Students create powerful videos about suicide prevention: ‘It could save a life’

By: Scott Stump,

Ben Finnie never wants another family to feel the pain that his endured last summer when his older cousin committed suicide.

Kaleigh Finnie, 19, a bubbly college student from the Woodlands, Texas, took her life on June 15, 2015, leaving her family to wonder what they could have done to prevent the tragedy. speak-loud-enough-mental-health-teens-today-tease-160524_e512195cfc376e6d477a99becfdd7840-1-today-inline-large

“I think if she had have reached out, her parents and her friends and family would’ve done everything they could for her,” Ben Finnie told TODAY. “Talking to them in the aftermath, they were so broken up. They feel like it’s their fault, when it’s not. They would’ve done anything to help her.”

Finnie, 16, is now helping to spread the word about suicide prevention and erase the stigma of mental health issues by working with the Directing Change program in California. The student at Murrieta Valley High School is one of more than 2,000 California high school and college students who have created 60-second public service announcement videos about suicide and mental health to raise awareness around the state.

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Squashing a stigma: Clovis East students place second in suicide prevention film contest


Youth Film Contest Seeks To Reduce Stigma Of Mental Illness

By: Ana Ibarra, California Healthline

Two years ago, Nick Walker won first prize in a short film contest that requires one-minute clips on suicide prevention or other mental health topics. speak-loud-enough_screengrab

He felt a little strange about winning, he said. Prior to the contest he had not thought much about raising awareness of mental illness. He’d joined the contest only because the teacher of his film class at Canyon High School in Anaheim had suggested it. Little did he know that it would soon figure prominently in his family life.

Walker’s video, “If We All Speak Loud Enough,” starts with teens silently mouthing their diagnoses into the camera, accompanied by subtitles: depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. By the end, they’ve all found their voices.

People with mental illness often feel they don’t have the power to speak up.

Nick Walker

Walker, now a 20-year-old student at Chapman University in Orange County, describes the experience as “eye opening” and “life changing.” He credits the program that sponsored the film competition with giving him and his family the tools they needed to help his younger sister, who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety shortly after the contest.

Walker is one of 4,000 students in California who have participated in the Directing Change Program and Student Film Contest since it started four years ago. The goal, program officials say, is to reduce stigma and cultivate acceptance of mental illness among young people, ages 16 to 25. They say it’s working.

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Alfonso Ribeiro wins the Pro/Celebrity race at Grand Prix of Long Beach

 By: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Alfonso Ribeiro won the 40th and final Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, a fan521597674 favorite event at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Ribeiro was also the celebrity winner in 1994 and 1995, and the Pro winner in 2015. The host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” also won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.

“I owe an awful lot to the city of Long Beach, they’ve been so supportive, and to Toyota, 40 years putting on this fantastic Pro/Celebrity Race and promoting Long Beach the way they have,” Ribeiro said.

Max Papis won the Pro category by finishing 4.872 seconds behind Ribeiro.

“It is just an amazing event and who won was the kids this event supports,” said Papis. “This is the best street course in America, maybe the world.”

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‘Fresh Prince’ Star Alfonso Ribeiro Wins Last Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Long Beach Grand Prix

By: Debbie Emery,  Yahoo/The Wrap

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro proved he still knows how to live life in the fast lane this past weekend when he won the final ever Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Long Beach Grand Prix in California.

la-sp-long-beach-grand-prix-celebrity-race-201-001He beat out star drivers including Adam CarollaFrankie MunizBrian Austin Green and fellow “Silver Spoons” alum Ricky Schroder at the 40th annual race, which ends after this year.

The “America’s Funniest Home Videos” host, who is also a past “Dancing With the Stars” champion, was the celebrity winner in 1994 and 1995, and the Pro winner in 2015.

Ribeiro actually credited Schroder for getting him into the racing scene, telling TheWrap before the race: “I came here with him, hung out during the practice and had a blast … I fell in love with it. Several years later they asked me to do it and there was no way I was going to say no.

“In these cars, we get up to 120 mph, but in my real professional driving, I’ve reached 190,” he revealed. “It’s good fun!”

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Isagenix on the move: Chandler-based wellness company to relocate corporate headquarters to Gilbert

By Jessica Suerth, East Valley Tribune

Isagenix International, a multi-million-dollar health and wellness company, recently announced they will be relocating their worldwide headquarters from Chandler to Gilbert by the end of the year, a move that solidifies the company’s strength in the Valley.

us-en-logo-tagline-color-webKevin Snyder, vice president of Corporate Communications and International Marketing Services at Isagenix, said the company decided to relocate after outgrowing their current facility in Chandler.

“Over the past two years, we have had to split up our corporate staff in three different facilities throughout the Chandler/Gilbert area,” he wrote in an email. “Building a new world-wide headquarters that is big enough to allow us to place everyone back under one roof is fundamental to our culture and our continued success.”

Isagenix, a company that prides itself on creating solutions for personal issues ranging from energy gain to weight loss, was founded in 2002 by John Anderson and Jim and Kathy Coover. The company currently has nearly half a million associates worldwide, spanning from the U.S. to Vietnam.

The new location will be located in Gilbert, off of Gilbert Road and the Loop 202, a place where Snyder said the company calls home.

“This is home to our company; we have no plans to relocate outside of the area,” he said. “We are excited about our new facility in Gilbert; the staff is counting down the days — they talk about the new building almost daily.

The move was projected to add hundreds of jobs to Isagenix’s workforce, many of which have already been filled, Synder said.

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By Kathy Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal

Sutter Health’s HMO poised to grow by joining small-biz insurance exchange

Sutter Health has signed a contract to offer its HMO in the private insurance exchange CaliforniaChoice as early as December.

The deal with the exchange for private-sector small employers still needs final approval by state regulators.

If approved, the move offers Sutter Health Plus a new forum to expand enrollment among small-business owners. It gives CalChoice traction to gain membership in Northern California — and it adds another plan to a private-sector competitor with Covered California.

“We want to get it done,” health plan CEO Steve Nolte said. “We think it’s a good fit for us.”A Southern California-based private exchange, CalChoice has about 12,700 employers in its program and 220,000 members.

“We believe in the Sutter model in terms of brand and we’ll help them maintain that,” said Ron Goldstein, president and CEO at Choice Administrators, which runs CalChoice. “It’s a very good fit for us. We were like them 19 years ago and know what its like to start from scratch.”

Launched in January 2014, Sutter Health Plus is available in nine counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The plan has applied to the state Department of Managed Health Care to expand coverage to the Bay Area in time for enrollment in 2016.

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