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


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 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 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The other side of the story......

Junkfood Science has a couple of great posts about the 60 Minutes WLS episode.

Junkfood Science: The other side of the story — Part One

Junkfood Science: The other side of the story — Part Two

As usual, Sandy does an outstanding job at sorting through the fluff and showing the hard scientific facts.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Time for reflection once again.....

Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my WLS.

WOW......what a difference a year makes.

I had a heck of a post all planned to post yesterday. Going into all the new problems that have cropped up for me thanks to the WLS. But in writing that post I wanted to go back and read what I wrote last year. I won't post it all but here is a part that made me stop and think.....

A question was posed in the Neighborhood yesterday to list why we love having had WLS. Most answered with things they can now do that they couldn't do as morbidly obese individuals. You wouldn't think something simple as being able to tie your own shoes, or not have to be a contortionist to wipe yourself after using the john would mean so much to people, but it does. It's the little everyday things that skinny people take for granted. Being able to fit in an airplane seat and buckle the seat belt, not having to look for the strongest chair to sit or having one stick to your rear end when you get up, or having to be smarter, funnier, always positive, a real over achiever just to prove yourself worthy of even existing. Everyone is judged on their looks. It's not right, it's not fair, it just is. Also it is still accepted in our society to poke fun at, tease, belittle someone who is obese. Who am I kidding they make fun of anyone who is different. But that is another pet peeve of mine, better left for another time.

I went at the question of what I love since having WLS a little differently from everyone else. For me it so much more than being able to tie my shoes and stuff. Even coming off all the meds I did for my diabetes, high blood pressure and other things isn't it. It really just boils down to me having a life I now deem worthy enough to actually live it.

I did a post recently dealing with suicide . I spent 2 weeks in intensive care following my last attempt. They didn't know if I would pull through or not from the damage done to myself. That's what landed me in the state hospital for a year. Coming back across that line was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I know in my heart of hearts, that if I had not had WLS I would not be sitting here today. I would have ended back in the deep dark pit .......but this time I would have stayed......never to rise again....
You can read the rest of the post for more of my reflections.

I admit, I got a wee bit emotional reading my own words.

A second post came out of it singing the praises of WLS and thanking the higher powers that I am even here to see another day. Right before I hit the publish button. I had a chilling of the biggest reasons I was so miserable being fat (miserable enough to contemplate suicide) was how I was viewed by others. Then I got mad......another post came out of that. Well it's not getting published either.

My reflections are really just this.......being fat is not bad for your health. But in this thin crazed, fat-phobic world of ours being fat is the worst thing you can be. I was accepting of that fact last year by saying it was just the way it was. I've realized I don't have to accept societies views. Discrimination sucks on all levels. So Fat Acceptance and Health at Every Size is my newest cause.

WLS is not the answer for what ails you---accepting yourself as you are is a strong key to a better life and better health. So I'm joining a fellow blogger who had WLS, Big Fat Delicious, in declaring a war on WLS and dieting.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

2008 Food Drive is letter carrier blitz against hunger

Letter carriers, with help from their sisters and brothers in the other postal crafts and thousands of other volunteers, will stage a blitz on Saturday, May 10, to combat hunger in America, conducting NALC’s annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive in every U.S. state and jurisdiction.

The drive, in its 16th year, is the largest one-day food collection in the nation and the biggest community service effort by any union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

On the day before Mother’s Day this year, letter carriers will focus their efforts on restocking the community food banks, pantries and shelters that millions of American families will rely on throughout the summer.

The union settled on the second Saturday of May for the annual drive since food bank donations tend to wane after the winter holidays. This drop-off is particularly troublesome since the hunger problem is usually at its most critical during the summer when school breakfast and lunch programs—often the only source of stable nutrition for millions of children—are suspended.

The challenge this year is especially daunting. All signs point o a deepening recession, and with gasoline prices flirting with $4 a gallon, more and more families—including those of carriers—are looking everywhere for ways to save money. This economic squeeze comes while 35 million Americans are experiencing what the federal government refers to as “very low food security,” a euphemistic way of saying people are either already going hungry or are worried about where their next meal will come from.

In light of these conditions, President Young has asked each NALC branch to make a special effort to increase collection totals over last year.

“The need is very great, with many, many food pantries reporting record numbers of men, women and children seeking assistance,” said President Young. “And it will only get worse if our economy continues to decline.”

In 2007, the drive delivered 70.7 million pounds of non-perishable items donated by patrons to local food organizations—the fourth consecutive year the total surpassed 70 million pounds.

Last year’s figure brought the overall total for the nationwide drive’s history to 836.2 million pounds.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive video

The TV public service announcement featuring the Harlem Globetrotters: