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Violence: The New Normal? Mental Health Vs. Gun Control PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:25
Psychiatrist Offers 4 Ways to Stop the Horror

Boston.  Sandy Hook.  Aurora.  Columbine.  The list goes on and on.  As the country focuses on gun-control, psychiatrist Gary L. Malone, MD, goes to the heart of the matter.

“As the horror of the Sandy Hook massacre and the Boston Marathon bombings begin to fade, the country and politicians are debating what they feel are the ‘real’ issues behind this tragedy. Lip service has been given to the lack of mental-health funding, weak mental-health-commitment laws, and battles between liberals and conservatives over gun control vs. second-amendment rights.  Meanwhile, the fixable causes are ignored,” says Malone, a distinguished fellow in the American Psychiatric Association, and coauthor with his sister Susan Mary Malone of What’s Wrong with My Family? And How to Live Your Best Life Anyway (www.whatswrongwithmyfamily.com).

“All the gunmen in the recent shootings had active and untreated psychiatric disorders at the time they committed the acts. Lack of mental-health funding (conservatives) and weak commitment laws (liberals) prevent adequate care. I prematurely released two psychotic, paranoid patients with access to weapons recently for this reason. I could, tragically, do nothing else. It is common sense that some of these people will commit violent crimes. Three decades ago, this would never have happened,” Malone says. 
Malone identifies 4 ways to deal with the societal risks:

• Stop the Guns vs. Mental Health Debate. One does not negate the other. Over 300 million firearms exist in the United States alone today, many in the hands of gang bangers, professional criminals and drug cartels. Assault weapons have been sold since the 1960s. It’s a fool’s errand to think you are going to control them now. This debate is a waste of time and resources.

• Take Charge of Your Family. The best predictor of violence is past violence except in young adult males with a serious psychotic illness. Newtown, Aurora and Arizona all involved such cases. Their families and mental-health professionals all knew of the risks. If your child has such an illness, make sure you educate yourself about it and that he receives adequate care. None of these shooters could have bought guns without family financial support. Learn the mental-health laws in your area and be willing to use them. You have a responsibility to your teenage and adult child and your community to do all you can. (The Malones offer more guidance on this in, What’s Wrong with My Family?  And How to Live Your Best Life Anyway.)

• Identify Those at Risk. Sociopaths and hard drug users are traditional criminals and not hard to identify. Psychiatric patients present no greater risks to the general population, with the exception of young adult males with a paranoid psychotic illness. And often, teachers, friends, and neighbors identified these kids as “odd.”  These individuals must be assessed by a trained person, preferably a psychiatrist, to determine dangerousness. Of course, access to care and commitment laws are the impediment.

• Restore Funding to Treat Psychiatric Patients. Treating psychiatric patients is utilitarian in saving money now spent on police work and prisons, as well as being the decent path. It would likely prevent some, if not most, of these tragedies. Perhaps it is time to put aside stigma and follow the known science in this field. Let’s hope the next White House summit will be on mental health! In the meantime, we can all wait for the next event.

“We can stop the violence now by attending to mental-health issues,” Malone says.

About Dr. Gary Malone, M.D. & Susan Mary Malone

Dr. Gary Malone is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern and a teaching analyst at the Dallas Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a distinguished fellow in the American Psychiatric Association with board certifications in general and addiction psychiatry. He has worked in hospitals and private practices for more than 30 years. Dr. Malone is director of Adult Chemical Dependency Services at Millwood Hospital in Arlington, Texas.

Award-winning writer and editor Susan Mary Malone is the author of the novel, “By the Book,” and three nonfiction books, including “Five Keys for Understanding Men: A Women’s Guide.” More than 40 of the book projects she has edited were purchased by traditional publishing houses. She is Dr. Malone’s sister.

 
MUSLIM LEADERS URGE SENATOR KIRK TO SUPPORT IMMIGRATION REFORM PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maryam Arain   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:23
Muslim community leaders host a press conference to garner support for immigration reform

(CHICAGO, 5/29/2013)-- On Thursday, May 30th, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) will host a press conference with leaders of the Muslim communities of Chicago in an attempt to rally support for immigration reform. CAIR-Chicago, and the Muslim community at large, would like to encourage Senator Mark Kirk and all Congressional leaders who have been silent in regards to Comprehensive Immigration Reform to come out in favor of it.

WHAT: Press conference to urge congressional support for immigration reform

WHEN: Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 11:00am

WHERE: Azima Center, CAIR-Chicago, 17 N. State Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60602

WHO: Participants in the press conference will include:
  • Oussama Jammal and Karen Danielson, Mosque Foundation and MAS PACE
  • Kareem Irfan, Muslim American Advisory Council for the Governor of Illinois and Council of Religious Leaders of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)
  • Syed Shahnawaz Khan, Downtown Islamic Center and CIOGC
  • Reema Ahmed, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago

"Elected officials are in Washington to represent their constituents, their dreams, aspirations, and expectations – not themselves," said CAIR-Chicago's Executive Director Ahmed Rehab. "It is unacceptable that elected officials be silent on this crucial issue at this historic juncture. Senator Kirk, like every official, owes his constituents full transparency as to his position on the issue. We hope it is the right one that will help fix a broken system and help move this great nation forward to a new era of functionality and opportunity. There’s no alternative to reform."

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Senate immigration reform bill which initiated a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. SB 744 passed with strong bipartisan support and it will now move to the Senate for a full vote.

While this marks a step in the right direction, more work, including addressing the decrease in family visas, is yet to be done!

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Iowan of the Day: In Search of Ten "Shining Stars" Across Iowa PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Carly Grenfell   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:00

DES MOINES, IA (05/29/2013)(readMedia)-- Have you ever been star-struck by someone in your community? Do you know someone who deserves to be in the spotlight for their service to others? The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and Cookies Food Products are in search of ten outstanding Iowans to honor at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. The 17th annual Iowan of the Day program honors Iowa's finest for going above and beyond.

Nominations should be based on acts of relentless community involvement, leadership and an outstanding sense of Iowa pride. Support materials such as testimonials, photos or newspaper articles that demonstrate the greatness of your nominee are encouraged. Nominees must currently reside in Iowa. Each Iowan of the Day winner will receive his or her own day of stardom at the 2013 Iowa State Fair.

This day of honor includes an introduction on the Anne & Bill Riley Stage, VIP parking, gate admission, use of the Iowan of the Day golf cart and Grandstand show tickets for the evening of their award day. In addition, all winners will receive $200 in cash, accommodations at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott Hotel the night before their day of recognition and a one-year subscription to The Iowan & Iowa Gardening magazine.

For those feeling "star-struck," The Iowan of the Day remedy is here to help. You can obtain a nomination form by calling the Blue Ribbon Foundation at 1-800-450-3732 or online at www.blueribbonfoundation.org/iotd. Nominations are due by July 1, 2013.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated more than $95 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

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Camp Kesem Augustana PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Natali Bode   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:06

Families can register children impacted by a parent’s cancer

Camp Kesem is a free, week-long overnight summer camp for children who have or had a parent with cancer. Camp this summer is July 21-27, and 9 free spots are available.

Camper applications and more information on Camp Kesem at Augustana College can be found at www.campkesem.org/augustana

In this region, Camp Kesem is held at the YMCA camp near Boone, Iowa, and it is organized by Augustana College student volunteers under the guidance of local professionals and in cooperation with Camp Kesem’s national headquarters.

Augustana College students serve as counselors and work all year to fundraise and plan for the camp. Plus student-counselors receive over forty hours of training prior to camp.

The Camp Kesem program model was founded in 2000 at Stanford University. Since then, it has grown and included 37 camps in summer 2012. Projections for this coming summer show four new camps will be added.

Campers participate in fun activities including sports, drama, arts and crafts, team-building events, scavenger hunts and talent shows. In addition, each night before bed, the campers participate in “cabin chat,” a time to talk and open up to their peers and counselors.

Children who have a parent who has or had cancer often lack sufficient external support. The complexity of emotions they experience can easily go without attention. It is often challenging for these children to find peers with whom they can relate, resulting isolation and fear.

Camp Kesem advisor, Dr. Michael Amylon, pediatric oncologist at Stanford Hospital emphasizes the importance of an experience like Camp Kesem. “These kids have their world knocked right out from under them, and often they have no where to turn to get help and support. Camp Kesem provides a magical place of respite and play, and a group of other kids in the same situation who understand what it's all about and can offer unique and important peer understanding and friendship.”

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Smiddy-Sponsored Measure to Curb Meth Production Headed for Governor’s Desk PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:04

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A measure co-sponsored by state Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) to help investigate and prosecute methamphetamine producers passed the Senate and will be sent to the governor’s desk.

“Preventing dangerous illegal drugs from being produced in and spread throughout our communities is a massive public health and safety issue,” said Smiddy. “Catching meth producers before they distribute and profit from these drugs is critical in curbing the problem and finding a long-term solution to the increasing use of meth.”

House Bill 1311 strengthens meth prevention efforts by allowing probation and court services departments to identify, investigate and prosecute violations of the state’s meth laws. Currently, only law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices are authorized. If passed, this bill will allow these agencies to inspect pharmacy distribution records for methamphetamine precursors, such as Sudafed.

“Expanding the scope of who is able to legally investigate methamphetamine precursors greatly expands our ability to crack down on drug users and producers,” Smiddy said. “This is an important step to ensure that as a community we are using every tool at our disposal to combat these dangerous drugs. Empowering probation officers to say something if they see something gives one more line of defense in rooting out meth and stopping the risky production that endangers families.”

 

For more information, contact Smiddy’s office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (309) 848-9098, or toll free at (855) 243-4988.

 

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