Wellness Wednesday – National Youth Violence Prevention Week

In honor of National Youth Violence Prevention Week (April 4-8), we want you to know the steps that you can take to get involved and help prevent violence.

Youth violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood. The young person can be a victim (for example, someone who is being bullied), an offender (for example: someone who is a bully), or a witness to the violence. Youth violence can include different behaviors, including: bullying, slapping, or hitting. Robbery and assault (physical attack with or without weapons) can lead to serious injury or even death. (CDC Youth Violence)

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How does youth violence affect health?

Deaths resulting from youth violence are only part of the problem. Young people may also need medical care for violence-related injuries. This could include cuts, bruises, broken bones, and gunshot wounds. Some injuries, such as gunshot wounds, can lead to lasting disabilities. (CDC Youth Violence Fact Sheet)

Youth violence can cause major depression, increase the risk of suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse/dependence. (UNITY)

Why is this important?

Raising awareness about youth violence and discussing how it can be prevented can help you and everyone around you lead better quality lives. You can learn to identify things that may trigger violence and how you can prevent that from happening.

Here are some ideas you can use in your school or community. Share this with parents, teachers, or other adults and get them involved! (SAVE Action Kit)

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Day 1 (April 4): Promote Respect and Tolerance

  • Respect & Tolerance Essay Contest. Have the winning essay read at an event or over morning announcements. Share on social media with #NYVPW.
  • Mix it up! Eat lunch with someone new today and learn about each other.
  • Experience History. Identify examples of respect and lack of respect for others in history and literature.

Day 2 (April 5): Manage Your Anger

  • Pledge to be Fight Free. Create and sign fight free or bully free pledges. Share on social media with #NYVPW.
  • Perform role plays or skits. Illustrate positive ways to deal with difficult situations such as bullying or peer pressure.
  • Exercise the anger away. Use physical exercise to release anger and stress.

Day 3 (April 6) Resolve Conflicts Peacefully

  • Think before you speak. Conduct an activity regarding homophobic or racial words. Research shows these slurs are often unintentional when used by teens.
  • Mediate this! Establish a peer mediation program where youth learn how to identify triggers, active listening skills, and how to talk differences out.
  • PSA. Create a public service announcement on peaceful conflict management.
  • Establish Fight Free Days. Reward students who can go so many days fight free with a small reward such as ice cream or early release.

Day 4 (April 7): Support Safety

  • Poster contest. Conduct a safety themed poster contest. Share posters on social media with #NYVPW.
  • Safety Fair. Organize a safety fair with exhibits and activities involving local safety officials and agencies.
  • School Safety Committee. Volunteer to serve on a school safety committee and encourage accurate incident reporting.

Day 5 (April 8): Unite in Action

  • Unite in Service. Organize a service project where youth and adults come together and make a difference.
  • Peace Murals. Paint a peace mural over graffiti or host a peace themed sidewalk art event. Share art on social media with #NYVPW.
  • Runaway Resource. Work with community agencies to create a Resource for Runaways card for your community. Include numbers and safe locations where they can get help.
  • Be A Buddy. Pair adults or youth mentors with other youth for positive role models and positive peer activities.

Tell us how you are getting involved to help prevent youth violence in your school or community. If you use any of these ideas, please share with us in the comments!

Sources:

  1. CDC – Youth Violence Fact Sheet
  2. Healthy Children – Staying Cool When Things Heat Up
  3. National Save – NYVPW Action Kit
  4. UNITY – Violence and Mental Health

 

 

 

 

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Motivation Monday! – Erica Jong

“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”   -Erica Jong

By not taking risks, you are not failing or succeeding in life. You are at a standstill and not growing as a person. If you don’t take risks, you will never know what you are capable of. So don’t be afraid to take risks. It is natural to fear the unexpected, but don’t let that get in the way of your goals.

What steps are you going to take to reach your goals this week? Tell us in the comments!

Stay motivated & have a great Monday! 🙂

-Generation W.E.E.E. Team

 

Fun Fact Friday – World Water Day!

Hey everyone, it’s Friday! Earlier this week World Water Day (March 22) recognized the importance of water. This year’s theme was called “Water & Jobs: water & sanitation” because all over the world water-related companies created jobs for over 1.5 billion people. In honor of World Water Day, here are some interesting facts.

Did You Know?

  • The human body can be made up of 55-75% water, depending on a person’s age and gender. Babies have the highest percentage of water in their bodies, whereas you have the least amount of water when you reach 65 and older.
  • Men have a higher percentage of water in their bodies than women. This is because water is stored in muscle tissues.   
  • There is a misconception about drinking water for glowing skin. Several beauty magazines always talk about this misconception, but they forget to tell you that there is no scientific evidence supporting this.
  • However, our skin (the largest organ in the human body) is made up of 30% water. One of water’s main function is removing any unwanted waste in your body; so wastes that generally cause inflammation in the skin can be removed, but doesn’t cause the glow on our skin.

More Facts:

  • Water can make you feel better and repair your body. This is why water is the most important nutrient.
  • Water deprivation and dehydration can lead to the development of headache.
  • Water covers 70.9 percent of the Earth’s surface.

How Water Affects Our Lives?

Although some of us may have access to water, many other have limited or no access. Another harsh truth is many underdeveloped places, and even some developing cities, have water that is toxic. This can happen when pipe systems are too old and aren’t repaired or replaced. Toxic water is bad and can make you sick. Some companies, for example, have neglected their pipe systems, which results in toxic water supply. We should support all organizations, that are trying to provide water in places that don’t have access. If we know of cities that still have gaps in their water supply, we should voice our opinions and let our elected political leaders know those towns don’t have the proper water system to live.

Why Is World Water Day Important?

Water is a big deal! We all need it to survive. Our bodies, animals, land, and food need it to grow, maintain health, and stay health. Remember, we have a responsibility to preserve our world’s water supply. Drinking water everday will help you in the long run. So…drink up!!!
To learn more about World Water Day, click here.

Have a good weekend!

Sources:

  1. Shirreffs SM, Merson SJ, Fraser SM, Archer DT. The effects of fluid restriction on hydration status and subjective feelings in man. Br J Nutr. 2004;91:951–958. [PubMed]
  2. Water, Hydration, and Health
  3. World Water Day

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday – Charlotte Ellertson

Charlotte Ellertson, born in 1966, became a significant figure who have has improved women’s health. Growing up in South Africa, Charlotte noticed many women, including women in the USA, weren’t able to make choices about their own health. As a sociologist and a public health researcher, she made a career around her passion of women’s health rights, reproductive health, research and advocacy. During this time, there weren’t any laws protecting women in making health-related decisions. Charlotte wanted women all over the world to have proper health services and options, which they need and deserve. Many of her accomplishments included but weren’t limited to: FDA approval of RU-486 pill (popular brand now called PlanB), alternative contraception process methods, and changing many reproductive and sexual assault charge policies.

charolette elleterson

She had a vision of having a dynamic organization that bridged research and advocacy. As founder of Ibis Reproductive Health organization in 2002, she was able to make her vision real. The Ibis Reproductive Health organization’s mission is to make better women’s reproductive autonomy, choices, and health worldwide. They make this happen using clinical and social science research on issues that show gaps in health services and existing treatments. She also created fellowships in Latin America and Caribbean countries so young professional, who also have passion to create change, can further their career in the world.

Sadly, Charlotte wasn’t able to see her efforts continue on. In March 21, 2004 Charlotte Ellertson died of breast cancer. Charlotte’s actions and vision are an inspiration for everyone to make change. You can make a positive change in policies, products, and services; women need to have safe, healthy, and fulfilling reproductive lives.

Why is this important?

Reproductive health is very important for living a healthy lifestyle for women and girls. Many years ago, our society was organized to benefit men more and women’s and girls’ biggest worries and cares were put aside. Other times they weren’t valued enough to be protected by law and government. Charlotte decided she wanted to make a change and made it a reality.

To learn more about Ibis Reproductive Health and to see the resources they offer, click here.

Sources:

  1. Huffington Post – Women Who Changed Our Health
  2. Ibis founder Charlotte Ellertson named one of 50 most influential women in health
  3. Ibis Reporudctive Health

 

 

Wellness Wednesday – Heart Disease

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, commonly refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels, which can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the United States, and also the number 1 killer among women. Here is an interesting fact: Lifestyle changes and education can prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke events.

Take a look at the infographic below. It will provide you with valuable information about health disease and ways to prevent it.

GenWEEE heart disease infographic revised.PNG

Why is this important?

Heart disease has killed a lot of lives. It is important that you learn more about this disease and share it with family and friends. Since heart disease is preventable, it is essential that you start taking small steps to becoming healthy. The younger you start making better choices, the better off you are at maintaining it over time. It is always good to have a good support system. Get others to join you in changing unhealthy habits, which affect your heart.

Stay healthy!

Sources:

  1. Go Red for Women
  2. Mayo Clinic – Heart Disease
  3. World Heart Federation

 

Monday Motivation! – Maya Angelou

” I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is to be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”          – Maya Angelou
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Being an advocate means speaking for someone when they feel scared or feel weak to speak for themselves; so you are on their side because you care. A self-advocate is a way to be on your own side. A self-advocate means being able to tell people what you think, feel, and want. It means speaking for yourself. You can learn to speak for yourself about problems and ideas you have on your own or ideas and problems that other people may have.

A Good Advocate:

  • Is informed about the topic they’re talking about
  • Speaks in a clear and calm way
  • Listens when others speak (regardless if you agree or not)
    • Consider what they’re saying, then tell them what you think about what they said.

It also means getting together with other people, with whom you have the same problems, ideas, and concerns. It means speaking out as a group, but with one voice and one view. Being an advocate may also inspire and show others how to speak for themselves. They can do it too, and in turn they feel powerful!

 

Fun Fact Friday – Hijarbie

Did you know Barbie (the doll!) has a hijab-wearing cousin, Hijarbie?

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She’s an alternative role model for young girls, created by Nigerian medical student Haneefa Adam. Adam created Hijarbie after seeing the Barbie Style Instagram Account. She wanted to create an option for Muslim girls like her.

Why Is This Important?

Hijarbie represents Muslim identity to the world and helps correct some misconceptions.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/08/fashion/hijarbie-nigeria-student/