1. Published

    The summer between high school graduation and freshman year of college is cause for excitement and a feeling of pride. There are many celebratory events to attend and possibly even a college orientation. While it is a milestone that is filled with enthusiasm, it can also take a toll on the student’s mental well-being especially if they are going away to school later that summer.

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    May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health refers to our state of mind and includes emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Our mental health influences how we feel, think and act which can fluctuate over time and with stress. Supporting our physical health, thought patterns, and relationships helps strengthen our mental health.

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    By now, you may be familiar with the concept of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs are potentially traumatic events that happen during childhood. They typically involve being a victim or witness of violence, or feeling of insecurity. Exposure to ACEs has been associated with negative outcomes in adulthood like poor mental health, chronic health problems, and substance abuse.

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    When most people think of health, more than likely they think of it in the physical sense. Questions that normally come to mind include - Why do I feel sick? What part of my body hurts? Did I pull a muscle? Why is my stomach upset? Are the results to my blood work or recent screenings normal? Well, health, as you may already know, encompasses more than physical health. How a person feels, thinks, and acts are important components of health, particularly mental health.

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    The start of a new year is often the time when we consider making change in our lives. Whether you call think in terms of resolutions, goals or intentions, the question remains – how can I be a successful change agent? Psychologists who study behavior change provide the following suggestions.

  6. Published

    Winter is well on its way and it is important to be prepared for the accompanying frigid temperatures, snow, and ice. Here are a few tips to make sure you are ready to stay safe and healthy through the threats winter presents.

    First, wear clothing appropriate for the outdoor weather, such as a well-insulated, wind-resistant coat or jacket. Wear warm layers of inner clothing so you can add and remove layers as needed for the weather. Wear hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, and waterproof boots for added warmth and protection from the weather.

  7. Published

    A recent ad informs viewers of a hand signal that can be used to alert others that they may need assistance because they are in a domestic violence situation. While the signal has yet to be adopted widely, this ad serves as a reminder that these circumstances continue to affect individuals and families globally and that we all must be vigilant to what is happening around us and with those we know.

  8. Published

    At the start of the 2020-21 school year, we see displays of face masks alongside the traditional school supplies of notebooks, pens and pencils. Whether your student is a preschooler or college student, it is quite likely going back to school looks at least a little different this year.

  9. Published

    Immunizations work by training our body to fight against infectious diseases. Vaccines are made using a weak form of the virus or bacteria that causes the disease, toxins created by microorganisms, or protein products made in a lab. Vaccines are administered to help the body develop antibodies against a specific illness. After being vaccinated, the person’s new antibodies can practice fighting the disease. In the future, the trained antibodies will protect the vaccinated person when they come in contact with the illness.

  10. Published

    Summer is here again and with it comes extra factors to consider for your health particularly when spending time out in the sun and heat!

  11. Published

    April is alcohol awareness month. We may be exposed to pleasant advertisements and messages for alcoholic drinks, so it is important to remember the risks associated with alcohol use. If you are of legal drinking age and choose to drink, please drink responsibly.

  12. Published

    When you were a young child, did you ever have a hard time getting others to listen to you or wanting your voice to be heard around the dinner table or at a family party? Have you ever tried making a point at a gathering or meeting only to be talked over? There are many instances where you might have wanted your voice to be heard and struggled to accomplish this. Perhaps it felt that you did not matter or that you did not count. Well, as you may know, every ten years we are asked to be counted. The US Census is trying to count everyone who lives in the United States because we all matter.

  13. Published

    Few would disagree we are experiencing unprecedented times. Stress levels are high as we adjust to working remotely, disruptions in regular schedules, challenges in securing daily essentials and uncertainty as to what comes next.

  14. Published

    There has been extensive media coverage on the coronavirus these last few weeks and it has caused great concern globally. It was previously referred to as 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, however, the official name announced by the World Health Organization is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated COVID-19. Like other respiratory illnesses, common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

    Follow these general recommendations to prevent the spread of this and other respiratory viruses.

  15. Published

    Have you been staying up late to catch up on your favorite shows or social media? Perhaps, your busy schedule has pushed your bedtime back later than you would like. After all, many of us are juggling work, social and philanthropic activities, and adding on our loved one’s schedules to the mix, well, the hours in the day never seem to be enough! Unfortunately, as you may already know, what gets shortchanged is our night’s rest. Getting the recommended amount of sleep nightly is a struggle that many of us constantly face.

  16. Published

    It is December again. In a few days we will begin another year full of opportunities. It is also a time of celebration that brings together family and friends. To help you have a happy and healthy holiday season there are a few steps you can take.

  17. Published

    November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior- ultimately interfering with daily life. Dementia is a term that covers a range of medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

  18. Published

    October is the time of year when special attention is brought to bullying awareness.  Typically, the first thing that comes to my mind is the prevalence of bullying among children and teens.  While bullying among this age group continues to be a prominent concern, my awareness has recently been brought to bullying in the work place.

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    I recently participated in a certificate-training course on mental health first aid for those who work with youth. When I learned about the opportunity, I felt it was relevant to me not only professionally as a health educator, but also personally as a parent and coach. The training is meant to help those working with youth learn specific skills that are critical during a mental health crisis.

  20. Published

    As we commemorate autism awareness month, let us embrace the Autism Society's challenge to go beyond autism awareness and learn to accept and appreciate individuals with autism.

    One way to increase acceptance is by fostering autism friendly spaces. According to the organization Autism Friendly Spaces Unlocking Minds and Spaces - A space is autism friendly when it accommodates and supports the sensory, communication, and social/emotional needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.