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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Texting and Driving Don't Mix

Many drivers think it’s really not a big deal to use their cell phones and concentrate on driving. But with recent news of the potential train accident in California linked to a conductor texting while on the job brings multitasking under fire. Trying to eliminate distractions, the California Public Utility Commission created an emergency order banning the use of personal electric devices for anyone operating a train.

Have there been any new research related to mixing texting and driving?
• Study shows that 50,000 people say their riskiest behavior while texting is driving
• 42% of teens say they can text blindfolded and believe there is no problem doing this while driving

What are other concerns related to mixing these two activities?

• Research shows that people don’t achieve more when multitasking, they generally concentrate less on both activities
• Multitasking increases the chances of mistakes
• Multitasking slows down our response time which can be dangerous
• Our brains have difficulty moving from task to task and performance drops (example of counting and doing alphabet at the same time)

What are some options that have been proposed?

• There is a new technology that is pending which would actually prevent calls and text messaging reaching cell phones in a vehicle.
• Technology is pending to create a code that parents could activate or deactivate which would deactivate cell phones except for 911 emergency calls
• Now 6 state have made it against the law to text while driving

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Startling Rise in Suicidal Thoughts

What do the recent studies indicate? (August 2008 study presented at the American Psychological Association Convention in Boston)
• More than 50% of American college students have considered suicide in their life
• The rate of suicidal thoughts for college students is much higher than the 15.3% of Americans at large who have suicidal thoughts.

What other information within that shocking report?

• 26000 students at 70 schools were questioned in the survey and suicidal thoughts was as common as drug abuse.
• Students reported suicidal thoughts as a method of relieving emotional or physical pain (#1 reason)
• The second reason for suicidal thoughts was problems with romantic relationships
• The third was related to academics or problems in school

What are some suggestions if you believe someone is suicidal?
• Take all threats seriously. There is a myth that if people talk about it, they aren’t serious. Studies indicate that more than 75% of all completed suicides did say or do something prior to their death to let people know about their suicidal thoughts.
• Remember this is a cry for help. Be willing to tell someone, or take the person to the emergency room, or tell them you will go with them to therapy
• Don’t keep the secret. Make sure you do something to let others know such as calling the Call for Help number at 673-7373
Call a professional therapist and remember that depression is quite treatable and 75% of people