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Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine shows no benefit in COVID-19 prevention: study

(Reuters) – A malaria drug taken by U.S. President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.

The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus.

Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.

In the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus.

All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.

The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug.

In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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Sandy Hook Promise Celebrates Passage of Youth Suicide Prevention Legislation by the United States House of Representatives

Sandy Hook Promise Celebrates Passage of Youth Suicide Prevention Legislation by the United States House of Representatives

PR Newswire

NEWTOWN, Conn., Sept. 30, 2020

House of Representatives Votes Unanimously in Favor of the STANDUP Act (H.R. 7293)

NEWTOWN, Conn., Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of the Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act of 2020. The bill encourages states to expand access to evidence-based suicide prevention training to students in grades 6 through 12.   

(PRNewsfoto/Sandy Hook Promise)
(PRNewsfoto/Sandy Hook Promise)

“I can’t think of a better way to recognize National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month than the House of Representatives voting to expand access to evidence-based suicide prevention programs for young people. It’s more important than ever to prioritize this kind of training,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. “We are deeply grateful to the bipartisan sponsors of the STANDUP Act—Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA— who championed this life-saving legislation.”

“Teaching students and school personnel to understand and recognize signs of violent or suicidal ideation in youth and their peers is crucial to stem the crises of youth suicide and violence,” said Rep. Peters. “Early prevention can mean the difference between life or death, and giving schools the tools they need to prevent and react to threats before tragedy occurs ensures we are protecting our children and school safety.”

“There is no higher priority than keeping our children safe.  By providing high quality screening and prevention training to school staff and peers, we can identify threats before they materialize, and ensure that those who are at risk get the mental health treatment they need,” said Rep. Bilirakis.

In addition to the STANDUP Act, the House voted in favor of three other suicide prevention bills supported by Sandy Hook Promise to help prevent youth suicide:

  • Mental Health Services for Students Act (H.R. 1109), which would provide funding for public schools across the country to partner with local mental health professionals to establish on-site mental health care services for students;

  • Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act (H.R. 4861) which would assist emergency departments to develop better suicide risk protocols through the Department of Health and Human Services; and

  • Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 5469), the first comprehensive federal legislation to addresses increasing suicide rates and mental health disorders among Black youth by providing grants for culturally appropriate mental health services in schools and community settings.

In June, Arriana Gross, a high school junior in Covington, Georgia and a Sandy Hook Promise Youth Advisory Board member, spoke to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during a hearing on mental health about the importance of addressing teen suicide and mental wellness. In her testimony, Arriana asked the Committee to

Trump-Touted Hydroxychloroquine Shows No Benefit in COVID-19 Prevention: Study | Top News

(Reuters) – A malaria drug taken by U.S. President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19 did not show any benefit versus placebo in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.

The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus.

Trump began backing hydroxychloroquine early in the pandemic and told reporters in May he started taking the drug after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Studies have found the drug to offer little benefit as a treatment.

In the study of 125 participants, four who had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for eight weeks contracted COVID-19, and four on placebo tested positive for the virus.

All eight were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, according to the results published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

The research shows that routine use of the drug cannot be recommended among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania said.

The study authors said it was possible that a trial conducted in a community with higher prevalence of the disease could allow detection of a greater benefit from the drug.

In the latest trial, which was terminated before it could reach its enrollment target of 200 participants, mild side effects such as diarrhea were more common in participants taking the malaria drug compared to placebo.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Out of the Darkness suicide prevention event goes virtual

Allen Barber wasn’t the person that came to mind when you thought about suicide.

A talented singer and actor, he had a beautiful baritone voice and was a member of the elite Montevallo Chamber Singers in college.

“He was well-liked, cared deeply for his family and friends and cared deeply about everything that went on around him,” said his mother, Lydia Barber.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Allen took his own life at age 19 on Oct. 27, 2010.

“We were in shock, devastated and lost,” said his mother, Lydia Barber of Daphne.

Allen Barber

Allen Barber in a production of ‘Godspell’ in 2009.

To deal with the grief and in hope of helping others avoid the pain her family went through, Barber got involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Since 2012, she’s been the chairperson of the Out of the Darkness Walk in Daphne, an annual fundraiser that not only raises money for suicide prevention, but provides a support network for families dealing with the loss of someone they love.

“Finding AFSP and the Out of the Darkness Walk has been very healing for my family,” she said.

This year, well, it’s 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to major gatherings of any kind, including the multiple of Out of the Darkness Walk events that would have taken place across Alabama.

But this, Barber said, is too important an event to just cancel. Mental health issues don’t take a year off, especially during a pandemic, and neither will the Out of the Darkness Walk.

Instead of walking, this year it’s the Out of the Darkness Experience. On Nov. 8, from 2-3 p.m. the event will go virtual.

Participants from Birmingham, Daphne, Montgomery, Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, Dothan and Tuscaloosa will come together online. There will be speakers, music, a bead ceremony, and even a digital memory quilts built from photographs sent in by those who register.

There are other activities people can be involved in in the month leading up to the event. There will be a “Way I Walk – 11 Mile Challenge,” a virtual scavenger hunt, and Out of the Darkness Silent Auction and virtual programs such as “Talk Saves Lives” and “Enhancing Mental Health During COVID-19.”

Registrants can form a team in memory of a loved one, or for a business, church, civic club or the like. When they register, they’ll get a fundraising page that they can share on social media to raise money for AFSP. Anyone who raises $150 by Nov. 8 will get this year’s official Out of the Darkness T-shirt in the mail.

This event won’t just raise money for awareness, but provide people with guidance on how to have a #RealConvo, or real conversation with someone they suspect may be suicidal.

Lydia Barber had discovered some “very deep, some would say, very dark writings” that Allen had done in high school, but when she asked him about it, he dismissed it as just his writing style.

“I sometimes think that