Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Booklet Review: Be True and Be You: A Basic Mental Health Guide for LGBTQ Teens

This is a booklet sponsored by Each Mind Matters, a California Mental Health Movement.  IS has some very good information about coping with mental illness.
It reveals some mental health myths: "People with mental illnesses are just weak and need to 'snap out of it.'"  Mental illnesses are illnesses just like any other illness.  They are caused by a mix of what is going inside your body and your environment.  Myth: "If you have a mental illness you will never get better." People can get better from mental illness.  Of course all illnesses are different and there are different types of recovery.  However people with mental illness can live healthy, happy lives.  Myth: "I can't help someone with mental illness.  Only a doctor can." Although only a doctor of professional can diagnose mental illness, we all can help.  Much of this is based on our attitude.  Be willing to talk to people with mental illness and find out about their interests and talents.  If we hear derogatory terms like "crazy" os "psycho" we can speak up.  We can help those who are bullied because of mental illness.  Myth: "People diagnosed with mental illnesses are dangerous or violent."  Most people with mental illness are not violent or dangerous.  However their risk of being the victim of violence often goes up.  Please speak up if others are being bullied or hurt.  Myth: "People who are not straight have a mental illness."  Being LGBRQ is not a mental illness.  However LGBTQ often may be at higher risk for mental illness due to environmental interaction.
There is also a very good section in this booklet on ways to deal.  We are all stressed, and sometimes want to get away.  Poor ways of dealing with this include drugs or alcohol, self-harm and risky sexual behavior.  Some alternative "Ways to Deal" are: Express yourself.  Find a way to express your thoughts and feelings.  This could be having a good cry, talking to a friend, or through creativity--art, music, cooking, dancing, etc.  Find support.  Opening up to a trusted friend, parent, counsellor are ways of finding support.  There are also talk lines: Santa Clara County 1-855-278-4202, Boys Town 1-800-448-3000.  Challenge negative talk.  If self-talk, or talk from others is making it more difficult to find your goals, then we should dump it.  Instead we may choose to focus on positive and more realistic self talk that can help you succeed.  Take care of your body.  Regular exercise, eight hours of sleep nightly and good nutrition can work wonders for your mood.  Get Involved.  Find things you enjoy and be involved.  Serving others is a great way to promote your own mental health.  Know where to get help.  Everyone has the right to feel safe.  It can be helpful to talk with an adult or a friend.  However sometimes professional help is needed.  Santa Clara County Mental Health is 1-800-704-0900.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

**Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination: J.K. Rowling

The Fringe Benefits of Failure by: J.K. Rowling, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2008.
The title of this book says it all.  This is a short book of the commencement address delivered by J.K. Rowling at Harvard University 2008.  She talks about failure vs success, and different definitions for each.  How her greatest fear was to be a failure, and at age 30 most people would have called her just that.  However she is now the author of the most read fantasy books in history.  By imagination, you would think the author of fantasy books would be talking of the ability to write or tell stories or something.  However she is actually talking about the ability of people to empathize with others.   She draws upon her personal experiences working for Amnesty International.  We can feel the pain of other people we have never met.  She feels this is invaluable, and unique to us as humans.   Two quotes with this regard, "They can think themselves into other people's places" vs "They can refuse to know."  Then the conclusion is that "As is a tale so is life: not how long it is but how good it is, is what matters."

Monday, January 4, 2016

E-Training: Fraud

There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.

The purpose of this e-training was to eliminate false claims to the government for medicare or Medicaid.  It is really pretty scary, as fraud can happen in any number of ways.  For the most part fraud is deliberately trying to bilk the government of money by, for example billing for a procedure that is not medically necessary, or billing for something twice, or billing for something and not documenting the service or providing the service.  However sometimes fraud can take place if you do something outside the pounds, but should have known the proper way to do things.  This is scarier, and makes it important to know the proper bounds and expectations for when you are billing, such as the requirements for documentation to verify medically necessity is met.  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

**E-Training: Blood Born Pathogens

This training focused on prevention of the spread of blood born pathogens, particularly Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and the HIV virus.  Blood born pathogen basically means that the disease is transferred through fluids.  In the case of all three this can be through an open wound, eye mucus, sexual contact and shared needles.  You really can't spread these diseases through hand shaking, or toilet seats or kissing.  Hepatitis A and B have vacines.  Hepatitis C and HIV do not.  Hep C is most often spread through drug usage techniques, such as needles or straws.  Also do not share razors or toothbrushes with someone with Hepatitis C.  Early intervention and treatment can reduce the effects of HIV.  However sometimes it is a silent killer as it attacks the liver without the individual knowing they have the disease.