New: Youth Suicide Prevention Resources

In partnership with Mountain Brook Schools, All In Mountain Brook offers this resource guide to the prevention of youth suicide. This site is intended as a starting point for those young people struggling with suicidal feelings, their families, and their friends.

Click here for the resource guide.

Youth Suicide Warning Signs and How to Respond
Video: Leap of Faith
Video: More Than Sad
Resources
     Emergencies
     Crisis Center (Birmingham)
     National Suicide Prevention Hotline
     Mental Health Care
     Mountain Brook Schools Counselors and Other Resources

Taste of Mountain Brook: September 2017!

 

click here for Taste of Mountain Brook website and to purchase tickets.

A FOOD-TASTING EVENT BENEFITING
ALL IN MOUNTAIN BROOK.

SAMPLE THE BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK RESTAURANTS.

THE EVENT IS SPONSORED BY VILLAGE LIVING.

Taste of Mountain Brook
Sunday, September 17
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Tickets $15
101 Hoyt Lane
Mountain Brook, AL, 35213

*Rain Date
Sunday, September 24
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

click here for Taste of Mountain Brook website and to purchase tickets.

An update on the Alabama Graduated Drivers License law-Revised June 2017

 

Revised June 8, 2017

The Alabama Graduated Drivers License law was passed in its current form in 2010. HB29, a bill to strengthen the law, passed during the 2017 legislative session and was enacted into law by Governor Ivey on May 24, 2017.

So, the law has changed!

Let’s review the law and include the changes.


What?

The Alabama Graduate Drivers License (GDL) law establishes three types of drivers licenses:

  • Stage I: Learner’s Permit (age 15)
  • Stage II: Restricted License (all age 16, as long as they are 16, AND 17-year olds licensed less than 6 months.)
  • Stage III: Full License (17-years-old AND Stage II held for at least six months)

Stage II places certain restrictions on young drivers.

Who?

The restrictions apply to all 16-year-old drivers as long as they are 16. Contrary to a common misunderstanding, the restrictions do not expire when a 16-year-old driver has had their license for 6 months. The restrictions expire when the 16-year-old driver has turned 17 AND (not or) has had his or her license for at least 6 months.
Continue reading An update on the Alabama Graduated Drivers License law-Revised June 2017

Blue Whale Challenge: What We Know (Very Little) and Don’t Know (a Lot).

Dr. Dale Wisely on the viral news stories regarding the “Blue Whale Challenge.”

Update: I just searched news sites, looking for evidence of escalation of this phenomenon. I’m not finding much.

There is a story in Russia about a young girl who threw herself into a river after playing the “game”–she was rescued. A man in England whose young son died by suicide told press his son had been playing the game.

A 12-year-old in Mississippi has told her family and authorities that she participated the game.

It’s best to be tentative about this but while there is still reason to be concerned, it does appear that news reports about the game a faster viral phenomenon than the game itself.

Exit Strategies: An online talk by Dr. Dale Wisely

Here is a 30-minute video presentation by Dr. Dale Wisely.

Tragically, the overwhelming majority of deaths of teenagers occur as a result of high-risk behavior. But the consequences of risky behavior can also lead to disability, unnecessary suffering, legal problems, and other serious troubles.

In this presentation, Dr. Wisely presents ways for parents to better understand why teenagers get involved in high-risk behavior. Dr. Wisely then outlines a parenting approach that may better prepare teenagers for avoiding and extricating themselves from dangerous situations.

Dale Wisely, Ph.D. is Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools. He is a founding board member of All In Mountain Brook. Dr. Wisely is a clinical child & adolescent psychologist. 

Yik Yak no longer available on or near MBJH & MBHS campuses

yik-yak-appThe makers of the notorious social media app Yik Yak have made it unavailable on or near the Mountain Brook Junior High and Mountain Brook High School campuses.

Yik Yak made a program available whereby they block, on request, the use of the app on or near middle school and high school campuses. This is called “geofencing.” So, we looked up the GPS coordinates of both campuses and submitted those to Yik Yak. The app appears to be blocked on those campuses. We also submitted the GPS coordinates for the elementary schools, but Yik Yak does not have a program for blocking those.

Yik Yak appears to have made another positive change by requiring that users enter and verify their phone numbers. Previously, Yik Yak did not require user input of any information in order to use the app, allowing a level of anonymity which encouraged the use of the app for making threats and for bullying.

There have been a number of arrests of individuals who have made serious threats on Yik Yak. The company appears to be cooperating with law enforcement in holding its users accountable for serious criminal conduct.

Dale

Dale Wisely, Ph.D.

 

 

 

Suicidal thinking in very young children.

In the current issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (November 2015) there is a research report, and accompanying commentary, about suicidality (that word refers to suicidal thoughts, gestures, attempts, and actual deaths) in very young children, age 3-7.

Fortunately, deaths by suicide in young children are very rare, however, this study suggests that suicidal thoughts are common among children with clinical depression and other forms of psychopathology.

When I began my career in the early 80s, psychologists and psychiatrists were just beginning to recognize that children, including young children, can suffer from all kinds of psychiatric disorders one sees in adults, including the whole range of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar illness. Prior to that time, most mental health professionals believed that if a child appeared depressed, it was strictly because there was something wrong with his or her family or social situation, not because of the biochemical/psychosocial reasons that seem to contribute to clinical depression.

We know much more about suicide in adults and in teenagers. We know, for example, that in the last 10 years or so, teen suicide rates are actually stable and are considerably lower than they were 30 years ago, in spite of the widespread myth that there is an epidemic of teen suicide. Similarly, suicide among the elderly is stable. On the other hand, in the last 10 years, suicide among middle-aged people has risen nearly 30%. It has always been true that adults are much more likely to die by suicide than teenagers and children. The short guide to the demographics of suicide deaths is: Older more than younger; whites more than blacks; men more than women.

When an individual has mental illness, particularly, but not exclusively, depression, suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and deaths by suicide are a risk. Because we know that even young children can suffer from mental illness, including mood disorders, the question of how suicidality affects these children is something we know too little about.
Continue reading Suicidal thinking in very young children.