POLLDo you know anyone (including yourself) who has suffered from depression?
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Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014
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Posted By addie | September 29, 2016
The 2016 presidential election has been a rollercoaster of opinions, controversies, memes, gifs and hashtags. For one of the first times we are really seeing the internet play a huge role in our American voting process. A lot of good has come of this. Registration and polling information has become very easily accessed. Caucus and primary result were so easy to find that even Snapchat made a filter so you could post the results and a selfie at the same time. Big events on the campaign trail can be instantly video recorded and shared on social media for the world to view as it happens. This helps give the people an accurate snapshot of the candidates without being muddled by tactics to cover up or retract statements. This also opens up a whole new platform to distract voters from important issues and focus on comical or embarrassing clips of the candidates. While it seems fun to poke at Donald Trump for saying “7/11” instead of “9/11” or for cringing at an awkward Hillary Clinton for “chillin’ in Cedar Rapids,” these things can really be harmful to the integrity of an election. It takes the spotlight away from real issues like gun control, health care, immigration, and human rights issues and much more.
Whether you are eligible or not to vote on November 2nd, I encourage you to become an active participant in the political process and stay informed about the issues instead of simply sharing memes and gifs on social media.
To find out how to register to vote visit: https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/iowa/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwte27BRCM6vjIidHvnKQBEiQAC4MzrcdxiH5rVf66W5NzQG_ZX438vp_SzxxafOtKyj_-54gaAill8P8HAQ
Posted By addie | September 15, 2016
Recycling has been in my life since I was a child. No matter how difficult something was to clean, peanut butter jar, shampoo bottle, etc., everyone in my family was always expected to wash and recycle everything we could. And here in Iowa we are lucky enough to have a 5¢ incentive to return cans and bottles which highly reduces the amount of these products in the landfill and gives us a little extra cash. As I get older, I am starting to realize that recycling is completely foreign to some- what to recycle, how to recycle, where to recycle and more. Even in public places where recycling receptacles are right next to the trash I still see recyclables ending up in the garbage. So here are 3 reasons why you should recycle:
- Save energy & preserve resources– when we recycle we reduce the amount of new materials that needs to be produced. Therefore we cut down on the energy that would have been needed to produce new materials & preserve our resources.
- Reduce pollution– the production of new material creates harmful gasses that affect air quality and climate change. Trash also pollutes the air, water and ground which has negative effects on the environment and the quality of our lives.
- Make landfills smaller– every item that ends up in the trash, not the recycling, makes it’s way to a landfill. Large or new landfills affect the wildlife, the environment and can take over more space in our cities.
To learn more about the importance of recycling visit: http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/Why_Should_We_Recycle.php
Posted By addie | September 13, 2016
Food banks, food pantries, and food kitchens are commonly known as meal programs but each have a specific role in feeding the community. Knowing what each program offers is a great way to know your options if you or others are in need. It is likely that there are also volunteer opportunities for these programs that may spark your interest. Below is a breakdown of what each food program does!
Food Bank: Mass Food Storage and Delivery
A food bank stores millions of pounds of food and other products that go out to the community. Food banks collect and store food that are then distributed to local food pantries, charities, and meal programs. So, food banks don’t give food directly to people but are the warehouses that stores the food that is sent to the food pantry. Volunteers at food banks often package and sort foods into boxes to be sent to the pantries. Volunteering at a food bank means that you will be working in a warehouse- so close toe shoes and appropriate clothing are a must! There are also volunteer opportunities including working on paperwork, office tasks, marketing, cleaning/organizing, and IT services. For more information on food bank locations visit: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/
Food Pantry: Food Receivers and Distribution to People
A food pantry functions as the arms that reach out to the community directly. Food pantries put together packages of unprepared food for people who have homes but don’t necessarily have the means to feed their families on their own. Volunteering at a food pantry could be a good option if you want to work more closely with your community. Volunteers pack food to distribute to families in need, organize and pick up donations, and sometimes deliver the food packages or let people shop like at the grocery store. For more information on food pantry locations visit: http://www.foodpantries.org/
Soup Kitchen: Prepare Food Directly for People
Soup kitchens make food directly for people at a free or reduced cost and have people gather and eat a meal. Soup kitchens are now often called “meal programs” since they usually aren’t just serving soup. Volunteers could prepare meals, organize food supplies, serve the food, or help cleaning up. Volunteering at a soup kitchen is another great way to get to know individuals in your community since you serve them directly. For more information on soup kitchen locations visit: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/hunger-relief
Here is a list of all of the food pantries and banks in Iowa: http://www.foodpantries.org/st/iowa
Posted By addie | September 8, 2016
September 5-11th is National Suicide Prevention Week, a week dedicated to making people more aware about suicide and how to help someone who might be struggling. If you do have a friend who you think is suicidal, it’s helpful to know how to talk to them and what to do to get them help.
- Talking about suicide or dying: this includes saying things like “I wish I wasn’t here anymore,” “Everyone would be better off without me,” and “I wish I had never been born”
- Feeling trapped or hopeless: a suicidal person may express that they don’t think things will ever improve or talk about feeling very isolated and not feeling that there’s anyone to turn to
- Loss of interest: there may be a noticeable loss of interest in activities that the person used to enjoy
- Change in habits: a suicidal person might have changes in sleeping and eating habits such as loss of appetite or not being able to sleep
If you read through these symptoms and think someone you know might be struggling it’s important to remember these things:
- Be a good listener. Don’t judge the person for wanting to commit suicide or say that their problems are not important.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. While it can seem a little intimidating, talking about suicide does not cause it. If you think someone you know is suicidal, asking them upfront may take the pressure off of them and make it easier for them to talk about.
- Reach out. If you have a friend you are worried about, the best thing you can do is to tell an adult you trust so they can help. Don’t try to solve the problem entirely on your own.
- Practice self care. Helping a friend who is struggling can be emotionally draining. Make sure you practice good self care by getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and taking time for yourself to relax and do something you enjoy.
For support visit: http://yourlifeiowa.org/
For more info about warning signs and preventing suicide visit: http://www.yspp.org/about_suicide/what_to_do.htm
Posted By addie | September 6, 2016
Choosing the best form of birth control for you is a daunting but very important task. Here are some basics about common forms of birth control that you can discuss with your doctor.
The birth control implant is a small plastic rod, the size of a matchstick, that is put inside your upper arm by your doctor. The implant releases hormones to prevent pregnancy by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and also makes the cervical mucus thicker so that sperm cannot reach the eggs. It lasts for four years, which means you don’t have to do anything to keep up with it during that period of time.
The pill refers to a type of birth control that needs to be taken everyday in pill form. Every month you receive three weeks worth of the actual birth control pill and one week of pills to take to allow you to have your period. It uses either a single hormone or a combination of hormones to prevent pregnancy. Used correctly the pill is very effective, but you need to make sure that you take the pill every single day and at about the same time everyday. The pill is also used by people who don’t need birth control but wish to reduce acne, menstrual cramps, or irregular periods.
The birth control shot is injected once every three months by your doctor. It uses hormones to prevent pregnancy and, similar to the pill, is extremely effective if used as directed every 12 weeks. The shot uses hormones similar to those used in the implant and the pill, which keeps the eggs in the ovaries and thickens the cervical mucus. There is the potential for negative side effects, just like every other form, but after stopping injections side effects may persist for 12 to 14 weeks.
An IUD is a small, plastic, “T-shaped” rod that is put inside your uterus by your doctor. There is a copper IUD which provides pregnancy prevention for up to 12 years and a hormonal IUD which lasts between 3 and 6 years, depending on the brand. Both types of IUDs affect the sperm’s movement so that it can’t join the egg so you can’t get pregnant. There is some times pain when the IUD is put in or shortly after and there is some risk that the IUD may slip out of the uterus or cause an infection. Regular check ups are important for that reason. However, IUDs are known to be the most effective, least expensive and longest lasting form of birth control.
Abstinence is the only form of birth control that fully prevents pregnancy and STDs. There is always risk involved with any sexual activity. Abstaining is a choice many men and women make for a variety of reasons. Once you’ve engaged in sexual activities that does not mean you can’t choose to abstain later. It is a personal choice and should be respected by yourself and others.
Always talk to your doctor about what is right for you. Different conditions or medications may limit your options of birth control. Some may experience negative side effects, but that doesn’t make any particular form bad because everyone’s body is different. See a doctor immediately if you start to experience negative side effects so you can adjust your birth control regime appropriately. And keep in mind that these forms of birth control do not prevent against STDs, only condoms or abstinence can provide you that protection.
To learn more about types of birth control visit: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/contraception.html
Posted By addie | September 1, 2016
There has been a lot of talk in the news the past couple of years about GMOs, but what are they? GMO stands for “genetically modified organism.” This means that the DNA from a certain species of plant is modified, altered, or combined with DNA from another species of plant in a laboratory setting. We use this process to do things like make crops resistant to herbicide and to help crops produce their own pesticides. Herbicide tolerance allows the crops to be directly sprayed with herbicide without damaging the crop and plants that can produce their own pesticide can deter pests without pesticide being applied. Both of these traits help farmers by reducing money spent on pesticides and by having less crops ruined by pests. Europe has banned these modified food products in fear that they might not be safe to consume. Here in the United States, there is no such law. There is a movement to get labels on genetically modified food products, but currently there is no way for a person to know if they are consuming a product with GMOs. There aren’t any studies about GMOs done on humans to prove or disprove their harmfulness therefore they have not been tightly regulated in the US so far.
Learn more about GMOs here: http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/gm/GMO
Posted By addie | August 30, 2016
Ever heard of self-care? Self-care is the act of doing certain activities that promote your physical, mental, and emotional health. Acts of self-care can be completely different for different people. Some possible activities include jogging, drinking a cup of tea, taking a walk, reading, knitting, making a smoothie or yoga. The list is infinite, but the point is to discover what activity relaxes you the most and making time for that activity everyday. Self-care is not meant to make your day more hectic, but the exact opposite. Instead of simply adding your self-care activity onto your already busy day, figure out what activity can be reduced, or even eliminated, from your schedule. For example, I use to spend the first fifteen minutes of my day on social media. Now I get out of bed right when the alarm goes off and stretch to begin my day on a more invigorating note. I also tend to watch a lot of TV shows via streaming devices, but now I make it a point to turn off the TV early and read from a book before bed. You can also figure out how to do your self-care while still taking care of something that needs to be done. If walking is a part of your self-care, use walking as your form on transportation instead of driving or taking a bus! Maybe self-care sounds easy, but the real challenge comes with time and commitment. It is essential to follow through everyday, even if you feel like you’re too busy. In the long run, taking care of yourself does you more good than that extra 20 minutes of stuff you accomplished instead of following through.
To learn more about what self care is and how to practice it visit: http://au.reachout.com/what-is-self-care