Allowing students to report concerns through texts provides an anonymity that is saving lives, police officers say of SafeOregon, which has received nearly twice as many reports of potential suicides than threats on school since its inception in 2017. Public health news is on funds for rare diseases, dangers of data apps, doctors on TikTok, social media ads for alcohol, dementia, eye health, Down syndrome, technology for the deaf, and longevity, as well.
NBC News: School Tip Lines Were Meant To Stop Shootings, But Uncovered A Teen Suicide Crisis
Across the country, as officials look for ways to prevent school shootings, states have started tip lines like SafeOregon — websites, apps and phone numbers that let students anonymously report concerns about classmates. But in many places, reports of students self-harming or feeling suicidal have far outpaced the number of threats against schools, according to annual reports compiled by state agencies, forcing communities to confront a different kind of crisis. Since SafeOregon launched in January 2017, it has received 540 reports of a suicidal student, compared to 278 reports of a threatened attack on a school. Pennsylvania’s Safe2SayPA took in 2,529 reports related to self-harm and 2,184 related to suicidal thoughts in its first six months last year, while threats against schools accounted for 607 reports. Nevada’s SafeVoice tip line, launched in 2018, collected 371 suicide threats, 350 reports of self-harm and 248 threats to a school in its first year. In Wyoming, suicide threats were the most common report to the Safe2Tell tip line in 2019, with 239 instances submitted, compared to 45 reports of planned school attacks. (Kingkade, 2/1)
Stat: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Aims To Build A Model For Tackling Rare Diseases
The 30 recipients, all focused on advancing research in a rare disease, will each receive $450,000 from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, along with those additional resources, over two years. In a phone interview with STAT, Chan, a pediatrician, said that her own experiences in the clinic have shaped her views about the importance of elevating the perspective of patients. She described feeling stuck and embarrassed when families would come in with a child with a rare condition that she couldn’t even identify using the usual means — until she started asking the families to lead the way. (Robbins, 2/3)
ProPublica: Dating Apps Can Be Dangerous. Congress Is Investigating.
A House subcommittee chair announced on Thursday a broad investigation of the safety of online dating apps in the wake of “extremely troubling reports.” Among those cited in letters sent by the subcommittee to dating app companies is a lengthy recent investigation by Columbia Journalism Investigations and ProPublica. Launched by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the inquiry will focus on the use of dating sites among underage users, the sale or dissemination of users’ personal information and the presence of registered sex offenders on free dating sites. (Cousins, 1/31)
The New York Times: Doctors On TikTok Try To Go Viral
For decades, sex education in the classroom could be pretty cringey. For some adolescents, it meant a pitch for abstinence; others watched their teachers put condoms on bananas and attempt sketches of fallopian tubes that looked more like modern art. On TikTok, sex ed is being flipped on its head. Teenagers who load the app might find guidance set to the pulsing beat of “Sex Talk” by Megan Thee Stallion. (Goldberg, 1/31)
The Wall Street Journal: Booze Ads On Social Media Stir Controversy
Health concerns are sparking restrictions on advertising alcohol on billboards and television, but on social media—which transcends national borders—lax age controls and the use of influencers make booze marketing hard to police. While regulators from New York City to Ireland to Ethiopia have cracked down on outdoor and broadcast ads for beer, wine and spirits in the past year, only a handful have targeted online ads. (Chaudhuri, 2/2)
CBS News: Frontotemporal Dementia: Devastating, Prevalent And Little Understood
This is a story about the cruelest disease you have never heard of. It’s called frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. And given the devastating toll it takes on its victims and their families, it ought to be much better known than it is. FTD is the number one form of dementia in Americans under the age of 60. What causes it is unclear, but it attacks the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which control personality and speech, and it’s always fatal. It is not Alzheimer’s disease, which degrades the part of the brain responsible for memory. (Whitaker, 2/2)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Eye Health Care: How Nurses Should Take Care Of Their Eyes
Eye health is one more nursing irony. The work involves so much “seeing,” from reading charts and digital data to interpreting health-related emotions on patients’ faces. But the work also tends to challenge healthy vision, with the prominence of fluorescent lights and too much screen time, along with diets that aren’t always eye health-friendly. (Kennedy, 2/1)
Georgia Health News: Child’s Hip Problems Highlight A Little-Known Issue
While most people are aware of Down syndrome, many are not aware of its potential effects on a child’s hips. At the time of Sarah’s first dislocation, her own parents didn’t realize the connection, even though they had been dealing with health problems the syndrome can create.. (Kanne, 2/1)
Daily Herald: For The Deaf, Technology Can Make Health Care Access Worse
Hospitals nationwide have begun using video remote interpreting, or VRI technology, to fulfill the “reasonable accommodation” portion of the American with Disabilities Act. But with small screens, unreliable Wi-Fi connections and devices that are hard to move around beds, many deaf individuals say that technology has made trying to seek and communicate about medical help worse, not better. (Dodson, 2/2)
CNN: Eating A Low-Protein, Low-Sulfur Diet May Prolong Your Life
New research shows limiting protein-rich foods that naturally contain high levels of sulfur amino acids, such as meats, dairy, nuts and soy, may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. If future research bears that out, it may be another stepping stone to better health and longer life. Drinking green tea, rather than black, may help you live longer, new study suggests. “For decades it has been understood that diets restricting sulfur amino acids were beneficial for longevity in animals,” said John Richie, a professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine in a statement. (LaMotte, 2/3)
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