Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Logo by Counseling@Northwestern

The designation of Mental Health Awareness Month was created more than 65 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness and promoting good mental health for all. 

During Mental Health Awareness Month professionals, organizations, schools, communities, hospitals and even media outlets will join together in an effort to raise the awareness about mental health and attempt to decrease the stigma that prevents people from getting the help they need. If you have a mental illness or love someone who does, reach out to the many community resources and planned events this month. 

Mental Health Blog Day is May 20th. To be part of it or read the related blogs that are celebrating mental health awareness click the icon link below.

YourMindYourBody.Org

Link here for state and local MHA affiliates. 

And don't forget to wear Lime Green to show your support.

Remember, there's no shame living with a mental illness.


Friday, April 17, 2015

April is Autism Awareness Month


April is Autism Awareness Month. 
Every day, the millions people living with autism and their families face unique and daunting challenges that many of us will never fully appreciate. During National Autism Awareness Month, we renew our commitment to better understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and improve the lives of individuals living with it.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with ASD. This latest estimate makes it clear that autism affects the lives of millions of Americans – our friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members.
ASD is a developmental disability characterized, in varying degrees, by persistent difficulties in social communication and restrictive and repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. We know that early screening and intervention at younger ages helps children get the most effective treatments earlier in life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Sexual Assault Awareness Month is observed in April in the United States, and is dedicated to making a concerted effort to raise awareness about and prevent sexual violence. In the time it takes to read this paragraph, 3 individuals somewhere in the United States will have become a victim of sexual violence.

The first observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month occurred in 2001, where the National Sexual Violence Resource Center provided resources to advocates nationwide to help get the word out about sexual assault. This awareness day has gained momentum over the years, especially at high school and college campuses.

Research states that prevention programs and awareness days help educate the public about sexual assault and sexual violence. So for those who want more information, link here





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Brain Awareness Week is March 16-22, 2015



I'm a big fan of my Brain.

It's such a totally cool organ. Without it, I couldn't do anything, really.

No doubt you feel the same way.

Brain health is vital to our mental and physical well-being. And as time marches on, exciting research and technologies will bring us even greater understanding of how our Brains work and offer insight into illness and disease.

So, now that you know it's Brain Awareness Week, go out and celebrate your Brain.

I'm going to attempt some super difficult crosswords puzzles. Make sure I eat green leafy vegetables and take my Brain for a longer walk than usual.

For more Brain tips go here and here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

March 1st is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Awareness Day



Non-Suicidal Self-injury (NSSI) – is any deliberate, non suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on one's body to relieve emotional distress.

People who engage in
NSSI usually do not involve a conscious intent to die by suicide, though many believe that people who harm themselves are suicidal. There are also numerous myths that surround NSSI, which create a stigma for those struggling with kind of coping behavior. 

Individuals who use NSSI are often trying to:

* Distract emotional pain
* End feelings of numbness
* Calm overwhelming feelings
* Maintaining control
* Self-punish
* Express thoughts that cannot be put into words
* Express feelings for which there are no words

Who engages in Non-Suicidal Self-Injury?

There is no simple portrait of a person who intentionally self-injures. This behavior is not limited by gender, race, education, age, sexual orientation, socio-economics, or religion. However, there are some commonly seen factors:

* NSSI  more commonly occurs in adolescent females.

* Alexithymia is often a characteristic of those who struggle with NSSI.

* Many self-injurers have a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

* Many self-injurers have co-existing problems like depression, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder or eating disorders.

* Self-injures tend to have been raised in families that discouraged expression of anger, and tend to lack skills to express their emotions.


What are the types of self-injury?

* Cutting
* Burning
* Picking at skin
* Interfereing with wound healing
* Hair-pulling
* Hitting
* Scratching
* Pinching
* Biting
* Embedding

Treatment 

NSSI is often misunderstood, and those seek medical or mental health treatment frequently report being treated badly by emergency room doctors and nurses, counselors, police officers and even mental health professionals.

Finding professionals who specialize in working with Non-Suicidal Self-Injury is IMPERATIVE. With proper treatment, new ways of coping will be learned and slowly the cycle of hurting will end.


Resources

If you need help and are not sure where to turn?
Call the S.A.F.E. Alternatives information line at (800) 366-8288 for referrals and support for non-suicidal self-injury. 

In the middle of a crisis?
If you’re feeling suicidal and need help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at (800) 273-8255