MIAMI – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34, which is why a South Florida organization is initiating a special school-based effort.
Stephane Colleu is President and CEO of the Dr. Brandt Foundation, which was created after the renowned Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt took his own life in 2015.
The foundation works to help people get tangible mental health support both online and in person.
“We are very proud to start working with the humane society and offer animal-assisted therapy for at-risk youth,” Colleu said. “And right now is just the beginning and we hope to get more support but right now we are working with two Miami-Dade county public schools that we identified in the month of September but also trying to look at foster care in juvenile justice centers and home groups in order to follow up with our own program.”
Colleau said the foundation has also created a special speaker series where people from all walks of life share their personal experiences in an effort to destigmatize mental health issues.
September is designated national suicide prevention month.
Cannabis and pregnancy
A California study found that more women used cannabis in the early stages of pregnancy during the pandemic than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Researchers noted a 25% increase in prenatal cannabis use compared with the 15 months before April 2020.
Prior studies have found that women are more likely to use cannabis in pregnancy if they are depressed or anxious, which researchers say may be an indication that women were self-medicating during the pandemic.