Does Your Loved One Have Depression?


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The article, Why Asian-American Seniors Have High Rates Of Depression But Rarely Seek Help,” written by Kimberly Yam has great detail showing culture differences and how it affects the daily lives of many. I loved how this article was able to snap a reminder into my head about my parents and grandparents. I will be restating some of the things from the article and giving my opinion on the topic.

In the Asian-American community, health is one of the biggest topics that become touchy to talk about, especially with the seniors. Overall health problems are not usually brought up unless one is really needing help; but with mental health many seniors do not seek help for it at all. According to the American Psychological Association, “Asian Americans are almost three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek mental health services.” One of the main factors to this is fear of being shameful. With the Asian culture, pride is very important and that is why some things may not be said or done in order to not “embarrass” the family.

We have to remember that most of our elders have experienced trauma from many of the world and life tragedies that has happened. Adapting to a new place and experiencing the feeling of being separated because of culture and language can have a huge influence on how one may feel. Our seniors/elders in the Asian community may hide their feelings of sadness and loneliness in order to avoid burdening the family. With this, the younger generation of sons, daughters, relatives…etc., should reach out when they feel that there may be some kind of loneliness.

When reading this article, I started thinking about my grandfather. When he was still on this beautiful planet, I met him once when he came to visit my family from Laos. He was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. He smiled a lot and didn’t talk about things much. When we went for walks, he seemed so peaceful. He always stared at the sky and just looked and admired the landscape. Thinking back now, I wish I spent more time showing him many beautiful things in life. I also wish I talked to him more about his past, present, wishes, happiness, and sorrows. Just thinking about how he was when he had visit made me realize that he had a lot of sadness and pain still in him. This realization definitely made think more about checking on my loved ones.

Loneliness and depression can happen to anyone. It may be harder for some to express the fact that they have these feelings. In the Asian culture, admitting that you need help isn’t really a thing. Elders may probably address mental health issues in different ways, like headaches, sleepless nights, pain in the stomach…etc. So it is important for loved ones to ask and spend the time to really try and help.

I am Asian American and when I was reading this article, the descriptions and beliefs about the Asian American culture definitely fit mine. My thoughts and culture may not fit every persons’ but overall, being able to fit and connect to these descriptions and beliefs made me more aware of possible emotions and thoughts my elders may be having. Mental illness is not thought about a lot at all in the Asian community. I hope that my brief article will inspire you to just really look after your loved ones also and remember to be aware of possible symptoms of depression or loneliness.

Read the article by Kimberly Yam at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/asian-american-senior-mental-health_us_591c53eee4b041db8965c58e
This article is definitely worth putting time into reading. I loved everything about it.

How Can People Quit Smoking?

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AMA Postcard

It’s not a fun or easy topic to discuss about, but smoking is a real issue all around the world. If you happen to be a smoker and is trying to quit or knows somebody who would like to quit, there are resources available to you and anyone in need of help. You can receive the help and support of people who wants to help you without being judge.

Here are some local and government resources that you can use:

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a government support program that is available for smokers through this phone number, a phone app, and follow them on social media.
  • Minnesota based programs, for more info click here.
    • Asian Smokers’ Quitline: This is a free program to help smokers quit. Services include self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. Visit asiansmokersquitline.org.
    • Smokefree Teen Smokefree Teen helps teens take control of their health. It offers free support for quitting, including their QuitSTART smartphone app. Visit Teen.Smokefree.gov.
    • Smokefree Español: Este sitio en la red ofrece enfoques recomendados sobre cómo dejar de fumar, información sobre un amplio rango de temas relacionados con el fumar y dejar de fumar, y una fuente de recursos gratuitos en español. La información disponible en este sitio en la red puede darle apoyo con sus necesidades inmediatas y a largo plazo a medida que deja de fumar.
  • Want to get a better idea of the trend in tobacco usage:
    • Nearly 3 of every 100 middle school students (2.5%) reported in 2014 that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 4.3% in 2011.
    • More than 13 of every 100 high school students (13.4%) reported in 2014 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—an increase from 1.5% in 2011.
    • Check out CDC for more information.

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Nov 19: the Great American Smokeout

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AMA STEPUP 2015

One problem that the U.S. and in other parts of the world still face today is the usage of tobacco. Tremendous research and data has proven that it can ruin your health. If you’re a smoker, take the steps now to live a healthier life. It is easier said than done as many smokers are addicted. But there is always help available for those who wants quit smoking.

“That’s where the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout can help. This event takes place on November 19 and encourages smokers to quit or to use the day to make a quit plan. Free help is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers).

When you quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout, you have the support of many other people across the nation. And you’re taking an important step towards a healthier life.” – http://www.cdc.gov/

Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking can be hard, so a good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Five steps can help.

  1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support. Try SmokefreeTEXT for 24/7 help on your mobile phone.
  3. Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Surprised? Those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    • Drink water.
    • Take a walk or ride your bike.
    • Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
    • Call or text a friend.
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  5. Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.

Other benefits include:

  1. Financial savings! As you slowly quit, you’ll realized that all the side cashes that you usually spend on cigarettes can be spent on better things or put into your savings for future use.
  2. Health recovery and improvement! The sooner you quite smoking, the better condition your body will be in. Within 3 days, the nicotine in cigarettes are completely flushed out of your system. Within 1-9 months, your lungs, and other parts of your body will start to repair itself from the damage of smoking tobacco. Within 10 years, your chances of getting cancer decreases by 30%-50%!
  3. Having an environment with clear air! By being a non-smoker, you can help lessen the pollution that goes into the air. Also, you would be lessening the amount of trash that comes from leftover cigarette parts.

Credits and for more information is link here!

Online Resources for Community Health

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Need a reliable search engine for topics related to health, wellness, and more? The official site of CDC has many resources that are available to the public. CDC hosts more than just health information as there are scientific data, current events, and other great topics!

“This searchable database, available to the public, is populated with practice-based resources to help you implement changes to prevent disease and promote healthy living in your community.

The resources include Webinars, model policies, toolkits, guides, fact sheets, and other practical materials which are organized by the following content areas:

  • Active Living
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services
  • Foundational Skills
  • Healthy and Safe Physical Environments
  • Health Equity
  • Healthy Eating
  • Schools
  • Social and Emotional Wellness
  • Workplace Health

Each area has subcategories to make it easy for you to find the information you need. Start your search today!”

Access the CDC resources here!

References belong to CDC.

New School Year = Fresh Start

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It’s that time of the year where students are returning to school. Everyone wants to have a new start at school and have a positive experience. But it will be different for everyone. Are you worried about your schedule, making friends, joining sports, and such? Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Don’t be shy to ask for help whether it’s for something small or big. School nurses, staffs, and counselors are there to help students out.
  • Finding your classes can be easy or challenging. The best thing to do is ask the school staffs who can help guide you to the right classroom.
  • Want to a join a sport/club? Meet up with the staffs at the athletic/club office. They can help you with the paperwork and fees that may apply.
  • Having problem with or wanting to change your schedule? You are able to change it if you set up an appointment and meet up with your assigned counselor. Just know that people who are grade above you will be in consideration first.
  • Trying to make new friends? Often time, you just need to reach out first (volunteer or partner work, speak first, invite others, etc.). It could be in the classroom, club, or sport team setting. You have more opportunities to make friends with people who share more similarities.
  • Stray away from drama, peer pressure, and negativity. Focus on important things such as your homework, grades, and friends. Don’t get too hung over school drama or with unwanted peer pressure because those things won’t do you much good.

Focus on School Adjustment Problems

Focus on School Adjustment Problems:
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Some students experience difficulties adjusting to new classes (content and standards), new schools, new teachers, new classmates, etc. It is particularly poignant to see a student who is trying hard, but is disorganized and can’t keep up.
Over the first few weeks, teachers realize quickly who has and hasn’t made a good adjustment to their classroom and to the school. This is the time to address the problem before it gets worse. If adjustment problems are not addressed, student motivation for school dwindles, and behavior problems increase. Misbehavior often arises in reaction to learning difficulties.
The first month is the time to be proactive. This is the time for staff development to focus on the type of strategies that enable good student adjustment, as well as identifying and addressing problems as soon as they arise. This is the time for student support staff to work with teachers in their classrooms to intervene before problems become severe and pervasive and require referrals for out-of-class interventions.
While some schools already have a proactive approach to student adjustment problems, many do not. These are the type of concerns that are regularly addressed by a transformed system of student and learning supports.*
Making it Happen
(1) To facilitate a strong focus on school adjustment, use a staff development session to encourage structured staff discussions about what teachers can do and what other staff (e.g., student support staff, resource teachers, etc.) can do to team with teachers in their classrooms to enhance school adjustment. Also clarify ways to use aides, volunteers, peer tutors/coaches, mentors, those in the home, etc. to help with additional strategies designed to enhance social, emotional, and cognitive engagement.
(2) Establish September as “Addressing School Adjustment Month – Getting the School Year Off to a Good Start” (see Is the School Year Off to a Good Start? — http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/goodstart.pdf )
(3) Let staff know about the following free and easily accessed Center resources:
• Supports for Transitions – Chapter 4 in Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Developing a Unified,
           Comprehensive, and Equitable System–  http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/book/book.pdf
            • Addressing School Adjustment Problems — http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/adjustmentproblems.pdf
• What Schools Can Do to Welcome and Meet the Needs of All Students and Families 
• Welcoming Strategies for Newly Arrived Students and Their Families –
• Welcoming and Involving New Students and Families – http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/welcome/welcome.pdf
• Learning Supports: Enabling Learning in the Classroom — http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/rtipract.pdf   
For more, use the Online Clearinghouse Quick Finds to link to other Center resources and to online resources across the country. For example, see:
>Transition Programs/Grade Articulation/Welcoming – http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/p2101_01.htm
>Classroom Focused Enabling – http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/classenable.htm
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Anorexia & Bulimia

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Anorexia and bulimia are among some of the most common type of eating disorder. Factors are often associated with or can cause eating disorders are low-self esteem, bullying, distorted body images, food phobias, social or/and peer pressure, and more. Eating disorders are treated in combinations of doctors, therapists, consultants, and nutritionists. Also, the support of family and friends are crucial to helping someone overcome their eating disorder.

What is anorexia? It is a eating disorder where the individual does not want to eat food or not enough to keep their body weight. They often think of themselves as overweight and see themselves to not be thin enough. This can be accompanied by excessive exercising or starvation. People with anorexia are usually very underweight.

What is bulimia? It is a eating disorder where people binge eat and then either throw up the food or do extreme amount of exercises to burn the large amount of calories. People will binge eat and purge on a regular basis, which can cause serious health issues. Bulimia can cause people to develop compulsive behaviors and damage their teeth and esophagus along the way due to stomach acid. People with bulimia are usually at their body weight or overweight.

So what can you to help yourself if you are experiencing a eating disorder or someone with it?

  • Always seek out professional help who can help diagnosed the eating disorder, prescribed medications, provide consultations, and if needed, get more help from other professionals.
  • Get support from family and friends. They can help provide comfort and additional advices.
  • The road to recovery is changing your perspective towards a more positive outlook. Learn to accept yourself for who and what you are. It is not as easily done as said, but time will heal any insecurities that you may have.