Kelly Coates

Managing and Preparing for Every Circumstance

Diabetes is a serious disease with no cure. However, there are many ways people can manage it to minimize its impact on their lifestyle. Over 29 million Americans have diabetes and 1 out of every 4 is completely unaware they have it. There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1:

Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn’t create enough insulin which regulates the bodies blood sugar. Type 1 is a far less common form of diabetes and approximately 5% of those who have diabetes have type 1. Though extensive research has been done, no one knows yet how to prevent type 1.

Type 2:

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease it occurs when the body can’t use insulin properly and is unable to regulate its blood sugar and keep it at normal levels. Nine out of 10 people with diabetes has type 2 and it has been linked to several risk factors including being overweight, physically inactive, and being directly related to someone with type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational Diabetes is when a pregnant woman develops diabetes during her pregnancy and can be a risk to the mother and baby. Gestational diabetes often develops around the 24th week of pregnancy and is the abnormally high blood sugar levels. The cause of gestational diabetes is unknown however it is believed that the many hormones from the placenta and developing baby can block the mothers insulin in her body. It can also lead to type 2 diabetes later in life.

Living Right and Preparing Well: 

Today, there are numerous options for managing all types of diabetes with and without medication. From healthy eating and exercising habits to medications proven to help, it’s possible to notdiabetes-awarness-month-graphic only live with your diabetes, but thrive with it too. Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring your blood sugar is essential to helping your body regulate its sugar levels better. Exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight can not only reduce your risk but also improve your body’s blood sugar. Take advantage of the research and resources made available through organizations like the CDC and  American Diabetes Association. You can prepare yourself and those you love by taking advantage of new technologies that allow you prepare for an emergency ahead of time like Smart911.

How does Smart911 help me or my loved ones with Diabetes?

-Create a Smart911 Safety Profile:

-List your type of Diabetes and the degree of the signs and symptoms. Include any medications being taken or and their location in the home.

Why does creating a Smart911 Safety Profile help?

-Put in your address and medical information. If ever there is an emergency, your Safety Profile will allow 9-1-1 call takers to know medications you may or may not be on and share that information with EMS and medication location within the home.

-At the 9-1-1 center, they can append a note to the person’s address and mobile number, which could be leveraged in an emergency (Example: Amanda Jessup has type 1 Diabetes. Medication is located in upstairs hall bathroom cabinet above the sink).

-In your Safety Profile, you can write in the notes section what hospital you or your loved one is associated with so that a first responder can bring the patient to their health care provider for financial reasons and convenience.

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Nov 15, 2016

 Did you know that suicide is in the top 10 causes of death in America?

Empty Shoes

The rise in suicide rates over the past 30 years continues to confuse scientists and researchers. In 2014 alone, almost half a million people were hospitalized for self-inflicted injuries and more than 1 million adults reported having attempted suicide.  Recent studies revealed that it is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. In 2014 over 40,000 Americans took their own lives and for every one suicide there are 25 attempts. In light of these staggering statistics, what can we do? The first step is trying to better understand the issue. The second is to know the resources available and be ready and willing to share them with those at risk.

Understanding the Issue:

Rising Numbers

Suicide is most commonly associated with the mental illness of depression, and although depression is known to lead to suicidal thoughts it does not often lead to final action. What has been proven is that 90% of individuals that take their own lives struggle with mental illness and/or substance abuse. Furthermore there has been an increase in every age group for suicide except with those over 85 years old. The increase in suicides within these age groups has gone up by 25% since 1999 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Today there is an average of 117 suicides per day. Women attempt suicide 3 times more often than men. However, the rates of death vary considerably given that men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide then women.

Warning Signs

One of the most difficult aspects of this rising issue with suicide is that spotting the signs can be incredibly difficult and there are many who hide their intentions well. Most but not all who take their lives show warning signs and learning to recognize those signs can be helpful in getting people the help and resources they need. The most common warning signs are:

  •       -Mentioning wanting to die (this would include writing or posting pictures about it on social media outlets)
  •       -Talking about feeling hopeless or their being no purpose
  •       -Statements about being a burden to others
  •        -Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  •       -Anxious, agitated or reckless behavior
  •       -Expressions of feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  •       -Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  •       -Displaying extreme mood swings
  •       -Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  •       -Looking for a way to kill oneself

For a more extensive list of warning signs and risk factors visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Resources to Know

Understanding what resources are available can give people the confidence to speak up when they are concerned for a friend or loved one and engaging those who exhibit warning signs can make a difference in that person’s life. Listed below are a few resources that can make a difference to a person struggling.

  •       -For a step-by-step guide on what to do when worried someone might take their life visit
  •       -THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 800-273-TALK (8255) A free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources.

Suicide LIfeline    Veterans Crisis Line       Crisis Chat

Crisis Text Line

It Can Make a Difference

Knowing a lifeline or prevention number may seem like a small resource but it can have big impact on a person considering suicide. On September 7th, a Michigan 9-1-1 call taker received a call from a veteran crisis line. They informed him that there was a woman calling in and stating that she was going to kill herself by walking into traffic. The dispatcher was able to engage the woman using the Smart911Chat feature and gain a lot of information as well as a meet location for the state trooper to be dispatched. Thanks to the enhanced Smart911 capability, the state trooper was then able to meet with this woman and provide the help she needed. The work these crisis lines do to help the individual and provide resources even engaging the help of emergency responders has proven to make a difference.

It is our responsibility to understand the rising need for help and to know the resources available that can save a life. Given the rising numbers of suicides, we cannot afford to let Suicide Prevention Awareness Month pass without taking action. It could one day save a life.

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Sep 28, 2016

Bullying. Many say it’s an inevitable experience that every child goes through; some even go as far as to say it is a ‘rite of passage’. Unfortunately, this blasé attitude concerning bullying perpetuates a problem that threatens the emotional and sometimes physical safety of children. While physical bullying still occurs and is harmful to children in many ways, the means of bullying is morphing into something much worse. What is this new and insidious form of harassment children are facing? Cyber Bullying.

Today children are able to be in constant contact with their peers. The benefits are obvious but the potential for harm is there as well, especially with children who don’t have the knowledge and skills to speak out against bullying.

What happens when a child can’t escape a bully? What happens when harassment follows them wherever they go, even into their own home?

Cyber bullying targets the emotional health of children by using the internet and indirect forms of communication to attack and degrade. Emotional bullying tends to be a more subtle type of harassment which targets the child and seeks to isolate them through manipulation, derogatory comments or threatening messages. Unlike the overt nature of physical bulling emotional trauma from harassment builds over time. Studies have shown that kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to be unwilling to attend school, abuse substances, struggle with depression and even commit suicide.

Events that have the potential to cause depression and suicide in children are not a ‘rite of passage’. We call it bullying – a word that belittles the severity of such encounters rather than calling it what it is, harassment. Because its children and their peers we don’t want to make it sound too scary or too serious but ‘bullying’ is just another word for harassment.

What then do we do in light of this growing form of emotional harassment? The first step is to take it seriously. No child in the midst of being bullied and harassed is going to have the mindset that it’s just a ‘rite of passage’ and they need to ‘toughen up’. Bullying that goes unchecked is shown to cause severe emotional trauma in children. This is not a rite of passage. It is harmful situation that, coupled with advancing technology, children are having a harder and harder time escaping.

There are increasing amounts of resources for parents, teachers and children on how to prevent and deal with bullying. However, before any of these things will help we all need to change our perspective on bullying from a casual ‘it’s a rite of passage’ stance to one that acknowledges the poetical harm and takes it seriously.


Bullying Prevention Resources:

Act Now To End Bullying

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Aug 30, 2016