National Women and Girls HIV?AIDS Awareness Day, March 10th!

homepage

What is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD)?

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance coordinated by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its goal is to encourage people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls.

When is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

It is observed on March 10 every year, but OWH encourages organizations to hold events throughout the month of March.

Why observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue in the United States. Women of all ages can get HIV/AIDS, and they account for approximately 24 percent of all HIV diagnoses. Today, women represent a larger share of new HIV infections than they did earlier in the epidemic, with nearly 280,000 women living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Women of color are particularly affected, as they accounted for two-thirds (64%) of new AIDS diagnoses among women in 2010.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped make considerable strides in addressing these concerns and advancing equality for women and girls living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS in the United States. Consistent with the ACA, the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy will help:

  • Increase HIV testing and reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV
  • Improve access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV
  • Reduce HIV-related health disparities

For more information, visit the ACA page on AIDS.gov.

The ACA and National HIV/AIDS Strategy are two important steps in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but the federal government cannot do it alone. On National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, OWH calls on individuals and organizations across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls. As a partner or collaborator for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, you have the power to educate others, change behaviors, and help shape the future for women and girls.

Find Events in your area: http://www.womenshealth.gov/nwghaad/events/

 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2012
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recognizing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 1 in 29 Americans, from our country’s service men and women to abused children and survivors of rape, domestic violence and natural disasters.  During PTSD Awareness Month in June, and throughout the year, we recognize the millions of Americans who experience this challenging and debilitating condition.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people develop after seeing or living through an event that caused or threatened serious harm or death. PTSD may result in sleep problems, irritability, anger, recurrent dreams about the trauma, intense reactions to reminders of the trauma, disturbances in relationships, and isolation. Some people may recover a few months after the event, but for others it may take years.  For some, PTSD may begin long after the events occur.

PTSD can be treated. Effective treatments are available, such as exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and approved medications.  Many people with PTSD also benefit from peer support.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD), are supporting new research to reveal the underlying causes of PTSD and related conditions, develop better tools to identify those at highest risk of developing the disorder, and develop new and better treatments and preventive interventions. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law, HHS is partnering with DOD and the VA to share our best ideas on how to improve the quality of health care for veterans and all Americans.

If you think that you or someone you know has PTSD, you are not alone. There is help available. Talk with a caring VA counselor by calling 1-800-273-8255 (press “1”) or visiting the online VA Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Veterans/Default.aspx Exit disclaimer icon.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also offer a variety of resources designed to help people who suffer from PTSD, as well as aid their families and friends in better understanding and dealing with trauma’s aftermath. These resources include:

Additionally, a list of military family resources can be found through the following:

During PTSD Awareness Month and on PTSD Awareness Day, June 27, 2012, we focus national attention on this debilitating condition and renew our commitment to support research, education, and treatment for those living with PTSD, as well as for their friends and families.

We have a responsibility to help Americans who have lived through trauma, especially our nation’s service men and women who may be struggling with PTSD.  We owe them the care and resources they need to get well.

Reflection

The Sassy MC

Written By, Sassy Shirtz Co-Owner/Co-Creator, The Sassy MC

Depending on your source, the word “reflection” can be defined in many ways.  This 14th century word originates from the Latin word “reflectere” or the act of bending back. The word is also commonly defined as “a thought occurring as a result of meditation”.

Lately, I’ve been exploring both definitions. I’ve been meditating on what I bend back toward others. If what’s received from others is pleasurable this is less difficult, but it can become more challenging when what’s received is perceived negatively. This is when the test begins…

We are powerless over the thoughts and actions of others. We are only in total and complete control of our own. Just because someone acts in an undesirable manner, doesn’t mean you have to “bend back” the same behavior. After all, we really have no idea what’s driving their behavior and more times than not it has absolutely nothing to do with us anyway.

Now, I’m not advocating allowing yourself to be mistreated by others but I am encouraging you to consider your response to their behavior. Just because someone is “cold” toward you, doesn’t mean you have to alter your body temperature. If someone becomes distant, you’re not required to back up too. Consider just standing still instead.

Throughout our lives, we will be confronted with challenging situations. It is at these times that our ability to stay connected to who we are and what we’re about becomes critical. I’ve been using visualization techniques to assist me in staying connected to myself. One technique involves me picturing myself standing in front of a mirror. This serves as a reminder that who and what I see before me is me not the other person, so I am always accountable for my response. The other technique involves picturing myself holding a huge pitcher and “pouring love all over” the situation and/or person. It immediately cleanses the situation.

I would be dishonest if I said I consistently apply these techniques, but having the desire to brings me great joy. Gandhi encouraged us to “be the change you want to see in the world”. I interpret that to mean; the change in all circumstances start and end with me.

How To Choose Happiness

Here’s a good read…
By Mark Matousek
O, The Oprah Magazine  |  From the March 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Some of us are born smiling; most of us have to work at it. This may take learning some new techniques and unlearning some old mental habits—but the joyful news from the frontiers of science and psychology is that mood is malleable and happiness is yours for the choosing.

Just Tell Me

The Sassy MC

Written By, Sassy Shirtz Co-Owner/Co- Creator, The Sassy MC

There have been times that I’ve found myself waiting for someone to tell me something so I could go on, or get closure. Minus their response, I would be left feeling unsettled, confused, or even very angry. Sound familiar?

The first best thing you can do for yourself in such times is to remove those expectations from the other person. You can’t need someone else to give you permission to move forward with your life. Only YOU can steer your life. That’s why your life was given to you, not to them.

We owe it to ourselves to search for answers within. That’s the one place you’re guaranteed to find the true answers. Having insight from someone else can add to what you already know or feel, not define it. We have to remember, no two people are the same, so even if they provide you with an answer you are still left with your own thoughts and emotions. Also, sometimes the other person really can’t give you an answer because they don’t know themselves.

Personally, I think most of the time we already know all that we need to know about the situation. If we’re healthy in our thoughts and feelings, we are usually able to connect the two. Granted, your reality may not be the same as the other person’s, but it is YOUR reality.

A situation that’s causing you pain may not be painful for the other person. It doesn’t mean they’re mean or don’t care, it just means it’s not registering pain for them. Your desire for closure may be very different from the desires of someone else. They may consider the matter “closed” already.

Rather than spend the energy trying to understand where someone else is, invest in clarifying things for yourself. Work through your “stuff” so you can get whatever lesson from the experience you were destined to receive. This is not an easy task.

Going within yourself is a difficult journey because it requires the courage to face some parts you’ve played in the situation. It also makes you responsible for the outcome. Remember, you have to live with yourself, whether the other person remains a part of your life or not.

We should never forget… everything starts with you and ends with you.

Never Done – By Michelle Clower

By Michelle Clower – Co-Owner/Co-Creator, Sassy Shirtz

When we grow in different areas of our life, sometimes we make the mistake of checking things off our “list” and throwing the list away. Instead, I suggest that you take “notes” and keep them handy because we’re all a “human work in progress” so therefore we are never done.

As a human work in progress, accepting I’m never done can be hard. I want to get past some things and never be faced with them again. Today, I realize I have to pay attention and take really good notes that I can use to assist me in getting through things smarter, better and faster. Note: I didn’t say easy because trials are never easy.

Life is beautiful and filled with triumphs and trials. I believe everyone was put on this earth to experience both. Some of my greatest trials have taught me the most. Like most lessons, life’s lessons come with quizzes and tests throughout the course designed to test your knowledge.  Just because you “pass” doesn’t mean your knowledge will never be tested again.

Show me someone who can’t count your change back to you when their cash register malfunctions, and I’ll show you someone who may have passed basic math but didn’t expect to have to use it again.

Whenever I overcome a particularly difficult situation that at one time would have knocked me off my square, I celebrate my growth, but never consider myself done. I strive to look at life with what Zen Buddhist call “beginner’s mind”, curious to see what I can learn and how I can do better.

From that vantage point, I never want to finish…

Happy Birthday?

Michelle Clower

By Michelle Clower, Co-Owner/Co-Creator, Sassy Shirtz

I don’t know about many of you, but my birthdays have greater significance as I get older.  After a certain age it becomes about much more than the parties, the cake, or the gifts… (Correction: it never stops being about the cake.) For me, it is a time to reflect on the years gone by.

See, as many people begin feeling the pressure to commit to resolutions made before starting a new year, I find myself faced with a double “whammy” because eleven days after the ball drops I become a year older.

If we get honest, most of us have a healthy fear of when life as we know it will end. We want to make sure our spiritual and financial “house” is in order. We want to leave a positive legacy. We want to feel like we have lived our best life. I am no different from most in this regard. I am in touch with the fact that with each passing year, I’m aging, and I try really hard not to attach negative energy to that fact.

On the 12th day of January, I became a year older and wiser, with a whole lot of “Sassitude”! Yes, there are some things that I can no longer do like I used to, but there are also some things that I can do better! Time and wisdom have taught me many valuable lessons that I’m not sure I would have been responsive to when I was younger. In some cases, I’m “just getting it” years later. I celebrate the good and bad experiences that have molded me into the person I am today.  After all, I have come a long way baby!

I would like to encourage each of you to strive toward having a Happy Birthday when it arrives. Try not to allow the numeric value to define your age. Allow your actions and your deeds to render you ageless.  Most important, never forget the gift of life your birthday gives because there is someone somewhere who wishes they would be spared to see another one of theirs.

 

Happy Birthday to All!