Monthly Archives: November 2014

Facts about suicide from 2012 CDC data.

  • More than 40,000 Americans died by suicide in 2012. This is the first year the number of deaths by suicide exceeded 40,000.
  • The suicide rates (number of deaths by suicide per 100,000 people) for various groups were as follows:
    • Age
      • All groups, 12.9
      • Middle-aged (45-64), 19.1
      • Elderly (65+), 15.4
      • Youth (15-24), 11.1 (Depending on subgroups, suicide is either the 2nd or 3rd leading cause of death in this age group, partly due to the the low rates of death related to diseases.)
    • Ethnicity
      • Whites, 14.8
      • Non-white, 6.1
        • Blacks, 5.5
    • Gender
      • Males, 20.6
      • Females, 5.5
    • Highest & Lowest Rates, by gender & ethnicity
      • Older White Men, 32.12
      • Black females, 2.0
    • Geography. Selected states and their rankings of 2012 suicide rates. high to low.

1. Wyoming, 29.7
2. Montana, 23.1
3. Alaska, 23.0
4. New Mexico, 21.2
15. Kentucky, 16.1
16. Arkansas 16.4
20. Tennessee, 15.2
23. Alabama, 15.0 (was 28th in 2011)
28. Mississippi, 13.7
41. Georgia, 11.8
48 Massachusetts, 9.1
49 New York, 8.7
50 New Jersey, 7.7
51 District of Columbia, 5.8

  •  Trends
    • Suicide rates among the elderly are stable.
    • Suicide rates among young people climbed until 1995, then declined steadily until about 2005, and have been stable in recent years, with some small increase in the most recent years.
    • Suicide rates among middle-aged people have increased 30% between 2002 and 2012.
  • Other
    • 9 out of 10 who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder.  Only 3 out of 10 received any mental health treatment in the year prior to their deaths.
    • Firearms are the most common means by which people die by suicide, accounting for slighly more than half of all suicides.

2 NYTimes articles on marijuana

Thanks to our Board member Cameron Cole for sharing these 2 recent articles in the New York Times.

“This Is Your Brain on Drugs”

This one includes this unforgettable quote by researcher Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of
a cited study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s
medical school.  The study showed impairments in working memory in chronic pot users who started in their teen years. It’s the same study that showed a decline in IQ points.

“Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.” Read the article here.

“Legally High on a Colorado Campus”

Many are considering that as states liberalize marijuana laws regarding medical use and adult recreational use, a message is being sent that the drug is benign. It’s not benign.

Read that story here.



Next from All In: Dr. Dale Wisely on Parenting Teenagers

Dr. Dale Wisely, Director of Student Services at  Mountain Brook Schools, continues his series for parents, sponsored by ALL IN MOUNTAIN BROOK with a 2-part program on parenting teenagers.  He will present “Being a Parent of a Teenager, Part I: (Mis)understanding the Teenage Brain,” on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.  A second part to that talk, “Limits and Freedom,” is scheduled for the following Thursday, November 20, 2014, also at 9:00 a.m.   Both talks will be at the Charles Mason Board of Education Building.

Dr. Wisely, a child/adolescent psychologist since 1983, offers this 2-part program, new for 2014-2015, on being a more informed and effective parent to teenagers.

“These two talks are new,” said Wisely. “The second part deals with perhaps one of the most basic problems in raising teenagers: How to make decisions about how much freedom to provide teenagers, versus setting limits on their ability to go out and socialize with their friends. Every parent struggles with it and I think all of us make mistakes as we work our way through it.”

Wisely said that the first talk, on the teenage brain, is an attempt make sense of the now-common awareness that teenage brains are not fully developed. “This is something I’ve been interested in for a long time,” said Wisely. “It is clear the brain is still developing well into young adulthood. At the same time, I’ve been concerned about how that information is misinterpreted and, frankly, used against teenagers in a way that I believe is unfair and disrespectful. Brain development in the teenage years is actually a positive thing.  I hope to help us sort all of that out.”

Space is limited, so please register by phone (205) 877-8349 or email (