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“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”

John Naisbitt
In this information-driven world we live in, it can be difficult to sort through what’s important and what’s not. We established this “Friday Facts” video series to ensure that all residents of the New River Valley have access to the information that’s most important to their health – be it mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and beyond. And now, we challenge you to turn that information into knowledge by putting it into practice in your own life and sharing it with others. Check back here, on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel each Friday for a new fact presented by a member of our NRV community.

Asking About Suicide

Caroline Mullins – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Caroline Mullins with NRVCS underscores the importance of having conversations about suicide with people we are concerned about. While it can be a difficult and uncomfortable topic to discuss, research shows that asking someone about suicide does NOT increase the likelihood of them attempting suicide. Instead, it often helps lower a person’s anxiety and can even be a deterrent.

Before you broach this subject with someone, practice saying out loud:
“Are you thinking about suicide?” or…
“Do you have a plan to kill yourself?”

Be sure to listen in a calm and non-judgemental manner; let them know they are not alone; provide hope, support, and encourage them to seek professional help. Remember: asking saves!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Call or text 9-8-8: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
NAMI: How to Ask Someone About Suicide
favicon NRVCS Suicide Prevention Resources
CDC Suicide Prevention Resources
AFSP Suicide Prevention Resources
NRV Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide
The Jed Foundation: How to Ask Someone If They Are Thinking About Suicide

Warning Signs of Suicide

Crystal Stafford – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Crystal Stafford with NRVCS revisits the topic of suicide awareness. Though sometimes it may not seem like it, there are almost always warning signs to watch for when someone is considering suicide. Here are ten signs that could help you determine if someone is suicidal:

  1. Threatening to hurt or kill themselves.
  2. Looking for ways to kill themselves.
  3. Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide.
  4. Rage, anger, or seeking revenge.
  5. Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out.
  6. Increasing alcohol or drug use.
  7. Withdrawing from friends, family, or society.
  8. Anxiety, agitation, or unable to sleep… or sleeping all the time.
  9. Dramatic changes in mood.
  10. No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life.

If you notice any of these signs in someone you’re concerned about, don’t hesitate to talk to them about it – and be direct. Asking a person about suicide will not encourage them to attempt suicide – if they’ve considered suicide, they’re already thinking about it. In fact, asking a person, “Are you thinking about suicide?” lets them know you are concerned, willing to listen, and there to help.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Call or text 9-8-8: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
NAMI: How to Ask Someone About Suicide
favicon NRVCS Suicide Prevention Resources
CDC Suicide Prevention Resources
AFSP Suicide Prevention Resources
NRV Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide
The Jed Foundation: How to Ask Someone If They Are Thinking About Suicide

Fentanyl Poisoning

Ashleigh Iannelli – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Ashleigh Iannelli with NRVCS gives us a more detailed look at fentanyl and explains the tragic reality of fentanyl poisoning. Too often, fentanyl claims the lives of our friends and family who don’t have a long history of substance use disorder and who had no idea they were ingesting fentanyl in the first place. There are, however, important things we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe:

  1. Never take medication that does not come directly from a certified pharmacy or an attending medical professional.
  2. Get trained on how to use naloxone and carry it with you at all times. You could potentially save someone’s life!
  3. Help us end the stigma associated with substance use disorders by educating yourself and those around you. Addiction is a disease – it’s not a matter of choice or a moral failing.

Be an agent of hope – do your part to end overdose in the New River Valley!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Forever20 – Nic’s Story (Nic is the son of NRVCS employee Rhonda Baldwin, and he died of Fentanyl poisoning in 2021)
DEA Fentanyl Awareness
CDC Fentanyl Facts
VA Department of Corrections Fentanyl Awareness Video
Partnership to End Addiction – Fentanyl Poisoning & Counterfeit Pills

Suicide Prevention Awareness

Crystal Stafford – NRVCS

In this episode of “Friday Facts”, Crystal Stafford with NRVCS shines a light on suicide. Sadly, deaths by suicide reached an all-time high in 2022 with more than 130 lives lost each day, and firearms accounted for more than half of all suicide deaths in 2021. The good news is that if you or someone you know is struggling, there is help available, and you are not alone! The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is one of the many resources available – call or text 9-8-8 to get connected with help. Our world is better with YOU in it!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

favicon NRVCS Suicide Prevention Resources
CDC Suicide Prevention Resources
AFSP Suicide Prevention Resources
NRV Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide

Eating Disorders: Part II

Dani Chowen – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Dani Chowen with NRVCS revisits the topic of eating disorders for a more in-depth look at what they are, how they affect people in our lives, and how those people can begin the process of healing and recovery. Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders in the United States, second only to Opioid Use Disorder.

Individuals with eating disorders are at higher risk for suicide and medical complications, other mental disorders, and problems with substance use – this is why early intervention and treatment are critically important. Fortunately, complete recovery is possible with the help of things like psychotherapies, medications, and support groups!

If you’re worried someone you care about is struggling with an eating disorder, let them know that they are not alone. Be there to listen, share information about available resources, and encourage to seek professional help.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

TheWellful – Recommended Resources
NEDA – Free and Low Cost Support
ANAD Resources
Eating Disorder Hope

Enjoying Physical Activity

Lindsay Long – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Lindsay Long with NRVCS shares ideas on how to enjoy physical activity. It’s so important to our mental and physical health to stay active on a regular basis, but it can seem so intimidating – why not make it fun? Pick recreational activities that you enjoy… even a short 30-minute walk will leave you feeling refreshed and will often benefit your mood for hours afterwards. And guess what: the New River Valley is a treasure trove of recreational activities, both indoor and outdoor – find one that you enjoy!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Walking or running
• Biking (mountain biking, road biking, or riding on the Huckleberry or New River Trail)
• Golf
• Pickleball
• Dancing
• Hiking
• Canoeing or kayaking
• Swimming
• Join a sports club (softball, basketball, volleyball)

RESOURCES

Physical Activity Basics (CDC)
NRV Hobby/Recreation Organizations and Clubs
Outdoors in the NRV
Sports & Recreation in the NRV
Huckleberry Trail (Blacksburg & Christiansburg)
New River Trail
Mountain Biking Trail Maps
Hikes in the NRV
USDA SNAP-Ed Connection Resources
HHS “Move Your Way” Resources
Action for Healthy Kids Resources
NIH Physical Activity Tools and Resources

Fentanyl Awareness

Ashleigh Iannelli – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Ashleigh Iannelli with NRVCS brings awareness to Fentanyl – a highly potent synthetic opioid that has been referred to by a DEA Administrator as “the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.” This dangerous substance is commonly mixed with or disguised as other substances, and it claims the lives of five Virginians every single day – this has to stop!

Never take a pill if you can’t be 100% sure it came from a certified pharmacy, and never share prescription medications with anyone, including family or friends. Fentanyl can also be hidden in vapes, e-cigarettes, and opened beverages. Don’t risk your life with this silent killer!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Forever20 – Nic’s Story (Nic is the son of NRVCS employee Rhonda Baldwin, and he died of Fentanyl poisoning in 2021)
DEA Fentanyl Awareness
CDC Fentanyl Facts
VA Department of Corrections Fentanyl Awareness Video
EVENT: Candlelight Vigil for Int’l Overdose Awareness Day – Thursday, August 31st at 7:30 PM at the 401 Peer Center in Radford (401 W. Main St.)

Resilient Communities

Julie Fox – NRV CARES

In this episode of Friday Facts, Julie Fox with NRV CARES talks about how resilient communities can respond to both everyday challenges and to an extreme crisis in a manner that builds the community’s capacity to cope and recover. The NRV Resiliency Network exists to help the community better understand the connections between trauma and behavioral health issues, and it is open to any person or organization interested in working towards a more trauma informed community. Contact Julie, the NRV Resiliency Network Coordinator, at julie@nrvcares.org if you are interested in becoming a member.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

NRV CARES
NRV Resiliency Network Facebook Page
Lift Up Virginia – Raising Resilience
VA Trauma Informed Community Networks (TICNs)
CDC – Building Trauma-Informed Communities

Eating Disorders

Dani Chowen – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Dani Chowen with NRVCS explains eating disorders. Did you know that nearly 29 million of us will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in our lives, and eating disorders can affect any of us, no matter who we are or where we come from?

If you’re concerned someone in your life may be struggling with an eating disorder, keep an eye out for signs, including a preoccupation with: food, body weight, and body shape.

Educate yourself by checking out some resources below, and help us build a supportive community for those who struggle with eating disorders!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

TheWellful – Recommended Resources
NEDA – Free and Low Cost Support
ANAD Resources
Eating Disorder Hope

Individual Trauma

Andi Golusky – NRV CARES

In this episode of Friday Facts, Andi Golusky with NRV CARES defines “individual trauma” and talks about its often lasting adverse effects on an individual’s functioning and well-being. Trauma doesn’t look the same for everybody, and the extent and impact of the trauma is determined entirely by how it is experienced by the individual.

The good news is that with the right support and intervention, people can overcome traumatic experiences through resiliency. That’s why it’s vital that our communities are proactive in providing services for individuals who have experienced trauma.

If you’d like more information about individual trauma or want to find out how to help someone who has experienced trauma, check out the resources linked below.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

NRV CARES
Child Mind Institute – Multilingual Trauma Resources
NIH – Understanding the Impact of Trauma
SAMHSA – Trauma and Violence
TED Talk with Charles Hunt on Trauma and Resilience (discretion is advised)

Physical Activity

Lindsay Long – NRVCS

In this episode of Friday Facts, Lindsay Long with NRVCS discusses the many benefits of physical activity for all of us, both young and old. Unfortunately, only 28% of Americans are getting the minimum recommended amount of physical activity, and this deficit can have significant impacts on our physical and mental health.

Exercising can improve our brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve our ability to do everyday activities. So start moving – even if it’s a short walk around the block!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Physical Activity Basics (CDC)
Outdoors in the NRV
Sports & Recreation in the NRV
Huckleberry Trail (Blacksburg & Christiansburg)
USDA SNAP-Ed Connection Resources
HHS “Move Your Way” Resources
Action for Healthy Kids Resources
NIH Physical Activity Tools and Resources

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Keli Lichty – NRV CARES

In this episode of Friday Facts, Keli Lichty with NRV CARES shines a light on child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is defined as any sexual act between and adult and a minor – or between two minors when one exerts power over the other, and 90% of children who are victims know their abuser!

We can all help protect our kids by being aware of one-on-one situations, talking to our kids, and reaching out to appropriate channels for help when we notice something.

Also, be sure to take advantage of free “Stewards of Children” trainings offered by NRV CARES!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

NRV CARES
Darkness To Light – End Child Sexual Abuse
Women’s Resource Center of the NRV

Preventing Intimate Partner Violence

Laura Beth Weaver – Women’s Resource Center of the NRV

In this episode of Friday Facts, Laura Beth Weaver with the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley returns to share more in-depth information about what Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) may look like, how it can harm victims physically and emotionally, and what we can do to prevent IPV. We can start by showing others what healthy, respectful, and non-violent relationships and communities look like. Take a stand and become part of the solution!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

LOCAL RESOURCES

Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley
New River Valley Disability Resource Center
CHIP (New River Community Action)
Planned Parenthood Roanoke
Community Health Center of the NRV

Youth, Smartphones, and Social Media

Melissa Hipple – Montgomery County Public Schools

In this episode of Friday Facts, Melissa Hipple with Montgomery County Public Schools discusses smartphones and social media – their prevalence in young peoples’ daily lives, the risks that youth can (and likely will) face, and tips for helping them use smartphones and social media in the healthiest way possible.

More and more data backed by extensive scientific studies are showing that smartphones and social media are wreaking havoc on the mental health of our young people, and we can’t afford to ignore it any longer. Check out some of the resources below for information about some of these studies, as well as ideas for how to start addressing the issue. And as always, lead by example – your kids are watching!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Social Media Advice Hub – an excellent pool of useful resources
Surgeon General warning about dangers of social media (read or listen)
Article about teens, social media, and mental health (read or listen)
Article about teens, social media, and technology

Water vs. Sugary Drinks

Meredith Dean – Healthy Floyd

In this episode of Friday Facts, Meredith Dean with Healthy Floyd helps us explore the negative health impacts of drinking sugary drinks, as well as the many benefits of drinking water instead. The amount of sugar in common drinks like sodas, energy drinks, and juices can be staggeringly high – take a look at this helpful chart. Avoiding these drinks can help keep our bodies healthy by reducing calorie intake, maintaining a healthy weight, helping food digestion, maintaining a normal body temperature, cushioning our joints, and protecting our spinal cord. Best of all, water is usually free!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Healthy Floyd
CDC Tips for drinking more water and healthier drinks
Effects of sugary drinks on your child’s health
Healthy Kids Healthy Future – Resources for Parents

Mindful Breathing

Jamie Reygle – InStill Mindfulness

In this episode of Friday Facts, Jamie Reygle with InStill Mindfulness challenges us to stop and take a breath! Take a few seconds to focus all your attention on your breathing – notice and relax your body and feel the natural flow of your breath. If you like it, try it out for just five minutes each day! It can help you deal with stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, and can sharpen your ability to concentrate.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Guided Practices:
Small Triumphs: A Meditation on the Breath
Mindful Moment: Facts About the Breath
Square Breathing

Events:
Daily Meditations via Zoom
Being & Belonging in Natural Stillness and Silence: A Daylong Retreat
Mindfulness 101: A Simple Introduction

Youth & Mental Health

Melissa Hipple – Montgomery County Public Schools

In this episode of Friday Facts, Melissa Hipple with Montgomery County Public Schools discusses the importance of our young people’s mental health and the repercussions of ignoring it. Mental health challenges can have profound and lasting negative impacts on the lives of our youth, leading to problems with grades and school, social relationships, and even experimentation or misuse of substances. As parents, caregivers, or caring adults in the community, let’s remind our young people that they are not alone and we are here for them!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

NAMI – Kids, Teens and Young Adults
MHA – Talking to Adolescents and Teens
SAMHSA – Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adults
Child Mind Institute – Parenting Guides
CDC – Mental Health of Children and Parents – A Strong Connection

Underage Drinking

Sgt. Emily Hite – Radford City Police Department

April is Alcohol Awareness Month! In this episode of Friday Facts, Sergeant Emily Hite with the Radford City Police Department discusses the risks involved with underage drinking, as well as how to address concerns you may have with a young person in your life. Remember to lead by example!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Radford City Police Department Facebook Page

UNDERAGE DRINKING:
MADD Resources for Parents
MADD Resources for Youth
SAMHSA “Talk. They Hear You.” Campaign
National Institutes of Health
Stopalcoholabuse.gov Resources

ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH:
American Addiction Centers
Recovered.org Article
Recovery Unplugged

Childhood Obesity

Meredith Dean – Healthy Floyd

In this episode of Friday Facts, Meredith Dean with Healthy Floyd discusses childhood obesity. This is a serious public health concern in the U.S., affecting nearly twenty percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 years, and it poses significant health risks to our young people. As the parent or caregiver of our community’s children, do what you can to help them develop their own healthy habits! Provide healthy meals and snacks, encourage daily physical activity, and take the time to help your child understand the benefits of good nutrition. And perhaps most importantly, set a good example!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Healthy Floyd
CDC Tips to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Resources
Healthy Kids Healthy Future – Resources for Parents

Impaired Driving

Sgt. Emily Hite – Radford City Police Department

April is Alcohol Awareness Month! In this episode of Friday Facts, Sergeant Emily Hite with the Radford City Police Department discusses the dangers of impaired driving. Don’t fool yourself into thinking these dangers don’t apply to you – driving impaired is a no-win situation!

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Radford City Police Department Facebook Page

ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH:
American Addiction Centers
Recovered.org Article
Recovery Unplugged

IMPAIRED DRIVING:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
US Department of Transportation Article
Responsibility.org Drunk Driving Resources
Virginia DMV Information
CDC Strategies to Reduce or Prevent Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Mindfulness Practice

Jamie Reygle – InStill Mindfulness

In this episode of Friday Facts, Jamie Reygle with InStill Mindfulness discusses the importance of mindfulness practice in our lives to help identify what’s going on below the surface. Getting in touch with our inner experience can help us understand ourselves better and learn how to manage our emotions when they seem to be out of balance.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

RESOURCES

Guided Practices:
Compassion in Changing Times
Self-Compassion
Equanimity Meditation

Books:
Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
Building Emotional Intelligence, by Linda Lantieri
Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation, by Jeff Brown
We Were Made for These Times, by Kaira Jewel Lingo
Buddha on the Backstretch: The Spiritual Wisdom of Driving 200 MPH, by Arlynda Lee Boyer

Other:
Blog post on “Emotional Sobriety”
Meditation Groups in Southwest Virginia

Intimate Partner Violence

Laura Beth Weaver – Women’s Resource Center of the NRV

In our inaugural episode of Friday Facts, Laura Beth Weaver with the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley discusses intimate partner violence: what it is, who it affects, and what you can do about it.

Click on the image to view this week’s episode.

LOCAL RESOURCES

Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley
New River Valley Disability Resource Center
CHIP (New River Community Action)
Planned Parenthood Roanoke
Community Health Center of the NRV