Brain Injury Awareness Month

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Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the campaign theme is #Change Your Mind. The campaign is helping to raise awareness and de-stigmatizing brain injury through outreach within the brain community, promoting the different types of available support for people living with a brain injury, and empowering the survivors of brain injury and their caregivers.

Every 9 seconds someone sustains a brain injury in the United States, which makes up more than 3.5 million children and adults. An acquired brain injury (ABI) is not induced by birth trauma, congenital, hereditary, or is not degenerative and is most often associated with pressure on the brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force which damages the skull or causes the brain to move inside the skull.

The typical causes of acquired brain injury are: poisoning or exposure to toxic substances, infection, strangulation, choking, drowning, tumors, heart attacks, strokes, abuse of illegal drugs, neurological illnesses, and aneurysms.

The typical causes of traumatic brain injury are: car accidents, blows to the head, sports injuries, accidents or falls, and physical violence.

Some physical symptoms of brain damage could include persistent headaches, tremors, extreme mental and physical fatigue, sensitivity to light, paralysis, slurred speech, sleep disorders, and loss of consciousness.

Some emotional and behavioral symptoms could include reduced tolerance for stress, sluggishness, denial of disability, increased aggressiveness, flattened or heightened emotions or reactions, and irritability and impatience.

Some ways to possibly reduce the risk of brain damage is: never shake a child, install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows, wear helmets while cycling or during sports, install shock-absorbing material on playgrounds, if you have a gun keep it unloaded and locked away, wear seatbelts in cars, drive safely, install and use handrails on stairways, don’t use illegal drugs, drink alcohol in moderation but never drink alone and avoid falls by using a stepstool when reaching for high items.

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

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International Boost Self-Esteem Month

February 2019 – Help Avoid Clinical Depression. Our self-esteem is something that is always changing throughout our lives. A healthy self-esteem can improve your mental health. If someone is suffering from existing severe mental health struggles like anxiety and depression, a boost in their self-esteem can possibly increase their feelings of worth and help manage feelings of emptiness and sadness.

It is good to pay attention to your “self-talk.” Sometimes we are very critical of ourselves and others. Once you are aware of negative self-talk, you can you can challenge those thoughts when they arise.

One thing to help boost your self-esteem is to accept your flaws. We have to remember to separate the flaws that are unchangeable from ones we can work on. Accepting a flaw doesn’t mean that you like your flaw, it just means you have chosen to not let something you cannot change control you.

Another way to boost your self-esteem is to celebrate your personal strengths and practice gratitude. You could incorporate 5 minutes into your daily life to reflect on your personal strengths. These strengths could range from not only who you are physically but also your relationships, your personality, and your abilities. This can be how you are a caretaker of people and/or animals, how people come to you because you will make them laugh, or how you show people in your life that you love them.

Practicing self-care is another excellent way to boost your self-esteem. Self-care is a difficult practice and we find reasons why we don’t do it or as often as we should. Self-care requires you to focus on yourself and your needs which includes having sufficient sleep, proper mind and body nourishment, and doing what provides you with a sense of peace and well-being.

Human Trafficking Prevention Month

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Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month. As of June 30, 2018, North Carolina reported 14,117 calls and 5,147 human trafficking case. Attorney General Josh Stein noted that North Carolina had 258 reported cases of human trafficking in 2017. In 2016, The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 182 cases in 2016 and North Carolina was ranked 10th in reported human trafficking cases.

California, Texas, and New York are the three states with the highest human trafficking activity. California cities Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are 3 of the 10 worst child sex trafficking areas.

On January 17, 2018 the Fayetteville Observer reported that “more than half of all human trafficking cases filed in state court during the last fiscal year occurred in Cumberland County”. The article explores how the proximity to Interstate 95 and Fort Bragg, in addition to the opioid crisis, makes Cumberland County more vulnerable to this type of crime. The reported numbers involving victims also reflects the diligent police work that is happening in Cumberland County, according to the article. Pitt, Forsyth, Wake, Johnston, Nash, Wilson, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow and Craven are the other counties listed for having human trafficking cases within the recorded year.

The NC Human Trafficking Task Force Manual