TriCounty Health Department encourages you to be prepared in case of an emergency. A 72 hour kit is essential in the event you need to shelter in place for an extended period of time.

It is also recommended to check your outdated items in your 72 hour kit twice a year, check smoke detector batteries and make sure everything is safe. A good time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings. This is also a good time to talk to your family about emergency plans and emergency contacts in state and out of state.

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention day.  It is a great time to increase awareness regarding suicide prevention and engage community members in local suicide prevention efforts.  Preventing suicide needs a comprehensive approach and everyone one of us plays a role in suicide prevention.

Our rural areas have higher rates of suicide, professional help can be miles away and everyone needs to know how to access help, if, and when it is needed.  We need to be able to recognize the signs of suicide and everyone should have the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in their contacts on their phone. One of the most important things we can do as prevention specialists and media is to emphasize that suicide is preventable, and recovery is possible.  Eighty percent of people that seek treatment for depression have positive outcomes in 6-8 weeks and we need to fight the stigma that prevents people from getting help.

 

 

Signs of distress include:

Feelings of hopelessness

Talking or thinking about death or suicide

Withdrawing or feeling isolated

Uncontrollable anger

Dramatic mood changes

Feelings of seeing no reason to live

Increased alcohol or substance use

Feelings of being a burden or trapped

Extreme mood swings

 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 800 273 8255 (TALK)

 

Sixth to twelfth grade students attending schools in Roosevelt and Vernal may be receiving information regarding TOP Club. TOP is an after school program that we offer at multiple schools in the area. 

 

TOP is a positive youth development program that’s offered nationwide and we are excited to be able to offer it in our rural community. TOP has 3 core content areas, skill building, developing a sense of self and making connections. Research shows that supporting youth through these areas leads to a variety of positive outcomes, including increased pro social behavior, lower levels of problem behaviors and emotional distress, and improved academic performance. TOP provides a safe and supportive environment to practice skills guided by adults who are caring, responsive, and knowledgeable. TOP was designed with social and emotional learning in mind. Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. 

 

This year TOP will be offered at Union High School 2:45-3:45 p.m. on Mondays, Roosevelt Junior High School 3:20-4:20 p.m. on Tuesdays, Vernal Middle School 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Uintah Middle School 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. 

 

We’re excited to get started this year. We just completed our annual training for the program and we have learned new skills as facilitators. We can’t wait to see what service ideas the youth come up with this year and the different topics that will be discussed. TOP is a great program and I have personally seen the difference it’s started to make in our students, schools, and communities. 

 

For more information please visit tricountyhealth.com or contact Katie Scholes at 435-722-6308 kscholes@tricountyhealth.com

With school starting, it is common for parents to check on their child’s physical health.  Are their immunizations up to date? Did they get their sports physical?  What isn’t as common is checking on their mental health.

Mental illness, thought by many to affect a small number of people, is more prevalent than most think.   Twenty percent of our adult and teen population meet the criteria for a mental health disorder every year. According to the World Health Organization, when comparing the relative impact of different illnesses, mental health disorders rank as the biggest health problem in North America, with the most common disorder being depression.

According to the 2017 SHARP Survey, our local numbers are showing 76% of our youth reported moderate or high depressive symptoms in the last 12 months.  While 80% of our youth stated that they felt it is OK to seek help or talk to someone, 51% stated they did not.

What can we do to check on our kids’ mental health?  The most important thing parents can give their kids is their time.  Listen to your kids.  Ask them questions about how they are doing and make sure you are nonjudgmental with your responses.   Avoid telling them to “cheer up, pull yourself together” or “you’re OK”.  Parents can also take a Youth Mental Health First Aid to learn the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to assist when needed.

 

To learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid, go to www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.  To sign up for local classes, call 435-725-6334 or email prevention@nccutah.org .

The countdown is on and school will begin soon.  Make sure your children’s immunizations are up to date.  Those entering 7th grade and Kindergarten are required to have immunizations this year. 

When entering kindergarten, your child needs additional doses of some vaccines, as well as a flu vaccine every year. 

As protection from childhood vaccines wears off, adolescents need vaccines that will extend protection. Adolescents need protection from additional infections as well, before the risk of exposure increases. During early adolescence, your child needs three essential vaccines that will provide protection as he or she enters adulthood.

 

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against infections that can cause certain cancers, as well as genital warts.
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against meningococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, as well as bloodstream infections.
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Tricounty Health will be holding a vaccination clinic at Vernal Middle School Aug. 6 and 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  We will also be having clinics at Roosevelt Jr High on Aug. 14 and 15 and Altamont High School on Aug. 14. For more information about your child’s vaccination status contact Tricounty Health or your healthcare provider today.