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Mental Health

by Noah Whitaker



May is Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM). This is a chance to learn about signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and help fight stigma that keeps people from receiving vital care. This month’s column won’t focus directly on MHAM, but upon a recent challenge in the mental health field, the Netflix Original series 13 Reasons Why, which since its release has generated a lot of buzz, especially from mental health and suicide prevention organizations.

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by Maricela Estrada-Moreno


I turned 37 on April 20, 2017. Another candle on the cake. Another year of beautiful life. Another year of surviving mental illness. I reflected on my life. It has almost been 20 years that I have been living with schizoaffective, bipolar type. However, back then, my diagnosis was bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I can’t believe I have made it this far. I have survived multiple suicide attempts and about 12-15 psychiatric hospitalizations. I survived all the delusions.

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by Tom Roberts


“The key to keeping your balance is to know when you’ve lost it.” I don’t know who said that, but knowing I had lost my balance in life was the turning point in learning to live with bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis. Unknown to me as an undergraduate nearly a half-century ago, I had both incurable neurological diseases. Most disorders have obvious symptoms, but mine were hidden working like a computer virus destroying a marriage, a career, and ultimately leaving me living alone, in poverty, and planning suicide.

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by Jackie Edwards


Over 4.3 million people in California need mental health services, with just under 40,000 of those based in the San Joaquin Valley. Anxiety disorders play a big part in this statistic, with panic attacks being a common issue.

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by Noah Whitaker



Our last article explored bringing folks to the table to address suicide, or who. We’ll now assume you’ve at least rounded up a few interested folks. If you don’t have a large and diverse group, don’t worry, you can work on that over time. This is a process of continually developing new partnerships, inviting new people and organizations to the table, and constantly improving and strengthening your efforts.

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by Noah Whitaker




Suicide is a complex behavior just as we all are complex individuals. A suicidal person can be a person at any point on our walk through life. There are greater risks and protective factors present, but suicide can occur among all races, ages, religious affiliations or philosophies (or lack thereof), economic statuses, ages, and professions. It is important to remember this complexity when thinking about approaching prevention efforts.

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Simple Ways to Refresh Your Mind And Body

IN THE March 4 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Jane Brown


Although you may enjoy the stimulation of keeping busy, enjoying the excitement of staying on top of diverse things from your career to orchestrating family, it’s also important to do nothing important at all, to just take time off for yourself, unwind, and reconnect with your family.

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Suicide Prevention–Get Involved

IN THE February 18 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Noah Whitaker




Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. More than forty-four thousand people die by suicide annually. Each death leaves behind survivors of suicide loss, including partners, family, friends, co-workers, schoolmates, and others. Often, these survivors are in need of resources such as support groups, counseling, and opportunities to take action. In many areas these supports are not available. This creates an opportunity for survivors to turn their experiences into advocacy and help bring resources into their community and/or join existing efforts.

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by Noah Whitaker



January is a time of renewal, an opportunity for a fresh start. Many people work to better themselves via their New Year resolutions. For some, however, like me, January is different. It doesn’t tend to be a time to look forward, but rather it is a time for reflection—especially for those who have lost someone to suicide. There is a common saying among survivors of loss that suicide does not end pain, it simply transfers it onto others.

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Holiday Blues

IN THE December 23 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Noah Whitaker



The holidays are a magical time. It is as if the glitter and twinkle of lights, the reddening of noses, and an echoed cough or sneeze all coalesce into the spirit of the season. This is the time of year I look forward to most. People tend to give a little more of themselves be it time, finances, or simple good will. Life becomes a little better.

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International Survivors of Suicide Day

IN THE November 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Noah Whitaker



November 19 is International Survivors of Suicide Day. This is an occasion that encourages people affected by suicide loss to gather, share comfort, and create an understanding of what has happened and the journey yet to come.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham



Millions of Americans of all ages struggle to live with depression every day. But unfortunately, depression suffered by the elderly is often overlooked as a common side-effect of growing old.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week

IN THE October 1 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Jayson Blair



As the grocery store aisles fill with candy and pumpkins begin appearing on suburban doorsteps, my mind turns to the ghosts and goblins of the month of October. Not the ones that hit the streets on Halloween. These are the ones that consume the minds of many who suffer from depression and seasonal affective disorder as night falls fast, as the leaves begin to fall, and the cool winds of winter are beating at the door of our lives.

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Teen Suicide Prevention

IN THE September 10 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Noah Whitaker



Teen suicide. These two words strike fear into the hearts of most parents. Due to this fear, the topic is frequently treated like a boogieman, and people believe that if they don’t talk about it, will not happen. The sad truth is that reality is the exact opposite. Silence leads to lost lives. In order to combat this issue we must confront it, become educated, expand, and strengthen programs to prevent, intervene, treat, and unfortunately, respond in the aftermath of suicide (postvention).

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Suicide Prevention Task Force

IN THE September 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMental Health
SECTIONS

by Noah Whitaker



National Suicide Prevention Week is September 5-11, 2016. This is a time set aside to raise awareness of an issue that impacts the lives of far too many people. It is a time to increase awareness, education, and activities relating to suicide prevention. It is an opportunity for an article such as this.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham



Since May is Mental Health Month, we have been featuring a mental health related article every week. To end this month, we interviewed Bob Carolla, Senior Writer, Communications & Public Affairs, at NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Health) about what they are and what they do.

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