Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SEASON'S GREETINGS TO EVERYONE

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm pooped out...

Goodness I'm still tired. My son flew back home on Monday and I slept for days after he left. We had a great time while he was here. I ended up cooking quite a bit though. I knew I would. The whole family got together the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was a great day. So nice to see everyone and plenty of great food to be had.

I went to the dentist on Thursday. Had my upper jawbone scraped and shaped. I look like someone punched me in the mouth. I'm all swollen and bruised. Got some good pain meds though. I'll have the stitches removed next week. Then have to have time to heal then start the fitting process for my dentures. I'll be so happy to get them. It wil be nice to be able to chew once again.

I was suppose to see the hematologist yesterday. But my truck broke down on the way there. So it's in the shop. I'll have to reschedule with the doc. I'm wondering if my iron is low once again---hence being so tired all the time.

I've picked up crocheting once again. I made a scarf for my sister. Am now working on a scarf for my mom. It's a pretty pattern I found on a skein of Simply Soft yarn. Speaking of Simply Soft yarn.....have y'all seen the new Eco skeins? They are made from recycled plastic. I never would have known if I hadn't read it on the wrapper. So to all those knitters and crocheters out there try the Eco thread and help keep some platic out of our landfills. Do your small part to save the environment.

That's it for now......

A big shout out goes to Adam AKA Diet King.....long time no see my friend. Thanks for stopping by.

The rest of y'all head over and check out Adams blog. He's got some great things to say.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advocacy Network


Tell President-elect Obama to Make Healthcare Reform a Key Priority

As he prepares to take office, President-elect Barack Obama faces many pressing issues. Although his campaign identified healthcare reform as a key priority, some will urge him to defer such efforts, suggesting that it will be too costly, too difficult, or not a sufficiently high priority. And while we concur that the nation’s economic health demands critical attention, our economic problems make reform even more urgent because of their impact on people’s health and well-being and the alarming extent to which people can no longer afford needed care. Click here to read more.

Click here to send a digital postcard to President-elect Obama and tell him that you want him to make healthcare reform a top priority in 2009.

Prevent Medicaid Cuts When Many Americans Need It Most!

Email your members of Congress and ask that they temporarily increase state Medicaid funding as part of an economic stimulus bill. Medicaid provides a lifeline of support for millions of low-income Americans who need mental health care. Take action!


Year of Historic Achievements for Mental Health

Mental Health America wants you to know the extraordinary impact Advocacy Network members and others across the country have had in pressing Congress to improve people’s access to needed mental health services. As Congress moves toward the end of a momentous session, we’re proud of the important, and even historic, legislative gains achieved this year. Read the latest edition of the Capitol Hill Update.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Friday, November 21, 2008

National Survivors of Suicide Day


10th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008
Program to Reach Over 170 Conference Sites Nationwide and Internationally Webcast Available on the AFSP Website with Online Chat to Follow


What is National Survivors of Suicide Day?

National Survivors of Suicide Day was created by U.S. Senate resolution, through the efforts of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who lost his father to suicide. Every year, AFSP sponsors an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together for support, healing, information and empowerment.

AFSP's National Survivors of Suicide Day links simultaneous survivor conferences throughout the country and internationally -- each local conference site is organized independently, but they're all connected through a 90-minute broadcast. This unique network of healing conferences helps survivors connect with others who have survived the tragedy of suicide loss, and express and understand the powerful emotions they experience.


On Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008, AFSP will sponsor its 10th annual National Survivors of Suicide Day, reaching out to thousands of people who have lost a loved one to suicide. The day of conferences connects survivors of suicide loss through a 90-minute broadcast, allowing them to share their experiences of loss. The broadcast features a panel of experienced survivors and mental health professionals and offers emotional support and information about resources for healing after the loss of a loved one to suicide.

"This day is both meaningful and helpful to the survivors that participate," AFSP Director of Survivor Initiatives Joanne Harpel said. "It is a day of remembrance that provides survivors with a unique avenue to connect with others who have survived this tragedy of suicide loss."

All local conferences will join in the 2008 broadcast from 1-2:30 p.m. EST. Many of the local conference sites plan their own programs around the broadcast, including panels and breakout groups, all aimed at helping survivors heal. For those survivors of suicide loss who don't live near a conference site or who find it difficult to attend in person, the 90-minute broadcast will also be available on the AFSP website from 1-2:30 pm, EST, with a live online chat immediately following the program. Click here to register to watch from your own computer.

To hear a radio interview with Joanne Harpel, AFSP’s director of survivor initiatives, click here.

Last year's broadcast, originally shown on Nov. 17, 2007, is archived on the AFSP website. Click here to watch the 2007 broadcast free of charge at anytime.

AFSP's National Survivors of Suicide Day is part of a growing movement toward educating the public about suicide and its aftermath. Through AFSP's sustained efforts and awareness campaigns, Americans are increasingly focused on the crisis of suicide. The hope is that participation in the conference will further this movement, encouraging survivors throughout the country and the globe to share their experiences and join together in the healing process.


Broadcast Program (1-2:30 p.m. EST.)


Opening Remarks
Joanne L. Harpel, AFSP Director of Survivor Initiatives

Surviving Suicide Loss: A Panel Discussion
John R. Jordan, Ph.D., moderator (Providence, RI)
Luanne Cali (Kalamazoo, MI)
Debra Clancy (Cincinnati, OH)
Lizette Martinez (Los Angeles, CA)
Peggy Morse (Stockbridge, MA)
Christian Pitkin (San Francisco, CA)
Sidney Zisook, M.D. (San Diego, CA)

Closing Remarks
Robert Gebbia, AFSP Executive Director
Joanne Harpel, AFSP Director of Survivor Initiatives

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Luanne Cali, a computer analyst from Kalamazoo, MI, lost her partner, Linda Konu, a 48-year old construction site manager, in 2004. Luanne and Linda met in the Army in 1975, and were “partners for four years, best friends forever, and soul mates.” A frequent public speaker about her loss, Luanne works with a local crisis center, co-facilitating a support group for survivors. In Linda’s memory, Luanne has also been a coach for Girls on the Run, a non profit organization that encourages self-esteem and health for preteen girls.

Lizette Martinez lost her older brother, 24-year old Miguel, in 2004. He was a recording and sound engineer. Lizette, a professional chef, was featured on The Learning Channel’s “LA Ink” in February, 2008, telling the story of her brother’s suicide as background to the tattoo she requested in the shape of AFSP’s lifesaver logo. She is a member of the board of AFSP’s Los Angeles Chapter and volunteers with the Los Angeles Crisis Response Team.

Peggy Morse’s son and only child, Bryan Michael Gajdarik, took his own life in June of 1997; he had just turned 16. A letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, Peggy has co-facilitated a support group for survivors for six years, trained as an AFSP Survivor Outreach Volunteer, has participated in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight and Community Walks, and established scholarships in Bryan’s memory. To honor Bryan’s interest in the movement of the stars, Peggy specially- designed his cemetery marker to interact with the sun: every year at the moment of his birth, the sunlight lands on a marker bearing her name.

Christian Pitkin lost his father Bill, a longtime senior executive in the insulation and fiberglass industry, in 2003, at the age of 67. A Senior Account Manager for a northern California software company, Christian is the Chair of the NorCal Chapter of AFSP, and has attended three of AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks in his dad’s memory. Christian describes his Dad as the person he would “always first go to for advice.”

Debra Clancy’s husband and high school sweetheart, David, an U.S. Air Force veteran and electrician, took his own life in February, 1995, at the age of 35. At the time of David’s death, Deb had three young children, ages 7, 9, and 11. Deb ultimately remarried, and in addition to raising her children also works handles customer contact and accounting for a family business. She has facilitated a support group for survivors of suicide loss, is Chair of AFSP’s Cincinnati chapter, and has spoken extensively about suicide to school personnel and community groups.

Robert Gebbia has been AFSP’s Executive Director since 1997. Prior to joining AFSP, he was with United Way, and also worked as a Senior Health Planner for the New York City Department of Health. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Hofstra University and an M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research.

Joanne Harpel became AFSP’s first-ever Director of Survivor Initiatives in 2002 after having served on AFSP’s national Board of Directors. Joanne is a former attorney with experience in non-profit administration, and is responsible for the full range of AFSP’s survivor programs, including National Survivors of Suicide Day, the Survivor Outreach Program, the Survivor e-Network, and the Support Group Facilitator Training Program. She is a survivor of the 1993 suicide of her brother Stephen, who was a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

John R. (“Jack”) Jordan, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice specializing in bereavement, is the founder and Director of the Family Loss Project, a research and clinical group based in Boston, MA. Dr. Jordan has worked with survivors for more than 25 years, and is the co-author of After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief, available through AFSP. He is the Professional Advisor to the AFSP Survivor Council and a former board member of both AFSP-New England and the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

Sidney Zisook, M.D., is a Professor and Director of the Residency Training Program for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Author or co-author of over 200 articles, chapters, manuals, and books, Dr. Zisook is best known for his work on bereavement, stress, mood, suicide and psychiatric education, for which he has won numerous awards. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and member of the American College of Psychiatrists, Dr. Zisook also serves on AFSP’s Survivor Research Working Group and on the board of its San Diego Chapter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl




Ahhhh....Conway Twitty....doesn't his voice just give you goose bumps....it does it to me every time. Only him, Barry White and Elvis have that effect. The song is just a fav of mine. Didn't really want the cutsy Birthday song.



Oh well....today is my birthday...48.....it's my mom who should get the well wishes...my dad too...they did all the work...what did I do...nada that's what.

Let me share the story of my real birthday. My mom went into labor and they rushed to the local area hospital. After contacting the doc, my dad was told to bring my mom back to Calera to the docs office. Way back then, dads didn't help with the birth---but it was the wee hours of the morning. There was no nurse there to help. My dad had to help. I was a blue baby---nothing too serious but my dad said it scared him shitless.

Most men want sons but my dad always wanted a daughter. He even had the name all picked out. He tried to get all his brothers and sisters to name their baby girls my name. He never planned on getting married. That is until he saw my mom walking down the street with 2 little kids. He turned to the guy he was working with and told him "I'm gonna marry that woman". A few short months later he did just that.

He raised my older brother and sister as his own. To them he will always be daddy. It didn't take long after they married for me to come along. They just celebrated their 49th anniversary. Not bad huh. So my dad got the daughter he wanted---well most of the time anyway. We have our differences---boy do we have our differences. But no matter what problems we have and no matter how old we get. I will always be daddy's little girl.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama Weekly Democratic Radio Address

Obama is taking the presidency into the Internet age. Where President Frankin D Roosevelt had his fireside chats with America, Obama will place his weekly talks on youtube for all to see.






Or audio only here.

Today, the leaders of the G-20 nations – a group that includes the world’s largest economies – are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets. I’m glad President Bush has initiated this process because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.

And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America’s own economic crisis. This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001. We’ve lost jobs for ten straight months – nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement.

Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our times. And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis – because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever that America will rise once again.

But we must act right now. Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis. I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again. In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year. If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as President.

Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century.

That starts with the kinds of long-term investments that we’ve neglected for too long. That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children. It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.

Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that’s how we will meet the challenges of this time – together. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Restore Our Soldiers

Soldiers who participate in war often come home a very different person from the one who left. Many veterans suffer from “invisible wounds” that have affected them in ways that are subtle yet quite damaging. These invisible wounds are now called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which I prefer to refer to as “soldier's heart,” the term that was used to describe PTSD during and after the Civil War."

Brian Delate,
ROS founder and
Director of "Soldier's Heart"
Restore Our Soldiers



Soldier's Heart Trailer




In honor of Veteran's Day, Restore Our Soldiers website is offering the ability to view the award winning movie, Soldier's Heart.

As you have seen in my 2 previous posts, PTSD has exacted a heavy toll on our returning veterans. Take the time to view this whole movie. Please visit Restore Our Soldiers and see what you can do to get involved.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Distress Signal


Distress Signal | The American Prospect

Derek Henderson was jumpy and full of rage when he came home from Iraq in 2003. Over the next four years, he fought with his mother and brothers and got into trouble with the police. Finally, on June 22, 2007, he jumped off a bridge into the Ohio River. He didn't die, though, at least not right away. He tried to swim to a pole that supports the bridge and then slid under the water. He was 27 years old.

Some suicides seem preordained -- or at least planned with determination and care. That was not the case with Henderson. True, he was a mess, physically and emotionally -- and dangerous, too. He carried a box cutter in his pocket and kept a hatchet in his Mercury Cougar. Once he got into a fight at home with his brother, Garland Sharpe. The fight was so savage, Sharpe barely survived. Henderson, who was 5-foot-11 and weighed 160 pounds, reached for a 10-pound weight during the brawl. Luckily, their mother, Diana Henderson, moved it out of the way. Otherwise, says Sharpe, "I probably wouldn't be here."

Henderson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to medical records that his mother showed to a reporter. He had also made it clear through his conversations, remarks to therapists, and frequent, violent outbursts that he was having problems. At times, his efforts to reach out to people seemed clumsy, even childish, but the message was clear: He could not manage on his own.

continue reading


With Veteran's Day upon us, I find it a tragedy that so many are not receiving the help they need.

I personally do not agree with any war. But I do support the men and women who serve. They have laid down their lives for our country. Only to have our country ignore them once they return home. Get involved to honor the vets.


UPDATE:

While doing this post originally, I was focusing on the aspect of the mental health woes of our current vets. I have since heard from readers of this blog outraged because the above article states the following:

The recent failures of the VA are all the more striking because the agency has been acclaimed for its record of health care. In Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours, author Phillip Longman says the VA received a 2006 award from Harvard for "innovation in government," quoting university officials who describe it as a "model for what modern health care management and delivery should look like."

Apparently I overlooked a very important piece of this article. I personally feel our VA system of care is not good at all. The readers who contacted me had horror stories to share of their loved ones suffering at the hands of the VA. If you have some stories to share feel free to email them to me and I will post them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heal the Hidden Wounds of War



from Mental Health America:



They are wounds you can’t see. Thousands of our veterans return every day from Iraq and Afghanistan with psychological, invisible wounds that are just as real as physical injuries. They affect their daily lives and cause anxiety, pain, and suffering for veterans and their families.

These veterans must then wage another battle here at home to obtain proper treatment and care from the government and deal with the stigma and difficulties of mental heath problems. Nearly one in five combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), putting them at higher risk for suicide. The number of suicides among veterans of those wars may exceed the combat death toll because of inadequate mental health care. The Veterans Affairs Department estimates that 18 veterans commit suicide each day.

That’s a national tragedy. But we can help veterans triumph over these problems.

Give Our Veterans a Healthy Homecoming

Our vets deserve a healthy homecoming. This Veterans Day, we are reminded of the huge sacrifices made by our servicemen and women. Mental Health America is working every day to help rebuild lives and fulfill the duty we owe our veterans and their families.

  • We established Operation Healthy Reunions, a first-of-its-kind program that provides education and helps bust the stigma of mental health issues among soldiers, their families, and medical staff to ensure that a greater number of military families receive the prompt and high-quality care they deserve.

  • We’ve spoken out in the halls of Congress on the need to expand government services to our heroes, to bring care closer to where they live and deliver help to their families.

  • And we won passage of mental health parity legislation, which will help veterans of the National Guard and Reserves who later become employed in the private sector but won’t receive government health care for the rest of their lives.

Join Our Campaign

Now we need your help so we can continue our work. We’ve launched the Campaign for a Healthy Homecoming to ensure we have the resources to serve our veterans. Your contribution of $100, $50, or even $25 will help us win expanded care and greater awareness of the problems these brave men and women face.

Join us so we can give veterans a healthy homecoming. Please give today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

PRESIDENT ELECT





I never thought I would see it in my lifetime.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day


Voting is a right and a responsibility. Do not let anything keep you from exercising it. Want you join me as we become a part of history in the making. I'll be voting for Obama. I feel he is the best candidate to steer us in this time of crisis.

GO VOTE!!!

Your country needs you now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feeling better....

AAAAHHHHH...feeling much better....thank goddess.

I've finally kicked the flu and the Lyrica the neuro doc put me on for the fibro is working wonders. I've only had a few days of break through pain since beginning the 150mg twice a day level. Lyrica is one of those meds that has to be started off at smaller doses and gradually increase until on the full amount.

I resceduled the next dental owrk for December. Figured I'd give my body time to heal more thoroughly. Also my son will be here Thanksgiving day. Didn't want to be in pain, foul mood for his visit.

My neuro doc scheduled me for some physical therapy. After fighting with the insurance company for approval, I have my first session next week. They are suppose to do some deep muscle massage and teach me some stretching exercises to do at home. The doc recommended for me to return to the Y for some of their warm water aerobics classes. These are suppose to be good for the pain too.

Have been following along with all the election stuff. Guess y'all can guess who I'll be voting for since apparently I'm a socialist. So guess I'll be voting for the Obama/Biden ticket. Big surprise huh. Speaking of the election, I'm reading a bunch off different blogs. One of the commenters here, Oh Yeah Babe, clued me to a great blog. It is friggin hilarious. Y'all have got to check it out, Margaret and Helen.

What happened to fall, y'all. Our weather went straight from summer to winter. We had temps here last week in the high 80's. Next week we've got a freeze warning for a couple of nights. It only got up to the high 50's here today. I've been freezing my butt off all day. We usually have temps in the high 60's low 70's around this time of year. The fall leaves aren't even that pretty this year. They are going straight from green to brown. No pretty golds and reds like they are suppose to be. I am not looking forward to winter. Since my WLS, I stay cold most of the time anyway. Looks like this year I'll be living in sweats and thermal underwear.

I told you my son will be here Thanksgiving day. He's gonna visit for 2 weeks this year. I can't wait to see him. It's hard only seeing him once a year. We do talk on the phone alot. He gets just as manic as I do at times. It makes for a pretty interesting conversation. Talk about "flight of ideas", our talks are all over the place. They also go on for several hours sometimes. I'll be doing tons of cooking while he's here. Coming home is a big comfort food time for him. There are meals from his childhood he just has to have. Hey, what can I say, I'm a great cook. He's a pretty good cook in his own right. His girlfriend is not allowed in their kitchen. He does all the cooking. But hell, he's been cooking since he was knee high to a grasshopper. He made his first dish at the age of 2. Granted I helped but he still remembers it.

I tend to get manic right before he gets here and stay that way while he's here. Then of course every manic episode is followed by the equal and opposite depressive episode. Between my pdoc and therapist, we are trying to head that off. I've been using my light box for 2 months now. Plus am taking mega doses of Vitamin D. Can't let the SAD get me too bad this year. My panic attacks have increased lately too. Not a good sign. They get bad when I'm manic....as you can see by this post I'm manic. I'm all over the place with topics....LOL. Anyhoo...I've resorted to one of my old tricks to distract me from the panic attacks. It's the rubber band method. I wear a rubber band on my wrist and when the attacks start, I pop the rubber band continuyously on my wrist. This helps by distracting me and keeping the attack from escalating. If you suffer with panic attacks try this. It may just work for you too.

Well, Ive written enough.....off to play with the pooch....he's another distraction when I'm having panic attacks. Y'all take care.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm still here...

Yeah, I'm still around, barely. This past month has really been trying for me. I've only had the energy to put up a minimum of posts. Just though I would bring yo up to speed on me.

I finally have all my teeth pulled. The dentist even scraped the jaw bone to get it even for when I'm fitted with dentures. That's when my problems started. I don't heal well because of poor nutritional status after the WLS. So the jaw bone ended up getting infected even though the dentist had me on mega doses of antibiotics. I ended up having to have IV antibiotics for a week. My PCP office did them for me. I looked horrible. My face was swollen and bruised. Loooked like I had been in a bar room brawl. Let's not forget the severe pain. Was given some major drugs for that too.

Went to see the neurologist. The fibro diagnosis is official now. She put me on some more major drugs as well as a pain patch. So needless to say I've been in a drug induced stupor for awhile now.

Had my yearly flu shot. It worked great. I got the flu. Been battling it for nearly 2 weeks now. So you see why I have not posted too much. My doc finally had to give me a round of steroids in addition to the other drugs to fight off the flu. I'm finally feeling like a human somewhat.

I have another appointment with the dentist, to scrape and shape my upper jaw, on the 29th. Don't think I'll make it. My body just can't take the added abuse right now. So I'll be rescheduling.

Awwww......WLS......I did it so I'd be healthier....yeah right.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?"

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?



Galadriel

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about her at the Galadriel Worshippers Army.




I never heard of this charater.....but it fits me. You try it out and leave your results in the comments section.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Victory on Parity!

By a vote of 263-171, the House this afternoon gave final approval to the Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (HR 1424). President Bush is expected to sign the legislation late today or early tomorrow.

A Triumph for Consumers and Families

This victory in the House ends a nearly 20 year effort to require group health plans to cover treatment for mental illness on the same terms and conditions as all other illnesses. NAMI is extremely grateful for the tireless work of advocates from all over the nation that contacted their Senators and House members to push for this landmark legislation. The advocacy voice of people living with mental illness and their families made a tremendous difference in securing this long sought victory.

NAMI also salutes the leadership of the sponsors of parity in Congress including Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN). Today NAMI also remembers the contributions of the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) in bringing parity forward. After nearly 20 years, their efforts have resulted in mental illness treatment no longer being subject to 2nd class status in our health care system.

What Happens Next?

President Bush is expected to sign HR 1424 very quickly in order to restore confidence in sagging credit markets. The parity law becomes effective 1-year after enactment of the bill. This will mean that group health plans will no longer be able to impose limits on inpatient days or outpatient visits or require higher deductibles or cost sharing for mental illness or addiction treatment that are not also applied to all other medical-surgical coverage.

There is a special effective date rule for collective bargaining agreements that would delay imposition of the parity requirements until the next collective bargaining contract goes into effect. The law requires that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury issue regulations within 1 year, although failure to issue such regulations will not delay the effective date of parity.

In the coming weeks, NAMI will be developing educational materials and guidelines on how parity will impact insurance coverage for consumers and families. For now, NAMI advocates can celebrate a landmark achievement!


UPDATE:

PRESIDENT BUSH HAS SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Parity Passage Is ONE Vote Away

Last night the Senate passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which includes mental health/addiction parity legislation and a financial rescue package. The bill is expected to be taken up in the House of Representatives on Friday. The upcoming House vote on the Economic Stabilization Act may be the last chance to pass parity legislation this year. It is likely to be a close vote, given that the House on Monday rejected a more targeted financial-rescue plan.

Parity legislation has been in limbo since the House and Senate passed identical parity provisions in separate bills on September 23, but until now leaders in the two chambers could not reach agreement on a vehicle to overcome procedural and budgetary roadblocks.

In taking up the emergency legislation last night, the Senate again passed the parity compromise agreed to by House and Senate negotiators in June. Parity is now part of what many see as a “must-pass” bill that includes a financial rescue package, higher insurance limits for bank deposits, disaster-relief, and a “fix” to the alternative minimum tax (that would otherwise mean higher taxes for millions of Americans). Mental Health America urges its passage.

Please call your representative using the toll-free Parity Hotline: 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894). The Parity Hotline reaches the U.S. Capitol switchboard, which will connect callers to the offices of their members. Or you can dial the switchboard directly at 202-224-3121.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don’t let mental health parity bill die

WRITE TO CONGRESS--------->>>>>


Remember the federal mental health parity law that’s set to pass Congress and be signed by the president? The House and Senate have STILL not reached agreement on how to get mental health parity/addiction equity legislation to the President’s desk. Time is running out. We can’t allow this legislation to die.

We are all aware of the economic crisis being decided upon by our representatives. But we should not allow them to just forget about the mental health parity bill.

Writes the New York Times:

The bill is endorsed by President Bush, business groups, insurance companies, the medical community and mental health advocates. Both the House, in a stand-alone bill, and the Senate, as part of a broader tax relief bill, have approved it by large margins. But it requires a final shove because the measure is snarled in a broader legislative struggle over how to pay for tax revenues that would be reduced by this measure and others. Is there a statesman who can push this worthy parity legislation through to final passage before adjournment?


While the economic crisis is a valid concern for the entire nation, but we have spent 10 years trying to get this bill passed.

Parity Faces Final Hurdle - Get It to the President's Desk!

You made a difference in winning overwhelming Senate and House passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on September 23rd! But it’s too early to celebrate! The Senate and House bills differ. The House bill addressed only parity; the Senate bill included parity in a large tax measure. We can’t simply sit back and assume the two bodies will reach agreement on a final version before adjournment.

It’s critical that Senate and House leaders work out how to get the Wellstone-Domenici legislation to the President’s desk. You can make a difference in helping keep up the pressure to make sure that happens. Please send an email urging your members to finish their work now on this critical health care legislation and send it to the President.

When using the WRITE TO CONGRESS link in the sidebar---you will automatically be redirected to NAMI. You will see all the action alerts from their site plus a list of all your representatives. Clicking on the Parity Action alert sends you to a form letter to send the emails. So take a few minutes of your time to keep this bill alive.


TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank You!!






$64,203


That's how much was raised in the Out of Darkness Walk on Saturday. Although I did not meet my projected goal, every little bit helps. I wanted to thank each person who donated. Overall the day was a success. Tons of people showed up, many with their pooches, to participate. I wasn't able to do the walk itself, but I sure had fun meeting so many new people.

There are still plenty of walks going on around the country. Click here to find one in your area.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mental Health Parity Rally Sept. 17th‏

ATTENTION

RESIDENTS OF THE WASHINGTON D.C. AREA





The Mental Health Liaison Group Invites You to Join Advocates for Fairness at a Rally for Fairness on September 17 at the Cannon House Office Building Terrace


The public is invited to a rally for mental health parity legislation that will be held at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, Sept. 17, on the Cannon House Office Building Terrace. That is at the corner of Independence Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, Southeast. The closest Metro stop is Capitol South on the Blue/Orange Line. Please see previous Bazelon Center alerts regarding mental health parity.

What You Can Do:
If you can't attend this rally, please forward this invitation to colleagues in the
Washington, D.C. area who can attend.

Speakers will include the sponsors of the mental health and addiction parity legislation, Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Ramstad, as well as David Wellstone of Wellstone Action. Invited but not yet confirmed are Senators Pete Domenici and Christopher Dodd and the chairmen of the House committees that have been negotiating the House-Senate agreement. Speakers are making themselves available to the press after their remarks. The event is expected to conclude by 10:30 AM.

After the rally constituents should take the opportunity to drop by the offices of their members, to further press the message that Congress should not adjourn without passing the bipartisan and bicameral agreement on parity legislation.

Call-In Day:
Thanks to the many thousands of parity advocates who called their senators and representative yesterday!

Support Letter:
Last evening we delivered to the Congressional Leadership our letter asking for passage of the parity agreement before the Congress adjourns this month. We're very pleased that 250 organizations nationally joined together as cosigners. Thank you to all who helped! To view the letter, watch our web site, where it'll soon be posted.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

National Call-In for Parity Wednesday

With Congress back in session this week and only a short time left, it must pass mental health parity legislation. This is the moment to remind lawmakers that parity legislation is critical, unfinished business.

Never in the almost two-decade fight for parity have we been closer to victory. If Congress fails to bring parity to a vote before adjourning later this month, we must restart the push for parity in 2009. Help us win its passage by joining in the National Call-in for Parity tomorrow, September 10.

National Call-in for Parity
Please call each of your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative using the toll-free Parity Hotline: 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894). The Parity Hotline reaches the U.S. Capitol switchboard, which can connect callers to the offices of their members. You can also call the Capitol switchboard directly: 202-224-3121.

Remind all members of Congress that:

  • Mental illnesses are real,
  • Treatment works – if you can get it,
  • There is no justification for a health plan to impose limitations or conditions on mental illness treatment that do not apply to all other medical conditions, and
  • There is broad agreement on a compromise version of the mental illness insurance parity bill (S 558-HR 1424), now Congress just needs to finish the job and pass the bill so it can be signed in to law this year.


Click here to find the names of your senators and representative.

The Message: “I’m calling to ask the Senator/Representative to press congressional leaders to bring mental health parity legislation to a vote. It’s critical that Congress pass parity legislation this year.”

Take Further Action
Follow up that call by sending a “Parity-Now!” email to your members of Congress. Take Action!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Invisible Illness Awareness Week




Today kicks off the Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

What is an invisible illness?

When you first meet someone with fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) you likely have no idea that person is sick. Same goes for people with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, eating disorders, depression, endometriosis, diverticulitis ... the list goes on and on.

When someone has the flu, or a cold, or an injury, it's generally pretty obvious by looking at them. We can also see when someone is in a wheelchair or uses a cane, or if they're hauling around an oxygen tank. Those are the images that come to most people's minds when they think of "chronic illness" or "disability." Here are some staggering facts:

  • * According to the U.S Census Bureau, 96% of chronic illness is invisible.
  • * Nearly half of Americans are living with some sort of chronic illness.
  • * 70% of people who commit suicide have uncontrolled pain.

Pain, along with fatigue and brain fog, are invisible symptoms of our invisible illnesses, but that doesn't make them any less debilitating than visible symptoms. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (Sept. 8-14) aims to get people to understand that concept.


Check out these links:

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

How the Seminars Will Work - Instructions for Invisible Illness Week « Invisible Illness Week Blog

Invisible Illness Week Blog

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week Conference Room

Can Those with an Invisible Illness Park in the Blue Spots without Others Seeing Red? - Christian Newswire

Top Links to Have Handy this Week! « Invisible Illness Week Blog

As someone with a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, I'm already receiving flack from friends and family who just don't "get it". The Bipolar, they understand. The severe seasonal depression they understand. But the chronic pain and complete lack of energy they are having a hard time accepting.

In my family it was just assumed that I would be taking care of our parents in their old age. Right now I can barely take care of my own day to day activities. A simple thing like taking a shower and getting dressed for the day wipes me out. My PCP has finally decided it was time to refer me to a specialist.

One final note---the fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis came about because I had WLS. So much for making my health better, huh.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Out of the Darkness Community Walk

UPDATE



Alabama Walk
September 13, 2008 at Heardmont Park


Dear Friend,

I will be joining with thousands of people nationwide this fall to walk in AFSP's 2008 Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. With more than 32,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent.

I hope you will consider supporting my participation in this event. Any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation please click the "Support This Participant" button on this page.

As someone who knows first hand that deep dark pit of despair, this cause hits very close to home for me. Without the help of organizations like this I would not be here today. So please take the time to donate.


UPDATE:
Due to my health limitations at this time I will not be participating in the walk itself. I will be volunteering only to help register participants. Please continue to help support the cause by donating.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Are You Blogging for Invisible Illness Week

But you don't look sick.

I hear this quite frequently from friends and family members. Living with a chronic illness or a mental health illness is difficult. Simply because there is no outward symptoms. I haven't reached the point some suffers have. I am still able to get around okay. But the pain is there. It saps all of my strength, so much so that my sis has hired someone to come help me clean my house once a week. I'm not even able to get outseide and play with my pooch very much.

Won't you join me in blogging about Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apparently I'm a Socialist

I always knew I had very liberal views politically. But I was truly surprised when it stated I was a Socialist. Head over and see where you stand. Leave a comment with your own results.


You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist










Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid.com: Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All about me....

It's been awhile since i gave an update on what's been going on with me. Still dealing with the fibromyalgia pain, as well as osteoarthritis. Some days I feel a 100 years old. I had a lump removed from my breast---it was benign thank goodness. Saw my hematologist this past month---good news on that front---my iron levels are finally up as well as my blood counts. I go back to see her in November.

My weight has finally leveled off at 175. The eating disorder part of my brain is playing havoc with me right now. I have to make myself continue with my shakes and eating. I don't own a scale so I can't obsess about the numbers. I just need to remind myself my health is more important than being thin. As my docs say---they would rather see me fat and healthy than thin and dying. Having dealt for over 30 years with an ED makes it difficult to stay on track. I'm hiding in super big clothes once again. I am working on this with my therapist. I don't think I will ever be in "recovery". It will always be a day to day thing for me.

I'm seeing a dentist and am in the process of having all my crumbling teeth removed. Only seven more to go and I'll be a toothless old hag. The dentist wants me to "heal" for 6 months before being fitted for dentures. Fun right. It makes eating a real challenge. Luckily I am well prepared with some great recipes for things to eat that don't require alot of chewing. Last thing I need is to have something "get stuck" in my pouch from not chewing enough.

I see my PCP on Thursday for my full scale lab work. I'll be able to see if things look better. Keep your finger crossed. I haven't broken any bones recently so that's a good thing. My doc is monitoring the osteoporosis. He is convinced I'll be needing hip replacement and knee replacement in the not too distant future. I'll just worry about that when the time comes. Right now I'm okay.

My Bipolar Disorder is doing much better since my pdoc put me on Risperdal injections. This way I don't have to worry about the malabsorption of my meds. The real test will be this fall. Fall is always a difficult time for me. I end up slipping into a deep depression. Hopefully this year will not be as bad. I've already pulled out my light box, plus I take mega doses of Vitamin D now. Only time will tell.

Well that's about it.

So how are y'all doing????

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Labor Day

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weighing in on the Alabama Obesity Debate

Here is a headline from Alabama in mid-July:

Alabama Obesity Ranking (WBHM - NPR News and Classical Music)

Montgomery -- Alabama has once again been ranked as one of the most obese states in the country. The latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mississippi was the most obese state, with 32 percent of adults having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Alabama followed closely in the number two spot with 30.3 percent of adults being obese.
It was in all the local papers and local news shows too.


Then we have the latest:

Alabama workers to pay for extra pounds - Diet and nutrition- msnbc.com:

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they’ll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free."
Suspiciously I have seen this all over the net but nothing has been reported on it on the local level.

I live in Alabama---big surprise :)

Granted it's a itty bitty college town smack dab in the middle of the state. Yet we do get Birmingham's TV, radio and newspapers.

This latest makes as much sense as that absurd law in Mississippi did earlier this year. I could go on and on how idiotic this whole thing is. But others, who are much better writers have done it for me. Check these posts out then contact the Alabama State Employee's Insurance Board and let them know how you feel.

Alabama | Big Fat Blog

Two Things « Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose

Junkfood Science: Taking a step back and thinking about the real story

Junkfood Science: Update: More than a little plan — the trial balloon is off and flying

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Take This Survey!


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is preparing to grade each of the 50 states on public mental health services in 2009 and needs your help. Please take this online survey and forward it to others. It includes a Spanish version.

Anyone age 18 or older who has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness or who has an adult family member with a diagnosed mental illness can take the survey. The survey will remain online until September 30, 2008, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous.

Specific survey questions include whether public mental health services in a state are easy to find, convenient, affordable and without waiting lists—as well as whether they are sensitive to cultural backgrounds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Out of the Darkness---Community Walks




2008 Out of the Darkness Community Walk

registration is now open!

If you haven't done so already, please visit www.outofthedarkness.org to register for a walk in your area!


Thank you for your dedication and participation in the

AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walks







I will be participating in a walk in September of this year. Please take a few minutes of your time and lend your support for this effort.



Facts about Depression and Suicide


General

  • Over 32,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
  • In 2005 (latest available data), there were 32,637 reported suicide deaths.
  • Suicide is fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the U.S., with approximately 26,500 suicides.
  • Currently, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes in the United States. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.
  • Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.
  • Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

Youth

  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among those 5-14 years old.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old.
  • Between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, the suicide rate among U.S. males aged 15-24 more than tripled (from 6.3 per 100,000 in 1955 to 21.3 in 1977). Among females aged 15-24, the rate more than doubled during this period (from 2.0 to 5.2). The youth suicide rate generally leveled off during the 1980s and early 1990s, and since the mid-1990s has been steadily decreasing.
  • Among young people aged 10-14 years, the rate has doubled in the last two decades.
  • Between 1980-1996, the suicide rate for African-American males aged 15-19 has also doubled.
  • Risk factors for suicide among the young include suicidal thoughts, psychiatric disorders (such as depression, impulsive aggressive behavior, bipolar disorder, certain anxiety disorders), drug and/or alcohol abuse and previous suicide attempts, with the risk increased if there is situational stress and access to firearms.

Older People

  • The suicide rates for men rise with age, most significantly after age 65.
  • The rate of suicide in men 65+ is seven times that of females who are 65+.
  • The suicide rates for women peak between the ages of 45-54 years old, and again after age 75.
  • About 60 percent of elderly patients who take their own lives see their primary care physician within a few months of their death.
  • Six to 9 percent of older Americans who are in a primary care setting suffer from major depression.
  • More than 30 percent of patients suffering from major depression report suicidal ideation.
  • Risk factors for suicide among the elderly include: a previous attempt, the presence of a mental illness, the presence of a physical illness, social isolation (some studies have shown this is especially so in older males who are recently widowed) and access to means, such as the availability of firearms in the home.

Depression

  • Over 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
  • Depression affects nearly 10 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year, or more than 19 million people.
  • More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (12 million), cancer (10 million) and HIV/AIDS (1 million).
  • About 15 percent of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some time during their lifetime. Thirty percent of all clinically depressed patients attempt suicide; half of them ultimately die by suicide.
  • Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.

Alcohol and Suicide

  • Ninety-six percent of alcoholics who die by suicide continue their substance abuse up to the end of their lives.
  • Alcoholism is a factor in about 30 percent of all completed suicides.
  • Approximately 7 percent of those with alcohol dependence will die by suicide.

Firearms and Suicide

  • Although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for "protection" or "self defense," 83 percent of gun-related deaths in these homes are the result of a suicide, often by someone other than the gun owner.
  • Firearms are used in more suicides than homicides.
  • Death by firearms is the fastest growing method of suicide.
  • Firearms account for 52 percent of all suicides.

Medical Illness and Suicide

  • Patients who desire an early death during a serious or terminal illness are usually suffering from a treatable depressive condition.
  • People with AIDS have a suicide risk up to 20 times that of the general population.

Studies indicate that the best way to prevent suicide is through the early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

Figures from the National Center for Health Statistics for the year 2005.

Friday, July 4, 2008

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY











Saturday, June 28, 2008

Outta Here!!!!




Now that I'm feeling much better health-wise, it is time to get out in the great outdoors. So I'm off to do some camping. I'll be gone for quite awhile this time, 2 whole weeks. So y'all enjoy your holiday time. Life is too short to waste it sitting inside on the computer.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Vote to Stop Abuse in Teen Residential Programs

The House will vote next week on legislation to stop child abuse and neglect at boot camps, wilderness camps, and behavior modification facilities that work with children who have behavioral, emotional, or mental health problems. While tens of thousands of teens attend private residential programs, many go unregulated, allowing practices ranging from sexual abuse to denying youth food, water, shelter or medical care as a disciplinary measure to go unchecked. H.R. 5876, the "Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008,” would set critically-needed standards to keep children safe, prevent deceptive marketing of these programs, monitor compliance, and set penalties for violations. With the help of all Advocacy Network members, we can put an end to these shocking practices. Please ask your representative to vote for H.R. 5876.

Please Act Today!

Urge your Representative to support H.R. 5876 by voting yes when the bill is considered on the House floor (week of June 16th).

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative's
office. You can also call your Representative's direct lines, available on his
or her website through www.thomas.gov/ or send a send a message today!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just for fun.....

1930s Marital Scale


14

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Moratorium on Medicaid Rules at Risk--Calls Needed Now

Calls Needed for Delay of Medicaid Rules

Please Mobilize Calls to Legislators Today

June 2, 2008--Grassroots advocacy is urgently needed to help secure the moratorium on the seven Medicaid regulations in the supplemental spending bill, approved before Memorial Day by both House and Senate in both versions of the Iraq supplemental funding bill. The rules would greatly reduce access to rehabilitation services, case management and school-based services.

The Administration remains strongly opposed to the delay and has considerable influence over some legislators. As members work to finalize the bill, it's extremely important for advocates to generate phone calls this week in support of retaining the moratorium.

Please Act Now!

Both Democrat and Republican members of Congress must be reminded of the harmful impact the seven rules would have on vulnerable beneficiaries' access to needed healthcare, especially with the nation facing a recession.

Please call your Senators and Representative today. (See how to contact lawmakers.) Urge them to maintain the moratorium on all seven Medicaid regulations in the Iraq supplemental.

Implementation of the Administration's damaging rules must be stopped!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mental Health America's Advocacy Network




Mental Health America - Take Action


With your help the Senate passed legislation last week to delay the seven controversial Medicaid regulations as part of the supplemental war funding bill (H.R. 2642). The amendment adding this delay on the harmful new rules to the bill passed by a vote of 75 to 22, exceeding the two-thirds vote needed to override a threatened Presidential veto.

Don't forget you were also instrumental in the House’s passage of a stand-alone bill imposing a moratorium on these regulations in late April. Unfortunately, several Republican Senators opposed this stand-alone bill and that's why efforts are underway to include this legislation in the supplemental war funding bill.


The Next Step:


Next, the House will take up the Senate-passed version of the war funding bill. This is no time to lose our momentum! We must make sure that the delay on the Medicaid regulations remains in the final bill. With the help of all Advocacy Network members, we can protect essential mental health services for low-income children and adults with mental health conditions.


Take Action!:


Please contact your representative and urge him or her to keep the delay on the Medicaid regs in the war funding supplemental bill. We are so close, and as one voice we can get it done.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce




Grilling is a way of life in my neck of the woods. I've been known to throw some meat on the grill at any time of the year. I'm also pretty picky when it comes to sauces I use, I usually make my own. So it is rare that I will use a store bought product. I just have to share this great new find, Country Bob's.

This weekend I did tons of grilling so wanted to try out the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce.

Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce is in a class by itself. It is more than a steak sauce, because of its unique flavor and the variety of uses. You can grill, cook, and marinate with it, or put it in your soups, stews, baked beans, and your other favorite dishes.


The label says use the All Purpose Sauce on Steak, Chicken, Barbecue, Fries, Hamburger, and Fish. I used it on some chicken legs. Mixed it up in some hamburgers. Basted some on some country ribs. It was a huge hit with my family. I was totally floored that my dad gave it his stamp of approval. He's 80 years old and pretty set in his ways but he loved it.

The story behind Country Bob's is pretty fascinating too.




In 1968 Country Bob perfected the sauce of his dreams. After years of giving the sauce to friends and family he began to sell it in 1977. The reaction was overwhelming just as it is today. Almost everyone who tries Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce becomes a lifelong user. And why not, it is the perfect complement to practically any meal set on your table.

It was actually October of 1982 when Country Bob, Inc. became the company, which remains today. Bob Edson, Terry Edson, Al Malekovic and Reed Malekovic formed a corporation with equal ownership. Since that time Country Bob's distribution has magnified regionally in all directions from our corporate office located in Centralia, Illinois. Even with the tremendous growth we have not forgotten where we came from, continuing in our relentless pursuit of product excellence.

Along with our All Purpose Sauce we have expanded our product line to include BBQ Sauce, Seasoning Salt and Spicy All Purpose Sauce. With our fully automated bottling line we also have the capability of producing Private Label products for stores or restaurants.



Check out their online store for some great buys. I'm looking forward to trying out the rest of their products.




They are running a summer special, 2 cases of All Purpose sauce for only $58 shipping included. That's 24, 13 ounce bottles per case. That's a bargain in my book, just a little over $1 a bottle. Try it out and tell me what you think.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Senate's Turn to Act on Harmful Medicaid Regs

Last week, the House again approved legislation to delay a series of federal regulations that would severely limit Medicaid coverage of rehabilitative, case management, and school-based services. The amendment to the supplemental war funding bill that included this delay on the regs passed by a vote of 256-166. Thanks to all of you who contacted your representative - you helped make a difference! Now, we need your help again.

This week, the Senate will vote on legislation containing this same delay on these regulations as an amendment to the supplemental war funding bill. Amending the war funding bill seems to be the best way to overcome opposition to delaying these ill-advised regulations. But, the President has threatened to veto the war funding bill for various reasons, so we need to generate as much support in the Senate as possible.

Please contact your senators today and urge them to vote for including a delay on the Medicaid regs in the war funding supplemental bill.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Critical Vote this Week to Delay Harmful Medicaid Regs

Mental Health Month:
Get Connected





Mental Health America - Take Action


Legislation to delay a series of federal regulations that would severely limit Medicaid coverage of rehabilitative, case management, and school-based services is being opposed by certain Republican Senators. To counter this opposition, Democratic leaders are seeking to incorporate this legislation into a supplemental war funding bill that has greater chances of garnering broad support in the Senate.

This week, the House of Representatives will consider an amendment to add the delay on the Medicaid regs to the war funding bill. This could be our last chance of achieving a delay on the ill-advised and damaging Medicaid policy changes included in these regulations.

Please email your representative in the House and urge him or her to support including a delay on the Medicaid regs in the war funding supplemental bill.

You may be thinking, "I've already sent a letter on this issue." It doesn't matter. Send another one!

We need to make it clear to our legislators that they must delay these Medicaid regs before time runs out. The more letters we can send, the stronger our message will be.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Out of the Darkness---Community Walks




2008 Out of the Darkness Community Walk

registration is now open!

If you haven't done so already, please visit www.outofthedarkness.org to register for a walk in your area!

If you do not see a walk in your area and would like to start a walk in your community, please contact Mike Lamma, Director of Field Management, at mlamma@afsp.org or 1-888-333-AFSP (2377) x16. Please include your location if contacting by email.

DonorDrive Central

If you are visiting the website for the first time, then you will notice a few changes! Once you have found the walk in your area and have registered, you can log in using your email and password to view your new DonorDrive Central.

DonorDrive Central is your source for personalizing your fundraising page, viewing donations that have been made to you, sending donation emails as well as team invitation emails, and to even view the donations you have given! You can also import your email address book from any email source, which makes it even easier to send emails to friends and family.

Don't forget to look in the Resources section of your DonorDrive Central! Here you will find logos and banners to add to your Facebook, MySpace and other web pages, the 2008 walk flyer, sponsor sheet, offline donation form, and other great tools to help you as you try to reach your fundraising goal!

Registration Questions?

If you have any questions about registration, please view the FAQ page here for answers

Help Promote the Walks

Go here for more information on how you can help promote the Community Walks in your area

Thank you for your dedication and participation in the

AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walks



Facts about Depression and Suicide


General

  • Over 32,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
  • In 2005 (latest available data), there were 32,637 reported suicide deaths.
  • Suicide is fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the U.S., with approximately 26,500 suicides.
  • Currently, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes in the United States. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.
  • Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.
  • Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

Youth

  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among those 5-14 years old.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old.
  • Between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, the suicide rate among U.S. males aged 15-24 more than tripled (from 6.3 per 100,000 in 1955 to 21.3 in 1977). Among females aged 15-24, the rate more than doubled during this period (from 2.0 to 5.2). The youth suicide rate generally leveled off during the 1980s and early 1990s, and since the mid-1990s has been steadily decreasing.
  • Among young people aged 10-14 years, the rate has doubled in the last two decades.
  • Between 1980-1996, the suicide rate for African-American males aged 15-19 has also doubled.
  • Risk factors for suicide among the young include suicidal thoughts, psychiatric disorders (such as depression, impulsive aggressive behavior, bipolar disorder, certain anxiety disorders), drug and/or alcohol abuse and previous suicide attempts, with the risk increased if there is situational stress and access to firearms.

Older People

  • The suicide rates for men rise with age, most significantly after age 65.
  • The rate of suicide in men 65+ is seven times that of females who are 65+.
  • The suicide rates for women peak between the ages of 45-54 years old, and again after age 75.
  • About 60 percent of elderly patients who take their own lives see their primary care physician within a few months of their death.
  • Six to 9 percent of older Americans who are in a primary care setting suffer from major depression.
  • More than 30 percent of patients suffering from major depression report suicidal ideation.
  • Risk factors for suicide among the elderly include: a previous attempt, the presence of a mental illness, the presence of a physical illness, social isolation (some studies have shown this is especially so in older males who are recently widowed) and access to means, such as the availability of firearms in the home.

Depression

  • Over 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
  • Depression affects nearly 10 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year, or more than 19 million people.
  • More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (12 million), cancer (10 million) and HIV/AIDS (1 million).
  • About 15 percent of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some time during their lifetime. Thirty percent of all clinically depressed patients attempt suicide; half of them ultimately die by suicide.
  • Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.

Alcohol and Suicide

  • Ninety-six percent of alcoholics who die by suicide continue their substance abuse up to the end of their lives.
  • Alcoholism is a factor in about 30 percent of all completed suicides.
  • Approximately 7 percent of those with alcohol dependence will die by suicide.

Firearms and Suicide

  • Although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for "protection" or "self defense," 83 percent of gun-related deaths in these homes are the result of a suicide, often by someone other than the gun owner.
  • Firearms are used in more suicides than homicides.
  • Death by firearms is the fastest growing method of suicide.
  • Firearms account for 52 percent of all suicides.

Medical Illness and Suicide

  • Patients who desire an early death during a serious or terminal illness are usually suffering from a treatable depressive condition.
  • People with AIDS have a suicide risk up to 20 times that of the general population.

Studies indicate that the best way to prevent suicide is through the early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

Figures from the National Center for Health Statistics for the year 2005.