Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hiatus Interrupted

As you may have noticed, I've taken a recent hiatus, sans an occasional entry or comment on other's blogs. Recently I've started working again in direct care with the developmentally disabled, now for a different agency. Also, I was in the process of completing my CNA (or nurse aide) certification, which I'm happy to say, I completed 105 contact hours of training (lab/lecture and clinicals) and passed the state certification exam this morning. I hope to return to writting again, although it may be infrequent due to a hectic work schedule.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Please Help Spread the Message of Teen Suicide Prevention

1,800 young people under age 20 take their own lives each year, most because of untreated depression. Tragically, only 1 out of every 3 depressed teens receives treatment. AFSP developed More Than Sad: Teen Depression to help students recognize depression in themselves or their friends, promote help-seeking and demystify what treatment involves. In 2009, the film was recognized as a Best Practice in Suicide Prevention. What’s needed now is to make sure that it gets used in high schools across the U.S. Our idea is to recruit 2,000 teachers to participate in one of 10 hour-long webinars, aimed at introducing them to the film and helping them understand its importance as a suicide prevention tool. Following the webinar, teachers will receive a complimentary copy of the DVD and instructional materials for use in their schools. Our intention is that this project will empower high school teachers to play a crucial role in preventing the loss of young lives to suicide.

About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
AFSP is a national nonprofit engaged in research, education and advocacy to prevent suicide. We also reach out to people living with mental disorders and suicide loss. Our highly acclaimed film, More Than Sad, educates teens about depression, the leading cause of suicide.

Voting Ended April, 30 and AFSP was a finalist to receive $50,000. Thank you for your votes!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Donating Bone Marrow Can Save a Life

A while back, Keep Calm and Carry On provided information on becoming a bone marrow donor and bone marrow donation here, here, and here. Blood stem cells taken from the bone marrow or blood of a matching volunteer donor can be used to treat a number of conditions and can be life saving for people with diseases of the blood, bone marrow, or certain types of cancer. It only takes 5 minutes to do a buccal swab to determine if your tissue might be a match for someone in need of a transplant.

Often times when individuals think of bone marrow donation, they think having having to be put under anesthesia and having a long needle draw bone marrow out of a bone in their hip. However, I'm happy to say that the process has improved there is another option to donation. The other option is to administer certain drugs (which unfortuantly may have flu-like side effects) which stimulate the release of stem cells from the bone marrow into circulating blood. An IV is inserted into the donor's arm, and the stem cells are filtered out of the blood. The procedure is similar to donating blood or platelets.

Today I went to the local university student center and did a buccal (cheek) swab to see if I might be a donor match for a bone marrow transfusion for two local girls in need
Ailing sisters still need a donor match | | The Star Press
and was added to the National Donor Registry.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


For the last week or so, it's been rather dreary here, overcast, rainy, and cold. It sure didn't feel like Spring. As I looked out the window into the rain yesterday, I wondered if it would be warm in time for Easter Sunday. Fortuantly the weather today turned out to be beautiful, sunny and breazy, with temperatures in the 70's. Even better are the beautiful flowers in bloom. Below are some pictures, taken earlier today, of my grandmother's flower garden.


Happy Easter!

The first two pictures are from online, I'm not sure who the author is.
The rest of the pictures are of a traditional Easter at my Grandmother's house.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Learn about child abuse and how you can help prevent it..

What Is The Definition of Child Abuse?
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child (source).

What are the Types of Child Abuse?

Child abuse can take several forms (source): The four main types of abuse are physical, sexual, psychological, and neglect(source).

Physical Abuse:
Physical abuse is physical aggression directed at a child by an adult. It can involve striking, burning, choking or shaking a child. The distinction between child discipline and abuse is often poorly defined. Cultural norms about what constitutes abuse vary widely: among professionals as well as the wider public, people do not agree on what behaviors constitute abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse:
Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation.(sources: here and here) Forms of CSA include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child's genitals, viewing of the child's genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography (sources: here, here, and here).

Psychological/Emotional Abuse:
Out of all the different forms of abuse, emotional abuse is the hardest to identify. This form of abuse includes name-calling, ridicule, degradation, destruction of personal belongings, torture or destruction of a pet, excessive criticism, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding communication, and routine labeling or humiliation (source).

Neglect is the instance in which the responsible adult fails to adequately provide for various needs, including physical (failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or hygiene), emotional (failure to provide nurturing or affection) or educational (failure to enroll a child in school).

Why Does Child Abuse and Neglect Occur?

Child abuse is a complex problem which has multiple causes (source). Understanding the causes of abuse is crucial to addressing the problem of child abuse. Parents who physically abuse their spouses are more likely to physically abuse their children. However, it is difficult to know whether marital strife is a cause of child abuse, or if both the marital strife and abuse are caused by tendencies in the abuser (source). Substance abuse is a major contributing factor to child abuse. One study found that parents with documented substance abuse, most commonly alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, were much more likely to mistreat their children, and were also much more likely to reject court-ordered services and treatments (source).

What Children Are at Risk?

What is the Outcome for Children Who've Been Abused?

How Can Child Abuse and Nelgect Be Prevented?

Some Helpful Links
National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline TDD
(for the hearing-impaired)

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Toll-free 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
RAINN is a 24-hour national hotline for victims of sexual assault. Calls to the hotline are instantly computer-routed to the 24-hour rape crisis center nearest the caller.

Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline
National Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
TDD: 1-800-2-A-CHILD

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
A child advocacy organization in the UK promoting awareness, education, and public change to put an end to child abuse.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Topics Covered Include: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, Overview of Child Abuse and Neglect, Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect, Responding: The Child Welfare System, and Issues Associated with Child Abuse and Neglect, and Find Help with a Personal Situation. También disponible en español.

Prevent Child Abuse America
A not-for-profit organization that has worked for over 25 years with local, state, and national groups to promote healthy parenting and community involvement as effective strategies for preventing child abuse.

Child Abuse Prevention Network
Provides multiple links to child abuse prevention sites, including Army Family Adovcacy Program, Physicians Network, and Family Life Development Center.

Contains information about child abuse prevention and treatment, and a method to report suspected abuse cases in the US.
Seeks to support, inform and encourage those dealing with any aspect of child abuse, in a positive non-threatening environment. Includes articles by child abuse prevention experts.

A clearinghouse of information for facts and strategies for those seeking to keep children safe from maltreatment, such as crisis hotline numbers, parenting articles, and web links.

Parents Anonymous
Self help groups for abused children and parents under stress

Coalition for Children
Comprehensive resource for child abuse, lifeskills education, advocacy, media support, legal & expert witness services, research, strangers, safety on the Internet and bullies.