Helping a Friend Going Through Mental Health Problems

There are many people going through things we don’t know about. So, while you sit through a Mental Health First Aid session, you realize that it is not easy to ask someone a question as simple as – why do you want to hurt yourself? This holds true for someone who doesn’t self-harm, as well.

Apparently among every five Americans, one of them has some form of mental health problem. You don’t know who is going through mental health problems. In fact, many adults were known to suffer from self-harm tendencies and depression. So, what should you do in a situation like this? Let’s find out.

Understanding MHFA

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) was shaped by a mental health professor and a nurse in Australia, in 2000. It teaches people to notice the signs and the symptoms of different conditions and ways to talk to the person suffering from them. The price for this course ranges from $0 to $75. In the session, you watch a few videos showcasing people who are suffering from different mental disorders. You are then taught to look for the signs. A lot of information on psychology is crammed into a 3-4 hour session.

Asking ‘THE’ Question

While talking to mental health patients in a formal session, discussing the tough topics is inevitable. But talking to someone who you love is a lot different. There is always the fear of saying something wrong. This fear also makes many beat around the bush instead of asking the difficult question – Do you think about ending your life? However, if you dread this question, it might even make your loved one sense this feeling and make you wonder if you are even capable of handling the answer to this difficult question. The session teaches you to be calm and confident. This includes no fidgeting and keeping an open body language. You must listen attentively and sit by their side rather than across them.


There are many questions being raised regarding MHFA’s effectiveness because there is no research that shows how people are benefitting from the attendees’ intervention. According to a study conducted at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, there was an almost 30% rise in awareness about mental health awareness and people taking confident steps to intervene after attending the MHFA session. However, there is no way to know if the steps taken were helpful or effective in any way. On the other hand, being equipped with knowledge is always a plus point. More people being aware of how to deal with someone going through mental health problems is always a good thing.

New Study Finds This Snake Uses Lasso-Like Motion to Climb

Us normal people often think that scientists already know all there is to know about popular animals. Well, a new study discovered the never-before-seen lasso-like climbing locomotion of a particular kind of snake. Apparently, the invasive brown tree snakes found in Guam have a peculiar way of getting around that biologists knew nothing about.

the invasive brown tree snake on a branch A New Kind of Snake Climbing Technique

Co-senior author of the study, Bruce Jayne from the University of Cincinnati, says that snakes typically choose steep and smooth branches or pipes to climb because it’s easier for them to bend sideways and grip on the surface in at least two places. This new lasso locomotion researchers have discovered, however, is completely different. By using the loop of the “lasso,” the invasive brown tree snake is able to form a single gripping section and climb up. It’s not an ideal method, as snakes tend to often slip when they do it and are generally slower, but it’s one they can resolve to when there’s prey at the top.

The Discovery Has Important Implications

One of the bird species scientists are trying to save in Guam The reason biologists first started looking into the climbing techniques of invasive brown tree snakes in Guam was related to bird restoration efforts in the region. Initially, researchers set up a three-foot-long metal baffle that was supposed to keep the snakes from climbing to the nest boxes. Those same baffles had already proven efficient in keeping raccoons and other snakes away from the birds, but it seemed like the brown tree snakes were equipped to climb up.

Thomas Seibert, who was also part of the study, explained that the entire team was extremely baffled when they saw a snake forming what resembled a lasso around the cylinder and then wiggling its body up. As soon as they saw that novel movement, Seibert and his team knew they had to come up with a new type of baffle that brown tree snakes couldn’t climb over. The researchers are planning to test the limits of these locomotor abilities and learn more about the anatomy involved in them.