Talking to Teens About Alcohol

It’s important to discuss about the topic of alcohol usage and influences among teens. Whether it may be from their parents, schools, peers, friends, and so on. It’s matter of helping teenagers to develop better decision skills and to make decisions based on what they want. Why do we care? Because we want teens to know the risks of early alcohol use and how it can affect them.

So what are some reasons why teens drink?

  • Social events and social peer pressure
  • Mental, behavior, school, and/or problems at home
  • History of abuse or trauma

What are the consequences of early drinking?

  • Possibility of increased related problems
  • Alcohol-related accidents
  • Higher risk of engaging in:
    • Sexual activity
    • Violent Crime
    • Alcoholism

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Bullying Prevention

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Act to Change

What is bullying?

Bullying is the act of intimidating someone through influence or through force.

Can bullying happen to anyone?

Yes, bullying does occur everywhere and to anyone of any backgrounds. Bullying doesn’t have to happen person to person. Bullying can occur through online, social media apps, letters, and more.

What can I do if I or a friend is experiencing bullying?

It depends on the severity of the bullying to know what you can do, but here are some tips on how you can handle the situation:

  1. Reach out for help. Whether it is your parents, a legal guardian, a counselor, or your close friend, make sure to let them know that you are being bullied. You don’t need to feel helpless or ashamed of anything. There are people who will support you to help you solve and cope with your situation.
  2. Try to avoid confrontation. If possible, avoid getting into physical fights or argument with bullies. It will not help stop the bullying, it is better to ignore and walk away when you can.
  3. Use {free} services to address about bullying. You can call or email a hotline or a online tool to help you talk about your bullying experience. They will keep you anonymous and your information confidential. This link is a government website that gives your free resources.
  4. Don’t watch, stand up. If you see another person being bullied, the best thing you can do is grab a adult nearby to stop it. If you feel that the situation can be handled by you stepping in, you can try to deescalate the situation by using methods such as:
    1. Pulling the victim away to a place far from the bully
    2. Show up and ask them where they have been (acting as a friend to neutralize the negative space)
    3. If you have someone nearby or ask a stranger to aid the victim to escape the situation
    4. Call 911 if you feel that the situation is dangerous

From the Act to Change website:

  • About 1 out of 5 students report being bullied during the school year
  • Bullying occurs once every 7 minutes 5 to 6 times more likely
  • Bullied students were 5 to 6 times more likely to miss school than those who were not bullied 50% of AA students
  • Half of Asian American students in New York City public schools reported biased based harassment

Public Health: Preventing Suicide

Suicide is a serious concern in the US and it is becoming more common in modern times. The feelings of being stressed, going through depression, or being pressured from outside forces can take a toll on people. So what can we as a society and individuals do to prevent suicide from occurring?

  1. Change the negative perception of those with mental illnesses, disorders, and substance abuse. Often times, people are too embarrassed or ashamed to get help and it could be that they don’t want their problems to be known or allow it to bother other people. “But talking, being open, and making connections with mental health services can make the difference between life and death. Research has uncovered warning signs for suicide. Learn warning signs from SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center exit disclaimer icon and an easy-to-remember warning signs mnemonic from American Association of Suicidology. exit disclaimer icon” – http://www.hhs.gov/
  2. Use public services that are available and always confidential. Rely on your local clinic or go see a therapist to help you or your friend out. Talking about one’s thoughts and feelings can help them organize themselves in terms of how to deal with difficult situations. It’s not easy to open up about sensitive topics but allowing someone in to help and guide them is a step towards a positive direction.
  3. Acknowledge that suicide is preventable. Let’s talk honestly about this difficult issue, use broad collaborative approaches to address the problem, and do all we can to learn more about how to prevent suicide. Help get the message out.

    If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline exit disclaimer icon (1-800-273-TALK/8255). Last year the Lifeline connected 1.5 million callers with counselors in their local area. Through a network of more than 160 community crisis centers, the Lifeline also offers specialized support to veterans, Spanish speakers and online users.

Facts:

  • Each year there are more than 40,000 suicides in the US – an average of about 117 every day.
  • Rates of suicide have increased by 28 percent since 2000, and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Every year some 1.1 million adults attempt suicide and about 470,000 people are treated in U.S. emergency departments for nonfatal, self-inflicted injuries.

Statistics and other information is link here!

 

Distracted Driving

What is distracted driving?

While driving, the driver is engaged in another activity that hinders their ability to drive a moving vehicle safely.

What can you do?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Follow basic driving regulations and speeding limits.
  • As passengers, alert distracted drivers of oncoming traffic and inform them

A Message from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

Distracted Driving, a Deadly Choice for Teens
 Twenty percent of fatalities involving teen drivers in Minnesota are distraction-related.
Distracted-related teen driving fatalities and injuries
Year
Fatalities
Serious injuries
Other Injuries
2011
1
38
1,181
2012
3
21
1,242
2013
8
39
1,117
2014
6
24
999
2015
7
25
1,153
Total
25
147
5,592
Make the Safe Choice
  • Cell phones — Put the phone down, turn it off or place it out of reach.
  • Speak Up – Offer to be the driver’s designated texter.
  • Music and other controls — Pre-program radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and ventilation before traveling.
  • Navigation — Map out the destination and enter the GPS route in advance.
  • Eating and drinking — Avoid messy foods and secure drinks.
  • Children — Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle and model proper driving behavior.
  • Passengers — Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior and offer to help with anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road.
 

Trauma Resources

Print

http://sandyhookcolumbine.org/

With recent violent events, it can impact people in different ways. If you know someone experiencing trauma, try your best to support them and let them know about their available resources. If you or a friend is in need, remember that you can always reach out to or depend on these things:

  • Close family members and friends
  • Professionals – local clinics, hotline, therapist, etc.
  • Online support communities
  • Click here for facts/info about trauma in the state of Minnesota
  • For local helplines in Minnesota click here!

“Anyone can help someone who struggles with trauma—whether they work in the medical or mental health community, or are just a caring individual.

The National Council for Behavioral Health would like to share a few resources about trauma:

  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Signs A Person May Be Experiencing Trauma
  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to Help Someone Experiencing Trauma
  • TIP SHEET: Trauma in the LGBTQ Community: What Practitioners Should Know in the Wake of the Orlando Shootings.
  • FACT SHEET: LGBTQ Mental Health: How the Orlando Shootings Can Broadly Impact This Community.” – Rightful owner

 

Planning on a trip? | Health Awareness Regarding Your Travel Destination

Safety-While-Traveling

http://www.vacationgetawayinternational.com/

Are you planning to go on a trip soon? It’s always good to keep in mind of where are you going and the current situation of the location. So make sure to do your research of what you may need to bring along with in terms of medicines, clothes, electronics, and possibly even getting vaccinated before flying to another country. Listed down below are some places that you may need time to prepare for if you plan on visiting there:

MERS

  • MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and is a viral respiratory illness. Cases of MERS has been reported in the Middle East and spread to, but decreased in South Korea. Click here for more in depth info.

Polio

  • There has been an increased in reported cases of polio among in Guinea, Madagascar, and Nigeria. It is highly recommended that travelers get the polio vaccine before entering the country and for people to get vaccinated again if already done so in the past. Be aware that polio can be spread through contaminated water and direct contact with an infected person.
  • Reported cases of polio has also came from Ukraine (Europe).

Zika Virus

  • The local transmission of the Zika virus has been reported in various parts of the world, Cape Verde (Africa), Laos, Burma (Myanmar), American Samoa, Bolivia, Cuba, and other countries in Central America, South America, Caribbean, and Pacific islands. Make sure to do your research!
  • “Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Women who are pregnant(in any trimester) should not travel to areas with Zika. Men who have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex for the duration of the pregnancy. Women and their partners who are thinking about pregnancy after possible exposure to Zika should talk with their doctor or healthcare provider.” – “Global Travel Pinet
  • Be aware and protect yourself for those who plan on attending:
    • the 2016 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21, 2016
    • the Paralympic Games that is scheduled for September 7 to September 18, 2016

American Heart Month

“February is American Heart Month. Talk to your doctor about #hearthealth” – www.cdc.gov

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Original image belongs to www.storybird.com.

February is dedicated to sharing the awareness of taking care of our hearts. The path to a healthy lifestyle is always a continuous journey so positive choices you make now will benefit you in the long run. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips on how to:

  • The easiest place to start is to eat healthier foods. Your food intake has a direct impact on your heart, especially on your cholesterol level. Tip: Avoid drinking sugary or fizzy drinks such as juice and pop. Many American’s are obese because of their diet of high fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Balance your meal! Eating healthier is easier than said so what can try first is to substitute unhealthy food for healthier alternatives. For example, if you like sweet snacks like chocolates, gummies, and such, switch it out with ripe fruits! And it is okay to indulge in your cravings once in a while.
  • Exercise regularly, not extensively. If you try to maintain a exercise schedule with healthy eating, you’ll lose weight more effectively and maintain your health/weight. Doing intense work out one or twice a week is better than doing it often because your body needs time to relax, rebuild, and reenergize.
  • Want to know what kind of fruits & veggies are in the winter season:
    • dates, kale, passion fruit, oranges, turnips, leeks
    • For more info on what’s in season, click here!