Daily Inspiration: To Complain or Not To Complain

This poem was performed by Rudy Francisco at the semi finals of the 2014 National Poetry Slam. He describes situations where people persevered through life and death situations and essentially said, “It could have been worse”. Life is journey where one can experience a lot of pain and heartache. However, many beautiful things also come out of this journey and he explains that sometimes it is best to focus on what keeps life worth living.

**Disclaimer: This poem has been criticized for being insensitive to those suffering from depression and anxiety. Its purpose is to provide motivation to help others keep things in perspective during tough times.

If you are suffering from Mental Illness and need help, you are not alone. Please seek the advisement of a medical professional or call the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Helpline today, 800-950-NAMI to see what resources are available to you.

Convenience To Contraceptives On Campus

It is not a secret that young adults attending college are sexually active. Even though the media has evolved to be extremely sex ‘forward’, the topic of sex is still taboo.

Women and men may still face scrutiny and some colleges are looking to ease that burden; with contraceptive vending machines. Since 2012, Shippensburg University, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Davis have installed ‘wellness’ machines on campus.

Health education programs in high schools vary widely across America. They employ conservative or progressive curricula to inform students about sex. By the time these students get to college, their experiences are different.

Wellness machines provide condoms, Plan B, and pregnancy tests for the convenience of all students. Ultimately, making it a great resource for reserved and liberal students who are engaging in sexual activity to stay safe without judgement.

Earlier this month, Stanford University became the latest school to install these vending machines.  According to an article by the New York Times, more schools are looking to provide these services.

Parteek Singh, a recent graduate who urged U.C. Davis to install the machine, said he had heard from people at more than 30 schools who are interested in learning how to do the same thing on their campuses.

“This will be big,” Mr. Singh said. “It’s just the beginning.”

This appears to be a new trend for schools that are looking to turn this taboo topic into new and improved health services for their students.

Childhood Cancer: More Than 4

A cancer diagnosis can send anyone reeling with panic. Families are sent into a tailspin, awaiting the prognosis. A significant portion of cancer research focuses on the treatment of adults, yielding amazing results. However, the same advances for children have been stonewalled.

The federal governments allots a certain amount of money to cancer research each year.  The National Cancer Institute  is the government’s primary agency in all things cancer related. The NCI’s budget for 2017 hovers just over $5.3 Billion; this figure seems promising.

The Truth 365, a documentary and social media campaign that strives to raise visibility to the issue of childhood cancer, highlights the motivation for their work.

Cancer kills more than 2,500 children in our country every year. Over 13,500 kids will be diagnosed with cancer in the next 365 days. Though these numbers are significant, the potential market is too small to attract the attention of private industry. This makes the role of the taxpayer-funded National Cancer Institute (NCI) especially critical yet approximately 4% percent of its annual budget is dedicated to childhood cancer.

Just 4% of research funds are dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of children. These inadequate funds are the roadblocks resulting in antiquated treatments and painful deaths. That should hardly be a reality, with the incredible medical technology available today.

Several organizations and social media pages have done their due diligence to raise awareness for childhood cancer and help families in need. Popular organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House exist primarily to help the families of sick children get care. The Instagram page, Childhood Cancer Warriors,  puts a spotlight on specific cases and helps raise money. While efforts are made daily, childhood cancer is sadly, not a national concern.

Cancer in any capacity is devastating, it is especially so in children. The campaign to raise the percentage of federal dollars for research has already begun. Private organizations and fundraisers are leading the charge for families that are looking for answers for their child’s condition.  With the help of the public, the hope is to make the life of a child worth #morethan4.

 

Intimate Partner Violence

Doing something about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has come a long way in just 40 years. The days of a husband getting rough with his wife and just being asked to leave the house for a while, are over. Men are definitely no longer laughed out of precincts when they are assaulted by women.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline , 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their life time.  In addition, it has been reported that nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner and report it having an impact on their ability to function. These statistics aren’t just reflective of the horror stories seen on the ID channel.

If these numbers seem harrowing on paper, imagine what they look like in real life. The factors surrounding victims of IPV are mostly complex yet understandable. However, when a victim is either brutalized to the point of death or narrowly escapes with their lives, they are often met with criticism. Telling another what they should’ve done in an unimaginable situation is always easy from the outside.

This Ted Talk given by Leslie Morgan Steiner paints a rather detailed picture of the life of an IPV victim. Her story is a great example of how this type of violence can happen to anyone at anytime. Domestic violence doesn’t have a specific face. It embodies all races, genders, sexual orientations and tax brackets. These victims have the faces of our sisters, best friends, teachers, and mailmen.

While laws have changed to protect victims of IPV, many people do not know where to go, who to turn to or what is realistic for their situation. Empathizing with a person in need, may be the first step to change. Instead of waiting for the day to receive a dreaded phone call, be in the know. Learn about what you can do to help your loved ones. If you know someone who is suffering, please do not turn a blind eye. If you are are suffering, get help today. Resources are available now.

Please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE or visit their website.