Support Groups – Warriors For Christ Online Thu, 16 Dec 2021 16:30:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Support Groups – Warriors For Christ Online 32 32 WINK News Special – Mental health: your mind matters Thu, 16 Dec 2021 16:22:00 +0000

A once taboo subject is now emerging from the shadows. From depression, anxiety, stress and more.

The hour-long special WINK News aims to help you break the stigma and empower you to take charge of your life.

Click HERE for links to our mental health stories related to this special and find the resources below.

WATCH the full special above.

Mental Health Resources in Southwest Florida

If you are struggling or you know a loved one who is struggling, there is help and you are not alone. Free and immediate assistance is available 24/7. Below is a list of important resources:

In an emergency

If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, dial 911. It is important to advise the operator that this is a psychiatric emergency and to ask for an agent trained in crisis intervention or trained to help people. living in a psychiatric emergency.

National Hotline for Suicide Prevention
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, whether they are considering suicide or not, please call the Lifeline toll-free number at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24 hours a day. and 7 days a week.

Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741

Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free 24/7 crisis assistance via SMS.

National Domestic Violence Hotline – Call 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Trained expert lawyers are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.

National Sexual Assault Hotline – Call 800-656-HOPE (4673)

Connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area who offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available on the online helpline. Free help, 24/7.

Below are mental health resources available to Southwest Floridians nationally and locally.

David Lawrence Center (Collier County)
(239) 455-8500

SalusCare (Lee County)

(NAMI) National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County

(NAMI) National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry Counties

The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free manual
Circle of Care: A Guide for Mental Health Caregivers

Collier County Mental Health Court

Lee County Mental Health Court

Alliance of support for depression and bipolar

Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America

US Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Assistance)

Local Resource for Veterans: Home Base SWFL

Access to gender-affirming care can improve the mental health of trans adolescents Wed, 15 Dec 2021 00:07:38 +0000

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For transgender and non-binary youth, having access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) when they want it can have a huge impact on their risk of depression and significantly reduce their risk of suicide.
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  • New research from the Trevor Project has found that transgender and non-binary youth under the age of 18 who received gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) had an almost 40% lower risk of depression in the past year.
  • They also had an almost 40 percent lower probability of attempted suicide.
  • The study also found that nearly 80 percent of young people who received GAHT said they had at least one parent who also supported their gender identity.
  • Research highlights how access to gender-affirming care can have a dramatic impact on the mental and physical health of transgender and non-binary youth.

A new peer-reviewed study by researchers at the Trevor Project highlights how access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) can impact transgender and non-binary youth.

Published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study found a link between access to GAHT and lower rates of depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among transgender and non-binary youth in the United States.

Published at a time when nefarious state laws across the country seek to bar access to this treatment for young people, this research underscores how necessary equity and access to gender-affirming care is, both for mental health and general health and well-being. transgender and non-binary youth.

To calculate the data for this study, researchers at the Trevor Project turned to their 2021 national survey on the mental health of LGBTQ youth, which was conducted online between October 12, 2020 and December 31, 2020. She interviewed a total of 34,759 LGBTQ youth between 13 and 24 years old.

Of that number, 11,914 identified as transgender or non-binary, and 9,019 of that number provided data on GAHT. (The Trevor Project reports that “transgender and non-binary” is an umbrella term that incorporates a wide variety of identities for non-cisgender people.)

Researchers found that half of all transgender and non-binary respondents said they did not use GAHT but would like to use such therapies, while 36% said they were not interested in GAHT . In addition, 14 percent were already receiving GAHT.

One of the most striking findings is that transgender and non-binary youth who received GAHT were less likely to experience recent depression and consider suicide compared to youth who wanted to access GAHT but did not have it. not received.

The Trevor Project reveals that young people under the age of 18 who received GAHT were almost 40 percent less likely to experience depression or attempted suicide in the past year.

The support of parents or guardians is closely linked to this question of access. The study shows that nearly 80 percent of young people who received GAHT said they had at least one parent who also supported their gender identity.

As has been demonstrated at all levels, in all aspects of American health care, racial disparities run deep in who ultimately has access to this type of medical therapy.

Youth of color showed lower access rates to GAHT when they wanted to compared to their white peers.

Amy Green, PhD, vice president of research for the Trevor project, told Healthline that previous studies of access to GAHT were clinical, examining small samples of young people and tracing their experiences over time.

These smaller-scale studies showed that receiving GAHT and gender-affirming care showed increased body satisfaction as well as lower rates of depression, but they often did not include comparison groups. to provide a more comprehensive and holistic view of mental health. the health impact that access, or lack of access, to GAHT can have on a young person.

It also includes people who wanted this type of care but did not or could not receive it.

She said this new study offers a nuanced and comprehensive overview and offers a roadmap on how we can discuss and approach improving access to GAHT for young people in the future.

Green said that “one of the strongest findings” from the study is the benefits experienced by young people who reported having support for their gender identity from their parents compared to young people who experienced a lack of support.

Green said we “need to find ways to provide better education, better support and information to parents” because this is not just a “huge protective factor” for the mental health of transgender and non-binary youth, but it is also a necessity for them to have access to the care they need, in particular for minors.

She said that while healthcare professionals and society in general target this issue of supporting parents and guardians and accepting their child’s gender identity, if we approach it as a key factor in Mental health issues that may arise from gender dysphoria, we will be doing a great service to our trans and non-binary youth in this country.

“If they can have that [parental] support, then in terms of mental health, they can be better protected from rejection, which is one of our big risk factors, and then they can have better access to medications to help them reduce their dysphoria, ”said Green.

Dr Jack Turban, a researcher in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he researches the mental health of transgender youth, echoed Green in explaining just how important this element Parental and guardian support is important for young people who might be suffering from gender dysphoria. and who might want to access GAHT.

“Medical interventions are only one aspect of gender-affirming care for transgender youth. We also know that family acceptance of a young person’s gender identity is a major protective factor against mental health issues, ”said Turban, who was not affiliated with this research. “Much of the clinical work in this area involves helping families understand, support and validate their children’s experiences.

Turban told Healthline that in general, parental consent is required for a minor to access various gender-affirming medical interventions.

An adolescent who does not have this support from a parent or guardian is usually unable to access the care he or she needs.

What can a young person do who would like to access the GAHT but does not have this support?

“In general, adolescents cannot access gender-affirming medical care without parental support. Unfortunately, there is a lot of gender-affirming medical care misinformation, so many families never look up the initial conversations with a gender clinic to access specific information, ”Turban said.

He explained that it is important for families to know that “going to a gender clinic does not mean that a teenager will immediately start medical procedures”.

“Families often come to the clinic just to hear medically accurate information. This is vital given that there is so much misinformation online and in the media, ”Turban said.

Green said previous data revealed that many gender clinics and gender clinics tend to serve a higher proportion of white and non-binary transgender youth compared to youth of color.

These young people of color “tend to have more difficulty accessing care, which includes mental health and other health care,” Green said.

“There shouldn’t be a barrier to treatment that deals with one aspect of a person’s race and ethnicity, we shouldn’t see differences in terms of who can get care. The fact that we are doing this points to larger systemic issues in health care, ”she said.

“If you look at any of the data on COVID-19, for example, it really highlighted, both in mental health care and in health care in general, just how much communities of color have less access to health care and affordable health care. Unfortunately, this is a problem that we see playing out here. “

Turban said that “youth with intersectional identities” – think of transgender youth of color, for example – “have higher rates of mental health problems.”

This is because of what he calls the “multiple dimensions of stigma” that affect them.

Turban pointed to previous research that finds these trans youth of color are less likely to have access to gender-affirming medical care in general.

“Unfortunately, there are too few trained medical providers who are gender-affirming, especially for adolescents. This resulted in long clinic waiting lists – sometimes over a year. We desperately need medical schools and residences to improve education in this area, ”he said. “With 1.9% of adolescents with the United States identifying itself as transgender, it is inconceivable that so few doctors are trained to care for these young people.

When asked what the main takeaway from this study was, Green said people should understand that transgender and non-binary LGBTQ youth must have access to gender-affirming hormones if they want to.

She said this was crucial given that transgender and non-binary youth have “one of the highest risks for depression and suicide.”

“We should focus on finding ways to support these young people rather than ways to further contribute to stigma and rejection,” Green said. “Sadly, there are laws and policies being enacted or planned across the country that strive to remove some of the affirmative care for transgender and non-binary youth.”

She said data like this is important because it shows that for the majority of these young people, access to care like GAHT is associated with better mental health outcomes. Legislation designed to suppress access can have a negative impact on these young people.

The “negative rhetoric” swirling around this legislation can play a major role in these negative outcomes.

Turban echoed these thoughts.

“This study comes at a critical time as several states have introduced unscientific legislation that would limit access to gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, despite opposition from all major medical organizations,” he said. he declares. “I hope this study will draw more attention to the dangerousness of this bill.”

Former undocumented migrants form support groups Mon, 13 Dec 2021 08:02:55 +0000

When Yadira Hernández Pérez graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015, she was faced with many questions common to new graduates, such as how to save for retirement, how to apply for graduate school, and what to do with it. health benefits choose.

But Hernández Pérez, a Mexican native from Puebla, also questioned a whole host of other issues related to her undocumented status in the United States: Should she disclose her lack of a green card during interviews? hiring? And how could she find mentors? As a first generation college graduate, she couldn’t ask her family for advice.

So, in 2017, she created the UCLA Undocumented Alumni Association to help other undocumented graduates with the unique challenges they face adjusting to life after college. The association organizes social events for former undocumented migrants, connects elders with faculty members and offers advice on legal issues, from visa status to obtaining employment without a work permit. . The association also facilitates meetings between undocumented alumni and potential employers and provides career advice and information on graduate programs. Most importantly, said Hernández Pérez, the association allows former undocumented migrants to share their struggles and stories with each other.

With the support of the group she helped found, Hernández Pérez enrolled in law school at the City University of New York in August.

“One of the reasons I created the association was certainly a response to the anti-immigrant political climate that reigned” after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, said Hernández Pérez. “At the time, it was also my own experience as a former undocumented student navigating my life after graduation and creating structures that will be of use for future generations.”

Currently, the association is working on mentoring programs between alumni and current students of UCLA. During the pandemic, she said, the association raised COVID-19 emergency grants for more than 100 undocumented families – some alumni and others from the wider Los Angeles community – who did not ‘were not eligible for COVID-19 stimulus payments.

“We wanted to provide a community and a network so that when students graduate and are no longer students, they still feel connected to a community where they can come and be a part of that space and connect with others.” , said Hernández Pérez.

Since establishing the Association of Undocumented Alumni at UCLA, Hernández Pérez has worked with other institutions, including the University of California at Santa Barbara and California State University at Long Beach. , to create their own groups of former undocumented students.

The struggles of undocumented students have gained national attention in recent years, said Hyein Lee, director of measurement and evaluation at TheDream.US, the nation’s largest academic and career success program for those without. – papers with or without deferred action protection for arrivals of children (DACA). or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“So much attention has been drawn to DACA over the past four years, especially with the Trump administration, and everything that has happened and I think the spotlight has been put on this particular group of students. “said Lee. “It certainly got the needle going in terms of the conversation around raising awareness of the identity of these students and their special needs.”

The TheDream.US Alumni Survey 2021 report, released last month, found that of nearly 1,000 former TheDream.US scholarship students surveyed, 92% were undocumented, 88% with DACA status. Lee said the majority of survey respondents were recent graduates. Since graduating from college, only 8 percent of former students surveyed have been able to adjust their status to conditional or permanent residence or citizenship in the United States, according to the survey. Two graduates emigrated to Canada.

Lee said undocumented alumni face a particularly difficult application process this year, given that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have reported significant backlogs in processing the flood of new applications to Beginning in December 2020 after the Biden administration rolled back the Trump administration’s crackdown on DACA recipients.

“We constantly remind people that provisions like DACA and TPS are just temporary arrangements,” Lee said. “It puts constant pressure on our former students to lose their status. I know, especially this year, with [the Department of Homeland Security] Receiving applications again for the first time in four years, there was this rush of applications submitted which created these long delays in processing renewals for our alumni who already had DACA.

The DACA application process creates “unnecessary stress and constant anxiety” for new graduates because they lack a sense of permanence, Lee said. A survey conducted last December by the UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity (UC PromISE) and the Undocumented Student Equity Project (USEP) found that out of 1,300 undocumented students attending State University campuses of California or the University of California, 39% said they, a family member or friend had been detained or deported or otherwise involved in deportation proceedings. Sixty-five percent said they had used immigration legal services on campus, and 67 percent admitted to feeling distracted in class because of concerns about their immigration status.

David Sun, associate director of diversity programs for UCLA’s Alumni Relations Office, said some alumni, especially those from marginalized communities, feel “cut off” from their network after obtaining their diploma, and that former undocumented migrants in particular lack the various services provided to students. UCLA has an Undocumented Student Program that provides free and direct immigration legal services to undocumented students and their families, or undocumented family members of legally status students.

“I think for a lot of our groups that have been historically excluded it really lets them know that UCLA really cares about them and that there is a community for them, they are wanted and they are appreciated, ”Sun said.

In TheDream.US report, 85 percent of alumni said they were employed, and 76 percent of them worked in essential or frontline jobs. And while former undocumented migrants had a strong interest in attending higher education, only 17 percent of former undocumented migrants said they were actually able to enroll in a graduate program or had graduated. their graduate degree.

Obtaining funds to pay for graduate school was the biggest barrier to attendance, the report notes. While other alumni may choose a graduate school based on the strength of the program or the professional development opportunities it offers, Lee said, for undocumented alumni the most important factor is the cost.

“The overriding concern for our graduates is really the financial concern, as they are not eligible for any kind of assistance,” Lee said. “They are not eligible for graduate study loans. For the most part, it becomes very difficult to pay for higher education.

In addition to everything else, a high percentage of undocumented students also face issues of food insecurity or mental health. In the UC PromISE and USEP survey, 96 percent said they were worried about not having enough money, 59 percent reported food insecurity, and 53 percent said they used a pantry on campus.

Students surveyed also reported having mental health issues, with 72 percent stating that they felt they needed to see a professional in the 2019-2020 academic year due to mental health issues, d ’emotions or nerves. However, only 48 percent said they asked for help.

Issues related to food insecurity, mental health and health care are at the heart of the mission of the Association of Undocumented Former UCLA, said Hernández Pérez. The group recently hosted an event on ‘Decolonizing Undocumented Migrants and Resilience’ with a focus on mental health and how people contribute to the exploitation, violence and trauma of undocumented migrants when they are undocumented. they say things like “undocumented people are so resilient,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the way the United States does not provide resources to undocumented people, we have had to be able to provide those resources, whether it’s navigating through the resources available to the undocumented community. papers or advocate for policies that could bring resources to the undocumented community, ”she said.

The response from UCLA alumni to the Association of Undocumented Alumni has been positive, Sun said.

“We are the very first alumni network dedicated to the undocumented community,” Sun said. “So I think for our former students it also alleviates a lot of the concerns they had for the well-being of the students.”

Lee noted that associations like the UCLA Undocumented Alumni program and others are creating a community for alumni during what could be a potentially difficult time.

“Having someone like TheDream.US or other graduates who really care what they’re going through has been very important for undocumented graduates, especially in college, but also after college,” he said. said Lee. “In some ways, the college is a safe environment. And then once you go, you have to fend for yourself, and there are a lot of questions that arise about your finances.

Hernández Pérez said that in the next five years, the association hopes to expand its membership, establish endowments that would generate scholarships for undocumented students, expand the board of directors and potentially create an advisory board.

“We’ve heard that when people feel connected to space, they feel safe and feel like they’ve been able to find others and not feel alone on the trip,” said Hernández Pérez.

Manchin faces pressure from Gillibrand and other colleagues on paid family leave Sat, 11 Dec 2021 15:10:53 +0000

Senator Joe manchinJoe Manchin Photos of the Week: Former Sen. Dole in State, Capitol Sunset and Instagrinch Night Health Care – Brought to you by AstraZeneca and Friends of Cancer Research – Court drops ban on cancer Texas abortion clears money lawsuits – Inflation peaks nearly 40 years CONTINUED (DW.Va.) faces increasing pressure from colleagues to back a Democrat-funded federal family and medical leave plan as the party seeks to complete work on a massive $ 2 trillion social spending program. dollars.

Manchin has pushed back in recent months efforts by his colleagues to push forward a proposal for a universal paid vacation program in a Democratic-only bill that his party aims to push through Congress without GOP support, insisting on the fact that it should be done on a bipartite basis.

But a number of Democrats, especially those who have struggled to find support for similar proposals and don’t want to miss the opportunity, are not giving up and are putting the pressure on.

“My message to my colleague is this: If you ever want to meet the needs of your lower and middle income workers, who will probably never work in a fancy company that can afford paid time off, it is is your only shot for them, ”Senator Kristen Gillibrand (DN.Y.), longtime paid vacation activist, said at a press conference Thursday.

Under the current plan being discussed by Democrats, four weeks of paid family and medical leave would be granted to full-time and part-time workers in the private and public sectors. The program would be administered by the Social Security Administration and would operate on a sliding income scale according to a formula that Democrats say would allow low-income workers to keep a larger chunk of their paycheck.

Advocacy groups have praised the proposed program, saying it could be transformative for millions of American workers who lack access to paid family leave or sick leave.

Democrats previously wanted to include up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave in their huge bill, but it was reduced to four weeks and then removed from the plan entirely after Manchin’s opposition to the measure. House Democrats, however, put it back into the plan in early November following an outcry from supporters.

The party hopes to pass the bill through Congress using a procedure known as budget reconciliation, which will allow them to sidestep a likely GOP obstruction in the Senate on an equal footing. But that means Democrats would need the support of all of their members in the upper house to approve the measure, giving Manchin significant clout in drafting the bill.

Gillibrand, who has had several conversations with Manchin about the party’s paid leave proposal in recent weeks, was seen by his colleagues as the leader of efforts in the upper house to influence the Virginia Democrat- Western.

“He really likes paid vacation. He likes paid time off as an acquired benefit. He likes it as a 12 week program that is universal. He likes it like social insurance and just like social security, he likes this framework, ”she said.

“But what I do know and what I need him to know is that Republicans don’t share that value. In fact, they do not support a universal program and they do not support an earned benefit. And I asked each of them who had ever expressed an interest in paid time off, ”she said.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, paid family leave was available to less than a quarter of civilian workers as of March 2021. Data examined by the agency in March 2020 found that 78% of civilian workers had access paid sick leave benefits.

UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health also confirmed to The Hill on Thursday that the United States is one of 7 countries without national paid maternity leave. The others are the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

Other Democratic senators told The Hill they also spoke to Manchin about it.

Senator Jon testerJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Uber – Senate busy except Build Back Better Democratic concerns grow over SALT capping policy Senate votes against Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies PLUS (D-Mont.) Said Thursday he had recently met with Manchin to introduce the senator on the bill. Tester said Democrats are still hoping the policy will be included in the package.

“I just told him about the fact that we need it,” Tester told The Hill.

But it’s not clear whether Manchin, who has voiced concerns about the size of overall spending for months, has fully warmed up to the multibillion-dollar proposal.

Pressed by The Hill on the matter last week, Manchin said lawmakers were still in negotiations.

“I spoke to everyone. It’s all I can say. We are still negotiating, ”he said.

Republicans who have backed other paid vacation proposals have expressed interest in working with Manchin on paid vacation legislation. But many disagree with the way the program is modeled in the Democratic bill.

Senator Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Uber – Senate Debt Limit Drama Ends; Trump’s Legal Problems Rise On The Money – Senate Risks Trump’s Wrath With Debt Ceiling Deal Senate Passes Bill to Avoid Filibuster on Raising Debt Ceiling MORE (R-Iowa) told The Hill on Thursday that she would like to work with Manchin on a measure to address the issue. But she added that the paid vacation structure presented in a 2019 bill she introduced was the “kind of model” she would like to make.

The bill Ernst is referring to proposes what she, along with Sen. Mike leeMichael (Mike) Shumway Chairman LeeKey House wants official trip to Taiwan in January Instagram boss gets grilled by both parties over prejudice to teenagers Senate rejects attempt to block arms sale Saudi women from Biden PLUS (R-UT), billed at the time as a “budget neutral” scheme that parents can join and which would allow parents to receive up to three months of paid leave “giving them the option to defer activation of their social security benefits ”.

Another bipartite parental leave plan introduced the same year by Sens. Kristen Sinema (D-Arizona) and Bill CassidyBill CassidyOvernight Energy & Environment – Brought to you by ExxonMobil – Biden orders end overseas coal funding Transformational legislation set to be bipartisan again White House seeks credit if gas prices fall MORE (R-La.) Would have allowed new parents “to advance $ 5,000 of their child tax credit upon the birth or adoption of a child,” according to Sinema’s office. But, in exchange for the benefit, the bureau said “parents would reduce their annual child tax credit by $ 500 in each of the next 10 years.”

These policies have received mixed reviews from advocacy groups.

“We shouldn’t be forcing people to choose and play between what they might need now and in the future,” said Michelle McGrain, congressional relations director for economic justice at the National Partnership for Women & Families.

“We should be able to do both. So we should have a strong and comprehensive universal family and medical leave program, we should have a strong child tax credit program, and we should not force parents to choose between what they need now and what they think they are. we might need it later, ”she said. said La Colline.

Resources on pronouns at UCCS – Le Scribe Fri, 10 Dec 2021 00:57:08 +0000

For UCCS students, staff and faculty who have not yet learned the use of pronouns, do not know how to use certain pronouns, or do not know which pronouns to use for someone and when, there are resources that can help you learn about the topic.

MOSAIC Director Whitley Hadley, who uses the pronouns she / her and them / them, wrote in an email that the MOSAIC office has “some resources available to the UCCS community regarding the understanding, use and pronoun processes ”.

These resources include a guide to changing names and pronouns, an online “Pronouns 101” page, a list of hate and prejudice resources, and free pronoun buttons located in UC 110 for community members to bring to the website. campus.

“DeJae Spears (they / he) is the LGBTQ + coordinator of the [MOSAIC] desk and available for individual and group meetings, ”said Hadley. “Students can program [a meeting with] them via Starfish, by email, by phone, or by going to the office [to learn more about pronoun use]. ”

Hadley said, in addition to the Safe Zone and Trans Ally Zone trainings offered by MOSAIC throughout the semester, “Inside Out Youth Services…[also] offer a variety of resources and training for the community.

Students can get in touch with Inside Out Youth Services by calling 719-328-1056, or by emailing us here.

Canvas also provides a framework for students, staff, and faculty to include their pronouns on their profile next to their name. You can access more information about this setting here.

Hadley recommends that, for in-person lessons, students also update their information in MyUCCS so that their pronouns are listed next to their name on class lists.

They said, “[It is] a stronger practice to introduce yourself and include your pronouns to help cultivate an environment that recognizes gender diversity.

Hadley noticed a sense of confusion among members of the UCCS community about the proper etiquette of pronouns in the classroom. “If issues persist when they are patchy or a faculty member refuses to deal with them properly, then I encourage [students] meet with Vice-Chancellor Spaulding of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Dean [Amanda] Allee in the Dean of Students’ office, ”she said.

“It helps [UCCS] best support the student in the way that works best for them, whether it is simply speaking, mediating with a faculty member, reporting the issue to the rector, connecting with organizations students or support groups, coordinate campus programming or other options, ”said Hadley.

Students can contact the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by calling (719) 255-4762 or sending an email to

During Trans Remembrance Week, MOSAIC hosted a crash course “Pronouns 101: Using Inclusive Language” for members of the UCCS community looking for an introductory workshop on using pronouns, which is not was just one of the many LGBTQ + events organized by MOSAIC throughout the semester.

“[We] have staff and faculty looking for continuing education and workshops so that they can best offer a gender affirming campus / classroom / office, ”said Hadley.

“We also encourage all community members to participate in our ongoing programming through identities that add depth to their knowledge through our panels, focus groups, movie screenings, music listening evenings, volunteering, book clubs and other means of engagement. ”

Additional on-campus resources for pronoun information include the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center, the Kraemer Family Library, and the UCCS Spectrum Club. “The wellness center offers an LGBTQ + support group with two trained professionals,” said Hadley, “[and] the library has a large collection of LGBTQ + titles and books on gender diversity.

Information on the newly renovated MOSAIC office can be found here, and information on upcoming MOSAIC events can be found here.

Affordable veteran housing community debuts at 526 Ocean Avenue in Jersey City Wed, 08 Dec 2021 12:30:23 +0000
Tantum Real Estate, community leaders and elected officials at groundbreaking ceremony at 526 Ocean Avenue – Courtesy of Tantum Real Estate

Tantum Real Estate recently joined community leaders and elected officials in celebrating the grand opening of a new affordable housing property for veterans and homeless people in Jersey City. The building is located at 526 Ocean Avenue in the Greenville neighborhood and houses a collection of 20 apartments and 1,500 square foot community space on the ground floor.

Rear view of 526 Ocean Avenue, now completed – Courtesy of Tantum Real Estate

Community space will be occupied by Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, a peer-led nonprofit agency that provides services related to access to food, employment, mental health assistance and peer support groups for populations at risk. Housing affiliate Community Enterprise Corporation will serve as the property manager for the building.

Funding for the project was organized by Tantum and includes funding from the Jersey City Affordable Housing Trust Fund, in addition to capital from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The developer has also worked with the Hudson County Continuum of Care to identify qualified veterans and community residents in need of housing.

“Today is the culmination of a multi-year effort for Tantum and a victory for our larger mission to foster a better quality of life in communities across the region,” said Debra Tantleff, Founding Director of Tantum. “The redevelopment of this property through a public-private partnership provides a roadmap for how governments and developers can work together to execute a new class of boutique affordable housing initiatives that meet a need. societal important.

To honor all veterans, Tantum commissioned a new street-level mural from artist Vincent Ballentine along Ocean Avenue. Entitled “Red Tales,” the mural depicts two Tuskegee aviators and World War II planes, a tribute to the heroic black pilots who served the United States during the war.

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12 Ways To Build A Community This Holiday And Connect With Other Veterans Mon, 06 Dec 2021 19:52:30 +0000

Here’s how to get in touch with former military personnel to relieve stress and loneliness.

The holidays can be a difficult time for many veterans. The surge of expectations many women experience during the holidays can cause stress or a feeling of loneliness. This is especially true for veterans who may be separated from friends and family due to distance or COVID-19.

Many veterans also regret the camaraderie and kinship they felt during their service. Or they may find it difficult to establish relationships with people outside the military.

Creating a new veterans community or reconnecting with former military personnel can help avoid loneliness, stress and anxiety, and make the action meaningful.

Here are some ways to build community during the holiday season:

  1. Schedule a video call with a veteran friend. If you are not in touch with any of your former military buddies, you can form new relationships through Women Veterans Network (WoVeN), an online social network for female veterans. Or you can find other veterans through RallyPoint, a digital platform for the military and veteran community and their supporters.
  2. Host a virtual dinner on Zoom. Meet other veterans in one of the Wounded Warrior Project’s 48 peer support groups and dine together to “share” your favorite holiday traditions.
  3. Create your community for a healthy and hopeful vacation.

    Volunteer! Holidays offer many opportunities for volunteering. You can try The Mission Continues, which deploy veteran volunteers to continue their service within their local communities, or join local Marine Corps League efforts to support the much-loved Toys for Tots.

  4. Start a book club online or in person. Perhaps start with a warm story like the “gift of the magi,” a sentimental story from O. Henry on the challenges of the secret gift giving. Or “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” a little book about Charlie Mackesy’s friendship and kindness.

Online games or virtual training with other veterans

  1. Play online games with friends or newly met veterans. Try Words with Friends 2, or any number of card games you can use for free.
  2. Schedule a training session online or in person with other veterans. Team Red, White and Blue offers virtual workouts including races, rucking and yoga, as well as many local in-person events with their chapters across the country.
  3. Be one of the growing number of female veterans who join the local American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars, who organize social and service events.
  4. Find a discussion group on social media. Groups vary from shared interests such as gardening or bird watching to health, faith, politics and veterans groups for women, era or branch.

Here’s how to organize an online movie watching night

  1. Host an online viewing party of your favorite sport or vacation movie. Here is a handy guide on how to do this through several free or low cost online platforms or apps. If your veteran friends are local, you can host an in-person watch party. Have everyone bring their favorite movie treat.
  2. Join or start a quiz club online or at a local restaurant. This step-by-step guide can help you if you want to organize your own event.
  3. Connect with other Veterans for moral support or to share memories of your service. Find and connect with the people you have served with through Together We Served’s Veterans Honor Roll website or its new “Veteran Finder” app, which provides access to a comprehensive directory of the 2.1 million. veteran members who have recorded their information.
  4. Gather a group of veterans you’ve connected with to lay Christmas wreaths in one of over 2,500 military cemeteries with Wreath’s Across America. Or contact a military cemetery in your area. You can help remove wreaths in January at a Wreaths Out event, which is in greater need of volunteers.

List of organizations that support veterans

These are just a few ways that veterans can connect with each other. Many Veterans’ organizations provide opportunities for Veterans to come together through online and in-person peer support groups, social networking events, and volunteer activities.

A brief list of national organizations that support all Veterans is featured on the Women’s Health website.

This is not an exhaustive list of all veterans organizations. This is a short list of organizations that have a particular focus on social connections for veterans and that operate across the country. Many local veterans’ organizations also provide opportunities for social connections.

Create your community for a healthy and hopeful vacation.

Sharing any information unrelated to VA does not constitute endorsement of any products or services by VA.

Georgia’s decades-old AIDS ministry changes mission Sun, 05 Dec 2021 03:32:23 +0000

Keynote speaker Dr Soren Estvold addresses the gathering at the World AIDS Day memorial service at the Metropolitan Community Church in Augusta, Georgia on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. One of the most former organizations in the region dedicated to serving people living with HIV is changing its mission, 40 years since the first American case.  (Katie Goodale / The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

Keynote speaker Dr Soren Estvold addresses the gathering at the World AIDS Day memorial service at the Metropolitan Community Church in Augusta, Georgia on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. One of the most former organizations in the region dedicated to serving people living with HIV is changing its mission, 40 years since the first American case. (Katie Goodale / The Augusta Chronicle via AP)


One of the region’s oldest organizations dedicated to serving people living with HIV is changing its mission, 40 years after the first American case.

St. Stephen’s Augusta ministry was founded over three decades ago when AIDS, the disease caused by HIV, was still known to be an incurable killer.

“In the 1980s and 1990s, there was constant talk about AIDS in Augusta,” said Sallie Shuford, Chair of the St. Stephen’s Board of Directors. “We knew people who were sick with it and we didn’t know what to do about it. “

Today, prevention and treatment have advanced so much that “a life with HIV is no longer a death sentence,” said Shuford. But the low profile hasn’t erased the stigma or the emergence of new cases, said new president Jennifer Rahner, whose experience includes working with LGBTQ + youth in the region.

“Working with young people here locally, I have met young people who contract HIV in their late teens, with as long as we know about HIV, AIDS and how to protect ourselves,” Rahner said. “There are still people who contract HIV and AIDS, there is still a stigma around it, there is still discrimination when it comes to workplaces and housing and all that.

With pre-exposure preventive treatments such as PrEP and PEP as well as antiretroviral therapy for the long-term management of HIV, some have let their guard down.

“We have so many people now who think it is a manageable disease that they don’t have to worry about it,” said Jordan Brack, local HIV medical case manager for a clinic. of infectious diseases involved in St. Stephen’s.

“Then they contract it, and they don’t have any care in place; they don’t have anything in place to make sure they’re able to handle it, ”Brack said.

In the latest data available from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Richmond County recorded 74 new diagnoses in 2019 for a total of 1,576 people living with HIV, up from 103 new diagnoses in 2018, when 1,593 were living with HIV. virus.

The Equality Clinic at the University of Augusta currently treats around 1,200 HIV-positive patients, and of the 98% on antiretroviral therapy, nearly 89% are in an “almost undetectable condition,” said Soren Estvold, family medicine resident. of the AU.

About 39% of new cases are black and gay men between the ages of 20 and 29, he said. “This generation doesn’t know how scary the 1980s and 1990s were. He doesn’t have those fears, ”Estvold said.

Demographics for the second largest group of newly infected people are unknown, while the third most common are transgender people, he said.

Augusta Pride chairman William Jenkins said the city’s homeless gay youth population is overlooked by service providers.

Last year, the St. Stephen’s Board of Directors decided it was no longer financially viable to operate its transitional housing and treatment center on Greene Street and sold the property. He also asked providers and community members to complete surveys to help determine where the funds should be spent.

The results of this community needs assessment are available and the most cited are education and awareness, to fight stigma and prevent and treat disease, said board treasurer Isaac Kelly.

During at least four events in Augusta commemorating World AIDS Day 2021 on Wednesday, the board revealed that it will no longer provide direct services such as accommodation, transportation and food to people living with HIV. Instead, it will use its assets to become a grantmaking and fundraising organization, Shuford said. Part of this new focus will seek to increase awareness in the community.

Founded in the late 1980s as the outreach service of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, over the years St. Stephen’s has provided transitional housing and assistance with medical needs and has managed groups support, thrift store and walk-in pantry. In recent years, federal funds to manage group housing for people living with HIV have dried up.

As president, Rahner said her goal is to replace the shame, misinformation and fear tactics of the past, which don’t work.

“My goal is to bring an impartial and not shameful education to our community, so that we can prevent people from catching a virus, but also so that we can change some of the attitudes, part of the stigma around the virus” , she said.

]]> Pregnancy apps and online spaces fail to support those grieving over pregnancy loss – here’s what to do about it Fri, 03 Dec 2021 13:43:45 +0000

In the United States, about 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Pregnancy loss, also known as miscarriage, is a common complication of reproductive health.

Many experience this loss as an important life event, with a “before” and an “after”. It can cause depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet society stigmatizes and widely rejects her by not treating her as a loss worth mourning.

I research the social implications of technology. Over the past few years, I have investigated the intersection of pregnancy loss and social technologies. Search engines, social media, online support groups, and pregnancy and fertility tracking apps are some of the technologies used to manage pregnancies, share experiences, or exchange social support.

My recent research shows that these technologies often ignore pregnancy loss and, as a result, can cause further trauma and distress.

Harmful designs and algorithms

In a recent study, I conducted in-depth interviews with women in the United States who had recently suffered a miscarriage. I found that pregnancy tracking apps failed miserably to take pregnancy loss into account.

“Oh, please stop. “
Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision via Getty Images

One participant told me, “There is no way you can tell your app, ‘I had a miscarriage. Please stop sending me these updates, ”like“ This week your baby is the size of a banana or something. ”There’s no stopping them.

Likewise, advertising algorithms assume that all pregnancies lead to the birth of a live, healthy baby. Another participant told me, “I was getting advertisements for maternity clothes. I was just like, ‘Oh, please stop.’ “

The design of mobile applications tells a similar story. I performed an analysis of 166 pregnancy-related apps and found that 72% ignore pregnancy loss at all, 18% offer an option to report a loss without providing any assistance, and the 10 % remaining passively connect to external sources.

Online support groups are another tool that people use during pregnancy and loss journeys. While groups dedicated to loss can be sources of social support where people can find emotional validation, connect with others, and feel seen and less alone, I have found that they can also foster disabling experiences. and harmful.

One participant said she saw questions ‘like’ Can you eat this certain thing while pregnant? “Some people say,” Yes, I ate that throughout the pregnancy. Then there are people who say, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this to your body, it’s harmful for you.’ ”

Overall, the design features and algorithms behind the content and interactions do real damage by perpetuating a single idea of ​​what constitutes pregnancy – an idea that runs smoothly and leads to a happy ending. . By disregarding the pregnancy loss, I claim they are contributing to her further stigma.

My work shows how technological design reinforces stereotypes about experiences such as pregnancy loss – and sustains social inequalities such as marginalization and stigma. This, in turn, makes it difficult for those who experience loss to find the resources and support they need.

A more human approach

If you are someone who has experienced pregnancy loss, I am sorry for your loss. Know that you are not alone. Hope this article helps you validate and make visible some of your frustrating experiences.

If you know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, please know that the harms and challenges I have outlined above are just a few of the frustrations they may face. Acknowledge their loss. Ask how you could support them. Offer them meals, offer to keep animals or to keep for themselves, listen to them, sit in their grief with them. Be aware that holidays and birthdays tend to be difficult. Don’t say “you are going to get pregnant again”. Finally, remember that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people also experience pregnancy and loss.

If you are a designer, developer, or someone who makes decisions about products and advertising algorithms, I hope this research illustrates some of the real harms that users can experience as a result of using products to manage business. intimate personal experiences such as pregnancy. Please consider designing products that take into account the full range of pregnancy and other human experiences. Remember that viewing pregnancy loss as an outcome doesn’t mean finding other ways to benefit from the loss and grief of your users.

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Rockwall Professional Firefighters Association and Community Raise $ 10,000 for Local Mother Battling Rare Form of Breast Cancer – Blue Ribbon News Wed, 01 Dec 2021 20:48:47 +0000
Photo by Austin Wells.

ROCKWALL, TX – December 1, 2021 – The Rockwall Professional Firefighters Association ran a t-shirt fundraising campaign throughout October, in support of local mom Jennifer Cordtz who is battling inflammatory breast cancer of Stage 4. This morning, community members and city officials joined the Cordtz family at Rockwall No.2 Fire Hall to donate the proceeds to Jennifer – a total of $ 10,000.

“Love is bigger than cancer, and that’s what got our family through it all,” Jennifer said. “The community has completely enveloped us in their arms and shown your love, and this is how we have succeeded so far. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and I promise to keep paying next. “

Firefighter Brad Vallance presents the T-shirt fundraiser proceeds to Jennifer Cordtz. Photo by Austin Wells.

Firefighter Brad Vallance, who along with Firefighter Micah Floyd led the t-shirt campaign, also presented Jennifer with a special firefighter’s helmet with her last name on it.

The Firefighters Association built on the success of its inaugural t-shirt campaign last year, in which it sold 500 t-shirts and raised $ 9,500. This year, Vallance said the Association wanted to put a face to the campaign in the hopes of raising awareness about breast cancer. in Jennifer, they found an incredibly dedicated woman who, faced with a terrifying diagnosis, has never stopped giving back to others. As President of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Society of America, Jennifer has focused her attention on helping others in their battle with breast cancer through support groups and giving back in any way possible.

“Jennifer’s reasoning behind it was, what can I give to others? Vallance said. “And this concept is what firefighters use every year – what can we do to help our community? “

The Rockwall community reacted in a big way to Jennifer’s story and the Firefighters Association ended up selling over 1,000 t-shirts for the cause this year. Vallance said this would not have been possible without the help of his fellow Association members and the firefighters, as well as the tremendous support of the Rockwall community.

“The awareness that this has brought about has multiplied,” Vallance said. “We have over a thousand people with the shirt on, people see them with the shirt on and ask questions and want to know more. We sent shirts to Georgia, Austin… we have them all over Texas, in the community and across the country. We cannot thank Jennifer enough for allowing us to use her for this cause this year.

You can read more about Jennifer’s story in this incredibly powerful TED talk given by her daughter Tatiana Cordtz (fair warning – you’ll want to have tissues on hand) >>

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Courtesy photos.

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