Suicide Risk

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides. Most people don’t have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear … Continue reading “Suicide Risk”

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides.

Most people don’t have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear and helplessness can accompany the thought that someone might be suicidal. There are several things that you should know about suicide:

1. Treat every threat as serious – Never ignore, minimize or promise confidentiality when someone talks about suicide. Listen carefully and do not interrupt.

2. Think about warning signs – Has the person been faced with a difficult situation recently such as a job loss, unplanned pregnancy, divorce or health problem? Do you notice any changes in their mood, sleep, appetite, or participation in activities? Are they giving things away? Do they seem pre-occupied with death?

3. Consider the history – Have there been suicide attempts or incidents of self-harm in the past? Were there friends, relatives or role-models of the individual who committed suicide?

4. Ask the question – If someone “hints” or implies that life is not worth living ask “Are you suicidal?”

5. Don’t make assumptions – People who commit suicide might never have suffered from mental illness. Most individuals who have suffered from mental illness are not suicidal.

6. Assess the risk level – Some people have thoughts of suicide when life is overwhelming but do not have any intention of following through. Their statement may be a “cry for help”. Support and problem-solving options might be what they really need.

7. Determine if there is a plan – Ask questions about what the person might be considering. Be direct and get very specific information about what they are planning to do. Medium risk involves having thoughts, impulses and a plan.

8. Find out if they have the means – Does the person have opportunity to access what they need to fulfill their plan? If so, they are high risk. Do they have a gun, pills, a vehicle or other means that match their plan? Remember that being under the influence of a substance at the time also increases the risk.

9. Don’t try to be a hero – Access services of a professional who will do an assessment and create a treatment plan. Call a Suicide Crisis line, take the person to the hospital or ask police to transport for you. Make sure that you share the information you have gathered with the professionals involved.

10. Let go! – Sometimes individuals are taken to an Emergency Room and are not admitted or are hospitalized and then released a day or two later. You may not agree with what is happening but it is up to the professionals involved to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help the individual. It is NOT your responsibility to keep the person safe or alive.

Suicide affects so many people – the individual, family, friends and society at large. It is therefore important that we learn as much as possible about suicide and then are wise and compassionate.

Uses of Various Personal Loan Types

Bad credit loans are a good option for people who may have difficulty obtaining finance because they have previously got into payment arrears, or had CCJs or defaults. There are a number of bad credit loans lenders that now offer this type of finance but you may be confused by the financial jargon that is used to describe borrowing that is specifically for this sector of the market.

Some of the terms that refer to borrowing aimed at this market sector are: bad credit loans with no credit check and bad credit loans with an instant decision. The former is a useful option as it means that people do not have to worry about getting turned down because of past financial difficulties. The latter also often implies that stringent checks are not likely to be carried out.

Another type of borrowing that you may see advertised is bad credit loans with no fees. With this type of finance the borrower will still have to pay interest on the amount borrowed. However, there will be no set up fees or additional charges levied such as administration fees. Therefore, these can often prove beneficial.

In describing the various types of products that are on offer, we will begin by looking at unsecured bad credit loans. If you do not wish to secure your property against the amount you have borrowed then unsecured loans for bad credit are a good choice. However, the interest charged on them tends to be higher than that charged on secured forms of borrowing.

Amongst the types of unsecured bad credit loans are those requiring a guarantor. In this instance the guarantor is usually a trusted family member or friend who guarantees to take over the repayments on your behalf if you fail to meet them. Guarantors are usually required for people who haven’t had a chance to build up a credit record, for example, parents often act as guarantor for their adult children.

Another type of unsecured finance is when the repayments are collected from the home. These are known as home collection loans. The amount granted is usually low (generally between £100 and £500). A representative from the lending company calls at the home on a regular basis to collect the repayments, which is normally around once a week or once a fortnight.There are also various types of secured finance available for people with a poor credit history. Borrowing can be secured against the home, car or other property. Additionally, payday loans rely on the borrower earning a regular income and the amount granted is paid back as soon as the borrower’s salary is paid into his account.

Even a visit to the pawnbrokers is a form of secured finance. The borrower takes his goods to the pawnbroker who lends him a sum of money based on the perceived value of the goods. The person then returns at some point in the future and pays back the sum of money with interest in return for his goods, which have acted as security against the sum of money that was borrowed.

Kick Out Flashing – What It Is and Where It Should Be Installed

Several factors can lead to water intrusion, but a missing kick out flashing, often results in concentrated areas of water accumulation and can lead to severe damage to exterior walls. Home Inspectors should make sure that kick outs are present where they are needed and that they are installed correctly. Water damage in the cladding or siding can occasionally be observed on the exterior wall in the form of vertical stains, Home Inspectors should not completely rely on visual identification.

The following problems may be observed associated with kick out flashing:

Kick out Not Installed

The need for kick out flashing has developed fairly recently. The increased amount of insulation and building wrap used in modern construction makes buildings less breathable and more prone to sustain water damage. As a Home Inspector we see Kick Out Flashing not installed quite frequently. We hope that by the time we get to inspect the property there has not been excessive damage done to the siding, roofing or the structure of the home.

The following are locations where kick out flashing is needed:

Anywhere a roof and exterior wall intersect, where the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter
Where gutters terminate at the side of the chimney

Kick out not properly installed:

The bottom seam of the flashing must be watertight
The angle of the diverter should never be less than 110 degrees
Another sign that Kick out flashing is not installed or installed improperly is that many home owners will opt for the DIY type of installation. This is when they simply install a flat piece of flashing at the eaves or the bottom area of the rooftop. As a Home Inspector we see this quite often. Homeowners install this and use a silicone based sealant around the area. Silicone is a “band-aid”. Also, they do not protect the entire area where the siding meets the roofing material. Thus making the rest of the area very susceptible for water or moisture damage.

Kick out has been modified by the Homeowner:

Many homeowners do not understand the importance of kick outs. For this reason, many choose to alter them due to cosmetic concerns. A common modification is to shorten their height to less than the standard six inches, which will greatly reduce their effectiveness.

Home owners may also make kick out flashings less conspicuous by cutting them flush with the wall

How the Little Guys Can Secure Business Loans

No matter how good of an idea or operation model you have, you cannot start an establishment without money. A lot of people struggle to get started simply because they cannot secure the funds to make their very real and concrete ideas a reality. Securing business loans is practically the only way for small, local shops to get off the ground. Since the economic crisis of 2008, the little guys have been having a hard time finding sufficient financial assistance. Banks and other financial institutions are wary of taking on risks after what happened in 2008. Still, there is hope. Let’s explore how you can go about getting financial backing so that you can get your shop up and running.

First, Make Sure You Can Meet Criteria That Banks and Other Institutions Want to See

As previously mentioned, the economic crisis of 2008 has made financial institutions wary of taking on risks and lending out money. If you want to succeed in securing money from these places, you need to ease their minds. They want to know exactly what the cash will be used for. Be sure that it will be used on something concrete and safe. They will not lend for speculative purposes or high-risk endeavors such as pyramid sales or investments. Show them a credible purpose for the cash, and you are on your way. They also want a very solid form of collateral. This generally is property, so make sure you really want the financing before you put up your home to secure it. Finally, you need to have good credit and character history. Business loans are typically not given to those with criminal records or poor credit. Banks consider these people to be high-risk and want to avoid them.

The Interview Process: Be Confident and Truthful

Once you ensure that you have the above criteria nailed down as solidly as you can, it is time to go to financial institutions and try to secure a loan. Business loans from the large banking players generally are not given to start-ups. This is due to the inherent risk that comes along with a start-up. If you are instead seeking cash for growth, you will probably have more success at one of the larger banking institutions than a start-up, but these institutions generally like working with other big corporate players where their money is safe. Visit the bank your personal accounts are in and talk to a professional. They will help you prepare for the process, and let you know if you qualify for their lending program. Do not be afraid to go to smaller community banks and credit unions. Believe it or not, the little guys are more willing to lend to the little guys. Business loans vary from institution to institution. You will be required to bring different information with you to each interview, but the credit history reports both for your operation and your personal life will always be required.

Besides these things, there is not much you can do except hope and see if one of the institutions will give you the money. If you can’t get cash, which will probably be the case for most start-ups, you should try to get financing from family members, use credit cards, or invest your savings into your idea.

4 Pillars of Protection – Products To Consider In Your 4 Pillars of Protection Insurance Portfolio

With a wide range of insurance products available today it is important to understand the differences and benefits to you and your specific situation. A basic portfolio for any person but more specifically for a self-employed person should encompass the 4 following aspects.

Disability

By far one of the most important products for anyone, specifically self-employed people is disability insurance. We all work to handle our weekly and monthly expenses in addition to providing the “little extras” if we have anything left over. Employees of a company for the most part will have benefits provided to them however, being self-employed our livelihood depends on our ability to go to work and earn an income. In the event your ability to work is suddenly removed, disability insurance could be the key to your survival. Your income is the fuel for everything. Remove that and over time all else will fall apart.

Life Insurance

Life insurance has so many uses that it could essentially apply to everyone. However, the general consensus of life insurance is that it is suitable only for people with a family. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance can be used to protect a debt over a period of time, provide for your survivors after final expenses, or give to a charity upon your death. For people who would like the idea of having a benefit as well as a savings or investment vehicle, life insurance could also be an option for you. Life insurance must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it is structured properly based on your specific situation.

Critical Illness

In my experience I have seen this product misunderstood the most. The important thing to understand about CI is that it will pay a lump sum benefit in the event you’re diagnosed with a “specific” covered illness. Most CI products will protect against heart attack, cancer, and stroke however, each policy will differ between companies for other covered illnesses beyond these. Do not make the mistake like most do in thinking that this operates like disability insurance. Yes, they are both living benefits but they provide protection in varying ways.

Investments

Within financial circles it is encouraged to have a minimum of 6 months of disposable “liquid” income saved. For most people this is a tremendous feat and some people often throw their hands up in the air and forfeit the idea that they too can have investments. Life insurance can be designed in such a way that not only do you have protection but also an accumulating asset. Outside of life insurance there are many ways to protect and grow your money. The concern for most people is having a large sum of money lying around to be able to invest.

If having a large starting capital is a concern of yours like it was for me, then I welcome you to consider an alternative to the “traditional investments and savings plan”.