Suicide Risk

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides.

Most people don’t have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear and helplessness can accompany the thought that someone might be suicidal. There are several things that you should know about suicide:

1. Treat every threat as serious – Never ignore, minimize or promise confidentiality when someone talks about suicide. Listen carefully and do not interrupt.

2. Think about warning signs – Has the person been faced with a difficult situation recently such as a job loss, unplanned pregnancy, divorce or health problem? Do you notice any changes in their mood, sleep, appetite, or participation in activities? Are they giving things away? Do they seem pre-occupied with death?

3. Consider the history – Have there been suicide attempts or incidents of self-harm in the past? Were there friends, relatives or role-models of the individual who committed suicide?

4. Ask the question – If someone “hints” or implies that life is not worth living ask “Are you suicidal?”

5. Don’t make assumptions – People who commit suicide might never have suffered from mental illness. Most individuals who have suffered from mental illness are not suicidal.

6. Assess the risk level – Some people have thoughts of suicide when life is overwhelming but do not have any intention of following through. Their statement may be a “cry for help”. Support and problem-solving options might be what they really need.

7. Determine if there is a plan – Ask questions about what the person might be considering. Be direct and get very specific information about what they are planning to do. Medium risk involves having thoughts, impulses and a plan.

8. Find out if they have the means – Does the person have opportunity to access what they need to fulfill their plan? If so, they are high risk. Do they have a gun, pills, a vehicle or other means that match their plan? Remember that being under the influence of a substance at the time also increases the risk.

9. Don’t try to be a hero – Access services of a professional who will do an assessment and create a treatment plan. Call a Suicide Crisis line, take the person to the hospital or ask police to transport for you. Make sure that you share the information you have gathered with the professionals involved.

10. Let go! – Sometimes individuals are taken to an Emergency Room and are not admitted or are hospitalized and then released a day or two later. You may not agree with what is happening but it is up to the professionals involved to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help the individual. It is NOT your responsibility to keep the person safe or alive.

Suicide affects so many people – the individual, family, friends and society at large. It is therefore important that we learn as much as possible about suicide and then are wise and compassionate.

Understanding Minor Fractures

A fracture is essentially a broken bone. Sometimes, when external force is applied to a bone, the bone is unable to withstand the force and it breaks or cracks. This break or crack is called a fracture. When the bone breaks completely it is referred to as a major fracture. A crack in the bone is called a minor or stress fracture.

Common Causes Of Minor Fractures

Minor fractures are typically caused by high impact sports and sports that require repetitive movements. High impact sports such as basketball, soccer and long distance running commonly result in cracks in the legs or feet. Sports such as rowing, cricket and bowling, all of which call for repetitive movements, tend to cause minor fractures in the arms, shoulders and other parts of the body.

Problems can also arise when individuals abruptly start out a new exercise or increase the intensity of their workout without warming up or conditioning their muscles. This increases the amount of pressure that is exerted on the bones causing them to crack.

Anatomical abnormalities, faulty equipment when working out and osteoporosis are other common causative factors.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Minor Fractures

If you have a dull, persistent pain with a swelling around the site of the injury, chances are it is more likely to be a crack in the bone or a minor fracture. In case of a major injury, the pain is more likely to be sharp and excruciating. In either case, it is important to visit a doctor so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment that will help ease the symptoms and heal the injury. If you suspect that your bone may be cracked or broken, never try and diagnose or treat it yourself as this could make matters worse.

Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination to diagnose the presence of a crack in the bone. Depending on the site of the injury and the severity of your symptoms, the doctor may ask you to get an X-Ray or to do an MRI for a more accurate diagnosis.

Treatment

If a minor fracture is confirmed, the first things your doctor will ask you to do is to apply ice onto the affected area several times over the next 24 to 48 hours and to minimize all activity involving that area. It is important to let the bone rest as much as possible so that it can heal itself. When the swelling and pain has subsided and you are ready to return to activity again, it is important that you do this slowly and carefully so you don’t risk injuring yourself again.

Tips to Stay Motivated to Get to the Gym

If you want to get fit, going to the gym is a great way to succeed. All good gyms provide members with a range of different pieces of equipment which help to work a lot of different parts of the body. Whether you are seeking to build muscle mass or lose fat weight through healthy methods, the gym will be a great place for you, as long as you are motivated enough to go regularly. Here are some tips to help you to stay motivated:

Set a goal

If you want to get the most out of your gym sessions, you need to set an achievable goal for yourself. Knowing what your target is will encourage you to keep going to the gym, in order to achieve the goal that you have set for yourself. Once that goal has been realised, set yourself another one, which is a little harder, but still within the realms of possibility. It is essential that your goals are achievable, or you will be more likely to turn away from them. Goals can involve losing a set amount of body fat weight, or managing to run for a certain distance on the treadmill, or whatever other goals you think will keep you going back to the gym.

Buy a monthly (or yearly) pass

Deciding to buy a pass for yourself for a set period of time can help to encourage you to keep going to the gym. Knowing that you have already spent the money may make you go to the gym, because you do not want to feel as though you have wasted the money. If you have already bought a monthly pass, it may be a good idea to work out how many times you need to go to the gym in order for it to be better value than if you were to pay each individual time. Encourage yourself by acknowledging that every additional time you go will bring down the cost per session of the pass.

Get a gym buddy

Going to the gym with a friend will encourage you to improve both your attendance and your performance. Evidence has shown that people are less likely to pull out of something if they are due to attend with a friend. This is because they do not want to let their gym buddy down. Once you are at the gym, you can encourage one another to perform better by engaging in a little healthy competition.