Living with – and safely treating – chronic pain

ChronicPainSometimes we blame it on age, a friendly basketball game that got a little too competitive or simply just not being in great physical condition, but just about everyone feels a little pain now and then. But what about when the pain doesn’t go away even after the injury heals? September is Pain Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to understand what chronic pain is, how it can interfere with daily life, and the safest ways to treat and manage chronic pain. Continue reading

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Safely canning foods at home: When in doubt, throw it out!

CannedGreenBeansIt’s harvest time, and if you’re lucky, you have plenty of produce from your garden to go around. Canning it is a great way to preserve it and share it with family and friends, but it can be risky if it’s not done correctly. Before you get started, it’s important to be knowledgeable about proper canning techniques so you can make sure your home-canned vegetables aren’t contaminated by the germ that causes botulism.

What is botulism?

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a bacteria that produces powerful toxins that can lead to serious illness, including paralysis, and even death. The bacteria produce hardy spores that can survive in soil. Fruits, meats, fish, and vegetables could be contaminated with the bacterial spores before they are canned. The spores can survive, grow as bacteria, and produce toxins in improperly canned jars of food. It can be deadly to take even a small taste of food that has this toxin in it.  Continue reading

Pathways Community Crisis Center set to open in December

The Department of Health and Welfare is pleased to announce that Pathways Community Crisis Center is on track to open in early December in Boise. Pathways of Idaho has been awarded the contract to operate the community crisis center, which is the fourth to open in the state.

“Community crisis centers are critical access points to services for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis,” said DHW Director Russ Barron. “Pathways Community Crisis Center will fill a much-needed service gap in the Treasure Valley, and I am grateful for the Legislative and community support for all of the community crisis centers across the state.”

The crisis center will provide assessment, intervention, and referral services to individuals 18 years and older who are experiencing a crisis related to mental health or substance-use disorders. The facility, at 7192 Potomac Drive, Boise, is centrally positioned and accessible by public transportation.

The overarching goal of the crisis center is to work collaboratively with local law enforcement, hospitals, social service entities, and other community partners to provide a supportive and more cost-effective approach to crisis services. Services will be available around the clock 365 days a year and will be accessed either by self-referral or referral by family, friends, law enforcement, or other concerned community members. Continue reading

“When I was 15, I broke my pinky and the doctor prescribed hydrocodone. And I loved them.” Idahoans talk about #Recovery

The 2nd annual Recovery Month Awards and Proclamation celebration was held Sept. 1, 2017 at the Idaho State Capitol to kick off national Recovery Month this month, dedicated to strengthening families and communities through hope for recovery from drug, alcohol and substance use addiction and mental illness.

During the program, several Idahoans spoke about their personal journey to recovery and how it has impacted their lives, families and communities. Continue reading

Disasters don’t plan ahead – but you can! It’s National Preparedness Month

Graphic: National Preparedness Month. Build a Kit.Living in Idaho, it’s easy to think that we don’t have to worry as much about disasters like the hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast and East Coast this season. But wildfires, flooding and even earthquakes are real possibilities here, and with September being National Preparedness Month, it’s a great time to think about putting together a go-kit, making a family emergency plan and making sure you’re informed when disaster strikes our state. Continue reading

Public health officials advise Idahoans to limit time outside as air quality worsens

SmokeBoise1BOISE  — Smoke from several wildfires in Idaho and surrounding states is affecting the air quality for residents in nearly every Idaho community and is expected to continue to do so for the next several days. Public health officials are advising people in the affected areas to limit their time outside as much as possible to reduce their exposure to smoke. Continue reading

Preventing suicide in Idaho: Rock your role and know the warning signs

RYR Tear PadCompleted suicides are statistically rare, but Idaho has some of the highest rates of suicide in the United States, ranking 5th in the nation in 2015. Though rates are high, it’s important to know that recovery from suicidality is the norm. More than 90 percent of people who make attempts never go on to die by suicide. This week is Suicide Prevention Week, so now is a good time to review how you can Rock Your Role, and help someone who may be struggling with thoughts of killing themselves. Continue reading