* Key activities ONAP has undertaken so far
* Next steps in developing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

* December 01, 2014 FACT SHEET: Focus, Partner, Achieve – the U.S. Commitment to Addressing HIV/AIDS


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Presidential ProclamationWorld AIDS Day, 2014

United Nations – World AIDS Day, 1 December

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Waiting for Congress’ Approval – The Need for a US Surgeon General

10/19/2014

A Surgeon General nominee ‘tied up in politics’

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10/15/14 04:54 PM—UPDATED 10/15/14 06:48 PM By Steve Benen – maddowblog
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There’s a fair amount of public anxiety about the Ebola virus, and it’s important to have U.S. officials communicating clearly and effectively with the public so Americans understand the nature of the problem. That might ordinarily be the job of the U.S. Surgeon General, but as of now, we don’t actually have one.
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As regular readers may recall, President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy to the post nearly a year ago, and at first blush, this seemed like a no-brainer – Murthy is an impressive medical professional with sterling credentials. He’s an attending physician, an instructor, and a public-health advocate, so when Obama nominated him for the post, no one questioned his qualifications.
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But Murthy, like so many in his field, also sees a connection between gun violence and public health, which meant Republicans and the NRA decided to destroy his nomination. Senate Democrats could have confirmed him anyway, but red-state Dems got election-year jitters, which means. at least for now, Murthy has been temporarily derailed and the Surgeon General’s office is empty during a public-health scare.
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Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

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FDA Gains Access Database of Chemicals in Foods

08/27/2014

Chemicals in Food

 

Big Food to divulge chemical info

Food companies are trying to beat the federal government’s push to make chemicals in food more transparent.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents America’s biggest food companies, is set to announce a major new initiative Wednesday that will give the Food and Drug Administration access to a large database of safety information for chemicals used in processed foods, from Twinkies to almond milk.

Pressure has been building on FDA for years to look more closely at food chemicals, which are mostly self-approved by food companies relying on publicly available science and panels of industry-paid experts. But the agency hasn’t gotten around to it.

The move makes GMA look good. But even the sharpest critics of how the food industry uses food chemicals, whose safety assessments are often not shared with FDA, are welcoming the voluntary industry move. So is the agency.

For more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/big-food-to-divulge-chemical-info-110395.html?hp=f2 

 

FDA Food Additives & Ingredients Links

 

 


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