Weather Alert  

TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut **TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - None * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern Nassau, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Queens, Northern Westchester, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Passaic, and Western Union * STORM INFORMATION: - About 910 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 980 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point NY - 28.5N 79.8W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North-northwest or 345 degrees at 9 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the East-Central Florida coast will continue to move to the north-northwest, then turn due north late tonight. It will continue to move north on Monday along the Southeastern US Coast. Isaias will then weaken slowly as it accelerates and curves northeast over the Carolinas Tuesday morning, then over our area by Tuesday evening. Confidence is increasing with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system are locally heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches likely, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heavy rain is most likely to occur across western parts of the area from late Monday night through Tuesday night, and eastern sections Tuesday into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across coastal sections late in the day Tuesday into Tuesday evening. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are then expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeastern New Jersey, New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about. - Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over. - A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways. - Scattered power and communications outages. * SURGE: Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - Localized inundation of 1 to 2 feet with locally up to 3 feet possible with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

The Complexities of Depression

Emotional wellness is a hot topic on high school and college campuses across the country. The rise of suicide among high school and college students is alarming.
The profile for some at risk ...

Print Email

Emotional wellness is a hot topic on high school and college campuses across the country. The rise of suicide among high school and college students is alarming.

The profile for some at risk because of depression and other emotional issues has many different faces. The stress and pressure that the average high school and college student has to face on a daily basis is much more intense than most of us adults realize.

The greater adult community continues to live in denial and only feeds this escalating concern. As you are reading this column, unbeknownst to many of you, each of you know someone who is at risk. A young adult who wears the plastic smile, does all the right things, says all the right things, but because of peer pressure, family pressure and school pressure, they are like a living time bomb ready to go off.

As parents sending their children off to college, we worry about their grades, their homesickness and their partying. For most of us, we don't worry about mental illness. More than a thousand college students commit suicide each year. What is even more troubling is that there is an even larger group of college students who are suffering and could be at risk at any given time.

In 2003 a survey conducted by the American College of Health Association indicated that more than forty percent of college students reported feeling "so depressed that it was difficult to function," at least once during the school year. Thirty percent expressed that they were suffering from anxiety and various levels of depression.

There is much debate and conversation about why these numbers are rising at such an alarming rate among our college students. However, what is even more distressing is that many college campuses are ill equipped to handle this growing concern.

What are college communities doing? Unfortunately, many are looking for "rock solid, emotionally fit students." Whatever that means. However, they are looking at students more closely and red flagging students with identified emotional issues.

The complexity of depression and other mental health issues is that they are oftentimes masked by other behaviors. We still stigmatize mental health concerns. Too many students who are in distress or possibly at risk are afraid to come forward. Counseling and the possibility of taking medication are for some akin to being a leper.

These serious mental health issues go un-addressed. Many high school and college students who, on paper, are "great kids" begin drinking excessively and/or smoking pot. They engage in these behaviors not to be cool, but rather to take the edge off of all the stress in their lives. In short, it becomes a form of medication.

When faced with these behaviors, too many parents merely dismiss them as being part of the "growing up" phase, a rite of passage into adulthood. For some that is correct. However, I must admit for a growing number of college coeds that is not the story.

Every semester I hear countless college students talk about their stress and feeling ill equipped to manage. When the suggestion of counseling comes up, there are a million excuses for why not. They range from "my parents will never pay for it" to "I don't want to be labeled" to being "frightened to death."

Last year at NYU, four students fell to their deaths from buildings on campus. According to school officials, there was nothing overt to identify that these students were struggling. The university took a very proactive stance after these unfortunate tragedies. They created a twenty-four hour "Wellness" hotline. What is unique about this hotline is that if a student is not responding on the phone, a trained counselor will be dispatched or the campus police will be called and sent to the student's residence.

The university is also asking incoming students about special needs they might have. Whether or not a student is taking medication or is in counseling. The university's therapists now make weekly trips to residence halls for one on one appointments.

Where NYU's new approach is admirable, too many colleges and universities have very weak and often understaffed counseling centers. Mental health has never been a priority concern among most colleges and universities. It is not a priority concern in most of our high schools and elementary schools. This is evidenced by the growing number of school districts cutting back on student support services. Effective, competent mental health providers are expensive.

As your son or daughter goes away to school for the first time, you should be concerned with what kind of mental health services are available on campus. How accessible are they? How trained are these professionals? What about the campus RA's and RO's? What kind of training do they have? Does the college and/or university have a tracking system for those students who have excessive absences? For many freshmen, absenteeism is a reflection of immaturity and too much partying. But for a growing number of students who silently get lost in the system, it is depression.

PJ went off to an excellent SUNY school last year. He was psyched. He could not stop talking about how proud he was of getting into such an excellent SUNY school, especially since he was such a marginal high school student due to his lack of motivation. He went to Suffolk for two years and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

He arrived at Binghamton ill prepared to deal with the competitiveness and the social pressure. He became immensely depressed, masking it with excessive consumption of alcohol and cutting. He got so far behind in his work that he stopped going to class and failed out.

Failing out was so demoralizing that he talked of suicide and got lost for days on a dangerous drinking binge. Thanks to his friends' intervention, he did not hurt himself. Today he is seeing a counselor and is more empowered to deal with the intense stresses of living.

It is very hard being a young person today. They deal with more stress in a given moment then many of us who are twice their age will deal with in a lifetime. We have failed in preparing our children to deal with the cutthroat world we live in.

Don't wait until your son or daughter is a senior in high school to be concerned about their mental health. Be attentive now!