Posts tagged with "help"

Handcuff art via Allison Christensen for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Human trafficking can be defined as “a crime that  involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” 

The illegal ring of human enslavement primarily for sex acts has been a problem in the United States for quite some time. The popularity of social media combined with the ongoing stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic have only furthered the presence of human trafficking in the country.

Human enslavement has been a rampant problem often stemming from the Midwest, expanding through the rest of the country. The Midwest serves as the epicenter for trafficking endeavors for several reasons. First off, the number of federal interstates that are common make it easier to transport victims. Commerce tends to be high in areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, simplifying the traveling process of victims. The Midwest has, too, been regarded as a safe part of the country, which masks the existence of human exploitation in this part of the country.

Although servitude of humans has great linkage to the Midwest, it has an intense correlation to the Black community, specifically Black woman. According to the FBI, 53% of all children involved in juvenile prostitution arrests are Black.

This linkage stems back to the racism and oppression prevalent in US history, combined with sexualization of people of color. The Center on Poverty and Inequality generated a study to investigate this point, and found that adults generally regarded Black girls as “less innocent and more adult like than white girls.” Black women continue to be targeted, predominantly by white men. A 2012 research study found that about 85% of people who purchased sex online were white men.

These prejudices impact perpetrator motives, as they are statistically more likely to go after Black girls/ women. A two-year review of alleged enslavement occurrences found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were Black women.

The pandemic and the rise of social media, too, has played its factor in the rise of human subjugation. With many individuals suffering from economic and social deficiencies, trafficking systems have grown exponentially. The victims tend to be vulnerable, often children, in search of some form of attention. Victims often are coerced into enslavement with false promises of jobs or stability.

The growing commonness of human trafficking in the US is alarming and must come to a stop. One of the key problems that prevents victims from being identified is that they often do not believe they are victims. Victims cannot comprehend or see what they’re going through to be considered exploitation, as they often form trauma bonds with their abusers, are hidden in plain sight.

Common signs that can help us identify human trafficking:

  • Physically appearing malnourished
  • Physical injuries
  • Avoidance of eye contact, social communication; primarily with law enforcement
  • Rehearsed replies in social communication
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Staying at hotels/motels with older males
    • Victims refer to males as boyfriend or “daddy” – street slang for pimp
  • Young children serving in family restaurants
  • Individual not allowed in public alone, often spoken for

Trafficking cases continue to grow in numbers, with victims regularly becoming younger and younger. A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to over 19 years in prison for sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl. This NC proceeding provides insight into common patterns that occur in human enslavement circumstances. It highlights the dominance of social media used in trafficking acts, the susceptibility that victims face and how perpetrators are typically somewhat close to victims.

Authorities were made aware of this case on January 1, 2020, when a 23-year-old girl was a believed victim of sex trafficking. They were able to uncover that from December 2 to the 25 of 2019, Simone McIllwain had been sex-trafficking the young girl in the Charlotte area.

The girl met McIllwain through a shared relationship, when McIllwain started advertising the girl online for commercial sex. She arranged that the 13-year-old girl would perform sex acts in her own hotel room, while she obtained segments of the profits.

She pleaded guilty of sex trafficking of a minor in April 2021, when she was placed in federal custody. Now, she has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Written By: McKinley Franklin 

Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Tornadoes Devastate Central and Southern United States

A devastating stream of tornadoes unleased late Friday December 10 and early Saturday December 11 across sections of the central and southern United States. In accordance with information from the Storm Prediction Center, there were at least 50 tornado reports. The states affected include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.

Click HERE to see how you can assist and support the victims of these destructive tornadoes.

The most substantial damage arose as Tornadoes and strong winds broke down a nursing home in Arkansas, an Amazon warehouse in western Illinois and an inhabited candle factory in Kentucky. People were killed in all separate incidents and responders have been struggling to rescue survivors.

At least one death out of an anticipated two in Arkansas has been credited to the collapsing of a nursing home. Several were trapped in the nursing home before being saved. Around 20 people were injured at the nursing home, and eventually all were taken out of the home and accounted for. Another individual in Arkansas was reported dead after being trapped in a Dollar General when the storm hit, as reported by Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook.

One of the tornadoes fell upon an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois on the night of Friday December 10. Authorities were unable to recount the exact number of workers in the Amazon warehouse because “the warehouse does not employ a ‘set staff.’” It has been verified, however, that at least two individuals died when the warehouse collapsed. Edwardsville police chief Michael Fillback validated this report on Saturday December 11 and stated that an additional person was hospitalized.

Fillback also communicated that rescue operations were not at ease due to misplaced power lines, concrete and extra water everywhere from the fire suppression system. An OSHA investigation was opened on Monday December 13 to dig deeper into the collapse of the Amazon warehouse.

On the night of December 10, another tornado hit the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory in the Mayfield, Kentucky. Inside, around 110 people were working, and dozens were anticipated to be dead there. At least 40 people were rescued from the candle factory, but piles of metal and corrosive chemicals that toppled the factory limit the number of anticipated survivors that could be found alive.

Kyanna Parsons-Perez, survivor of the catastrophe that struck the candle factory, recounted the events of that night. She explained that workers had been hurried into a safety area before the storm officially hit. Parsons-Perez recounts seeing “a little dust of wind. My ears start popping. And it was like the building, we all just rocked back and forth, and then boom — everything fell on us,” Parasons-Perez told CNN’s Boris Sanchez.

During the devasting storm, Parsons-Perez broadcasted the tragedy on Facebook Live and made phone calls to 911 and other family members. She recounts realizing that rescuers were there when she felt pressure from people walking on the debris above her. “I was screaming like, ‘Sir, can you please just get this so I can move my leg?’ He said, ‘Ma’am, there’s about 5 feet worth of debris on top of you,'” Parsons-Perez recounts.

As of Monday December 13, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said that there is a confirmed number of 64 deaths across Kentucky, and that it could take some time to account for the full number of fatalities and damage that fully hit the state. Beshear noted that at least 105 individuals were unaccounted for as of that Monday morning. At least 13 people in the other varying states have been confirmed dead.

Emergency workers consisting of 300 members of the National Guard have been searching for survivors, searching through wreckage and remains and delivering water and generators to residents of Western Kentucky. Beshear talked of the damage during a press conference, stating “I’m not doing so well today and I’m not sure how many of us are. The people of Western Kentucky have gone through an unspeakable trauma. The devastation is unlike anything I have seen in my life,” Beshear stated.

President Biden is scheduled to travel to Kentucky on Wednesday, December 14 to assess damages and aid in the recovery processes. “We’re going to get this done. We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help,” Biden stated during a briefing on Monday December 13 regarding federal reaction to the destructive tornadoes. Biden ensures that he does not want to get in the way of rescue efforts, but to just provide aid to the community that truly needs it in these trying times.

By: McKinley Franklin

Heather Skovlund's artowkr for 360 Magazine by use of 360 Magazine

Tips for Remote-Work Balance

5 Best Practices When Working From Home for Better Work-Life Balance 

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that millions of people around the world are working from home. Telecommuting has become the norm, and it is here to stay. Some report higher productivity when working from home. There is a flip side, too, though, to working remotely. Remote workers are more likely to experience burnout, with more than 50% likely to work longer hours. Burnout happens when the work-life balance goes awry, which can lead to physical and mental health issues. How do you strike a healthy work-life balance when working remotely? 

When working remotely, switching off your laptop after your official workday is easier said than done. This research says just as much. Here are 5 actionable tips that will help you separate your work life from your personal life for better physical and mental health. 

1. Create a separate work area

Creating separate areas for work and play helps you draw the line between when you are working and when you are taking time off. When you are working from home, it can go either way – you might find it difficult to find the motivation to work. After all, there is nobody watching you and holding you accountable, as long as you are meeting your deadlines. Or, you could constantly bring your work to the dinner table or even to your bed. 

Segregating areas can help you move in and out of work mode and chill mode easily. Even if you live in a studio apartment by yourself, create a dedicated work corner. Put a desk with a comfy chair and your basic office stationery. Home of Cozy has exhaustive guides to home and office furniture, so it becomes easy for you to choose the best value buy. 

When you routinely sit down to work in that corner, your brain automatically knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time to switch off. 

2. Set a routine

Before working remotely became the norm, most of you commuted to an office space. Whether it was via public transport or driving your own car, there was a gap between when you left home and when you sat down for work. It holds true even for people who live a block away from their company office. 

When you are working from home, it’s easy to rush from bed straight to your work corner. Doing so takes away from personal time. When it becomes an everyday occurrence, it hampers your work-life balance. Create an everyday routine to replicate that buffer you got when you were commuting to your office. 

Taking a walk outside when you first wake up, listening to your favorite podcast, or even keeping an hour away only for breakfast are all ways to gradually move into your workday.  

3. Set boundaries

When you are living with someone and working from home, it is important to set boundaries. Very often, you can get sucked into a household chore, which eats into your work time. You compensate for that loss by working a little later than usual. Before you know it, you are answering emails from your bed late at night and having marathon work calls at the dinner table. Your work-life balance goes for a toss. 

Set boundaries with both factions – your boss or clients and your family and friends. For instance, make a rule that you will not attend any work calls after 8 pm. Communicate it clearly to your manager and stick to it. Similarly, if you are living with your parents, tell them you are off-limits during certain hours of the day. For some people, a flexible schedule might be more conducive. People with kids might prefer to keep a loose routine and an overall commitment to work a set number of hours every day. Whatever rules you make for yourself, make sure you communicate those to the people around you. And learn to say no. 

4. Schedule times to check emails

Almost all of us have a smartphone today. We can check emails on the go. It is very easy to get sucked into responding to emails after your workday. Restrict refreshing your inbox to twice a day at specific times. The beginning of your workday and somewhere in the latter half of the day are good slots to reserve for checking and responding to emails. 

Disable email push notifications on your phone. Configure your Do Not Disturb settings such that you only get notifications for incoming calls and texts.  

5. Take frequent breaks

When you are working from an office, you probably get off your chair to go to the water cooler once every couple of hours. You gossip with your colleagues a little, go for a smoke, and take a break from screen time. At home, be mindful about punctuating your day with small breaks. Get up from your work desk every hour just to stretch. Take a 30-minute break and get a sandwich for lunch from your neighborhood Deli. 

Create a water-cooler corner at your home and use this space to interact with others around you. Maybe you can use this time to have a quick chat with your kid before you get back to work. Taking small breaks helps you retain focus, which translates to better productivity. The Pomodoro technique works on the same principle. 

Besides all of that, use technology for better time management. Google Calendar for blocking meeting times and Trello for tracking ongoing projects are two very effective time management tools.

 

I ❤️ Beirut

By Justin Lyons

Mika announced Wednesday that his “I ❤️ Beirut” concert, which was live-streamed Sept. 19 on his YouTube channel, raised more than €1 million for the people of Lebanon.

An explosion at a Beirut warehouse on Aug. 4 killed more than 200 and injured more than 5,000.

Ticket sales, sponsors and public donations all contributed to the large sum that will be split between the Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children.

Tickets were purchased in 120 different countries via Ticketmaster, the most in the ticketing giant’s history. Donations also poured in from 48 different countries via a GoFundMe page.

The show featured megastars like Salma Hayek, Danna Paola, Rufus Wainwright, Kylie, Mashrou Leila, Louane, Etel Adnan, Fanny Ardant and Laura Pausini. It has also picked up interest from major television stations across the world.

Mika joined Georges Kettaneh, the secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, and Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK, on a video call Wednesday to make the announcement. He thanked everyone who helped the fundraiser cross the €1 million mark.

“I also wanted to say how amazing this statement of solidarity for the situation in Beirut has been, with tickets for the stream selling to over 120 different countries around the world,” Mika said. “This has been a project that was born out of and made possible by love, and a huge amount of collaboration with friends and many new friends made in the process.”

The certified gold and platinum artist was born in Beirut and is now celebrated around the world.

Kettaneh also thanked donors, saying the Lebanese Red Cross would continue to use the funds to support the people of Beirut.

“The people of Beirut face a long road to recovery, with this generosity and the continued support we have received from around the globe, we can continue to stand alongside them for as long we are needed,” Kettaneh said.

Watkins also chimed in to say Save the Children would work to help children and families affected by the explosion.

“All donations will be going toward our emergency response efforts in Lebanon, which include weather proofing damaged homes, supporting vulnerable and displaced families with food and cash grants, and providing ongoing psychological support for children and families,” Watkins said.

Donations can still be made to the campaign’s GoFundMe by clicking right here. The goal of £150,000 has already been passed, and it is closing in on £200,000.

You can also learn more about the Lebanese Red Cross by clicking right here and about Save the Children UK by clicking right here.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Healthcare Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Authenticx x Healthcare Companies

Healthcare companies are at the center of so many debates right now, and their involvement in the pandemic is one of the biggest.

Having to answer customer questions while COVID-19 impacts the nation in a manner unprecedented in our lifetime can be a challenge, but Authenticx is offering advice to companies attempting to provide answers.

Authenticx CEO Amy Brown said the upcoming flu season will bring about more questions, and we can use the past several months to prepare.

“Americans are tuned into what healthcare experts are saying like never before. We’re urging healthcare providers to seize this opportunity to listen to the concerns of the public and use their resources to provide clear guidelines and straightforward advice so healthcare consumers can make the best decisions to protect themselves and others,” Brown said.

Based on 45,000 data points pulled from customer conversations, Authenticx was able to determine three main concerns regarding coverage. The three concerns are as follows:

1. Contraction Risk: Patients have divided themselves into different demographics trying to determine the possibility of contracting COVID-19, and the flu will only make it more difficult to determine. Customers called their healthcare providers to ask questions like:

  1. Should I get my flu shot this year or does that lower my immune system?
  2. Is there anything I should know about flu shots relative to my specific treatment plan?
  3. Should I quarantine if I think I have the flu?
  4. How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19? What should I do about that?

2. Flexible Payment Options: Unstable employment and loss of insurance have been devastating results of COVID-19, but customers are still trying to remain safe. Customers reportedly asked how to proceed forward with healthcare given limited financial flexibility. Those concerns are not likely to curtail in the very near future.

3. Supply Chain & Access to Medications: With COVID-19 taking priority in national health, many patients expressed concern about getting medication they required prior to the pandemic. Issues with the mail system could also cause consumers to panic if their medication sees shipping delays or problems. Between flu shots and COVID vaccines, drug manufacturers are being kept busy. Some worry they’re too busy to handle normal mandatory medication.

Brown said healthcare companies can implement a listening system for customers with these questions by doing the following:

1. Listen at Scale: It will be nearly impossible to give full attention to each and every customer. The goal should be to prioritize the most important questions and select customer interactions to monitor. Determine a specific sample size suited to the customer base and use that sample to select questions and customers to address specifically.

2. Be Strategic: Listening can provide insight when choosing a strategy for engaging with customers. The customers will tell companies what they are hoping for in terms of service, and that information can be used to change for the better. Once a strategy is solidified, deploy resources to give the customers what they hope to receive from the company.

3. Move Fast: Begin moving on customer questions right away. As news regarding healthcare develops, so do the needs of the customers. Concerns not handled right away could get lost in the shuffle in an ever-developing news cycle, and customers want their problems solved in real time.

To see a full step-by-step guide on how to properly serve healthcare customers right now, you can click right here.

Cash Money Records Donates Rent

Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams of Cash Money Records have donated over $225,000 to Forward Together New Orleans (FTNO), the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization filling urgent gaps in community needs and available resources to protect our city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though initially planned for May, funds will be used specifically to pay the June rent for hundreds of subsidized tenants and families who are most at need, and live in the former Magnolia, Calliope, and Melpomene projects, now known respectively as the Scattered Sites Harmony Oaks, Marrero Commons, and Guste. Tenants will be notified directly if they are included in the grant, which will go to the landlords.

The Williams brothers grew up in New Orleans and went on to establish the top independent record label in the country launching the careers of dozens of artists including Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and Nicki Minaj. Giving back to their community and those less fortunate is a priority for the brothers who created their own 501(c)(3) organization The Johnny and Gladys Williams Foundation—named after their parents as a channel for their philanthropic endeavors. For over 20 years, via The Johnny and Gladys Williams Foundation, the Cash Money duo has given away free Thanksgiving dinners and partnered with Ochsner Health Systems to provide free health screenings available to all New Orleans residents who come to the turkey give-away.

Bryan states, “The legacy of Cash Money belongs to the city of New Orleans. There’s nothing more important to us than giving back to the brothers and sisters who live on those same streets we grew up on – from musicians to service workers to everyday working families. That’s what this label was always about.”

“New Orleans made us and is part of who we are,” says Ronald. “We are devastated that this pandemic is hitting our community there so hard and we are committed to doing what we can to help now and in the long term.”

Given the scale of COVID-19 and its far-reaching impacts on the City of New Orleans, Forward Together New Orleans plans to immediately issue checks to the scattered sites to pay for June rent for those tenants who are in the public housing programs, excluding any monies already subsidized by the government and other organizations. FTNO is The Mayor’s Fund which began as New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s transition committee and now plans to thrive long past her tenure in office, a vehicle that offers nonprofit, partnership support to future New Orleans mayors.

Said Mayor LaToya Cantrell: “In years to come, when we look back on how our city came together to get through the coronavirus crisis, we will have no better example of leadership than the Williams brothers, these sons of New Orleans who make our city proud today. No one should have to fear losing their home while trying to protect their health. That is why we have been leading the charge in New Orleans to make housing moreaffordable, and quickly banned evictions in our city during the COVID-19 crisis. This helps us continue that path, demonstrating how we can come together as businesses, government, and non-profits to address our residents’ most pressing needs now.”

Mayor Cantrell’s administration has uncovered hundreds of millions in infrastructure dollars to fix New Orleans’ ancient drainage system, and now turns its attention to human infrastructure. After Hurricane Katrina while a neighborhood leader, Mayor Cantrell helped stand up five community health clinics to bring affordable access to residents. As Councilperson, she led the fight to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. As Mayor, she formed Fit NOLA, a partnership between the City of New Orleans and local organizations working together to fight obesity by promoting physical activity and improved nutrition. She created the Fast Track City Steering Committee to develop an HIV strategy to end the epidemic by 2030. With a majority Black population, New Orleans is especially hit hard by the underlying health issues which have caused the Black community to experience a higher death rate from COVID-19.

The Forward Together New Orleans Board is uniquely suited to help respond to the pandemic and its ensuing health disparities. Dr. Kathleen Kennedy is the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Xavier University of Louisiana. In 2007, Dr. Kennedy organized the first national health disparities conference (which continues annually) for mid-level health care professionals. She served as the Director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education during Hurricane Katrina until 2009. Dr. Kennedy is also the Chair of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the American Heart Association, and Chair of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools.

“We’re in a moment of serious crisis for our city, and FTNO is committed to acting as a hub for business, government, and community-based organizations to work together on response and recovery. As a continuation of my work on health disparities, I am proud to support the Cantrell Administration’s efforts and will move quickly and decisively to help New Orleans recover again, as I did after Hurricane Katrina” said Dr. Kennedy.

Fellow Board Member Dr. Eric Griggs has a unique perspective as a community health expert. He is on the front lines of the pandemic as Director of Community Medicine at Access Health Louisiana, where he has been hosting regular Facebook lives to educate residents on COVID-19 preparedness, along with Infectious Diseases Physician Dr. MarkAlain Dery and Chief Medical Editor for WDSU, Dr. Corey Hebert. As a board member of the South Broad Community Health Center, formed in Mayor Cantrell’s own neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina, he is steeped in experience of how neighborhoods can lead the charge for recovery.

Board Member Dr. Silas Lee’s extensive knowledge of and experience with the social and cultural dynamics of urban society, as well as his expertise in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, offer an important perspective for Forward Together New Orleans.

The organization has recently distributed grants to the City of New Orleans for other COVID-19 related projects. The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families is using $30,000 toward providing infant and feminine hygiene products to families in need. They are also providing paid summer internships and year round programming for youth with juvenile justice involvement. That grant will provide the participants with hotspots, tablets, and or laptops so they can access resources and pursue workforce readiness training opportunities.

About Cash Money Records

Since 1991, Brothers Bryan “Birdman” Williams aka “Baby” and Ronald “Slim” Williams have built Cash Money Records into a legendary force in the music industry. Through tireless devotion and an unparalleled work ethic, the duo founded the legendary label in the New Orleans housing projects and elevated it into a multi-million-dollar empire and cultural tastemaker.

The label also houses Lil Wayne’s imprint Young Money Entertainment (Drake and Nicki Minaj) as well as a publishing arm Cash Money Content. Cash Money Records is distributed by Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company.

About Forward Together New Orleans

Forward Together New Orleans is dedicated to helping all the people of New Orleans. Our goal is to make the city a fairer, more inclusive place – a city of opportunity for all. We work toward this goal by forging partnerships between community organizations and the business and philanthropic sectors. These partnerships are meant to improve the lives of New Orleanians in every corner of the city. Forward Together New Orleans is a 501(c)(3) organization that launched in 2018 as the transition committee for Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell. In those early stages, FTNO brought together some 200 community stakeholder volunteers to collaborate on a set of recommendations for the incoming administration.

Since that time, FTNO has evolved into an effort to bridge the public and private sectors and address New Orleans’ most pressing challenges.

As of the spring of the 2020, that challenge is the coronavirus, an extraordinary public health and economic threat. Forward Together New Orleans partners with the City of New Orleans to assist with mobile testing, neighborhood navigators, rental assistance, food security, and a bridge fund. Board members include Eric Griggs, M.D., Dr. Silas Lee, and Dr. Kathleen Kennedy. Liana Elliott, Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Cantrell, serves as liaison to the board from the City. Founded to reflect the collaborative, grassroots leadership Mayor LaToya Cantrell has brought to City Hall, the goal is for FTNO to thrive long past her tenure in office, a vehicle that offers nonprofit, partnership support to future New Orleans mayors.

NYC “Guardian Angels” Help Homeless

Guardian Angels Wash, Feed Homeless on NYC Subways Amid COVID-19

‘Nearly 1 in every 125 New Yorkers is homeless’

In the vast NYC Subway system, there are 472 stations and 23 different subway lines. Even during normal times, the homeless and the many Emotionally Disturbed Persons choose the subways and trains to ride back and forth on to stay warm and dry, says  Curtis Sliwa, founder of the  Guardian Angels, a non-profit organization that has been helping people worldwide since 1979.

Now that we are under the Corona Virus Spread, NYC being the worst area, the presence of the homeless and EDP’s, is more pronounced. They are in desperate need of help but no Government agencies are doing interventions. They have locked their offices and sheltered in. The NYC Guardian Angels have filled the void.

The Guardian Angels walk up and down the trains first doing Wellness Checks. Then they approach the homeless who live on the train and have them wash their hands with alcohol wipes. The Angels give them a care package with water, food and wipes. They also use disinfectant and wipe down the areas that the homeless are either sitting in or laying down on. No one else is doing this.

“Nobody is tending to the homeless and emotionally disturbed, a population where Coronavirus could spread like wildfire,” Guardian Angel founder  Curtis Sliwa recently told The Post.

Unlike our politicians who spend every day blaming one another for this Corona Virus Flu spreading, the Guardian Angels, are showing how people should not wait around for our leaders to figure out that they must work together on these problems.

The Guardian Angels say “FEAR NOT.” Take proactive measures. Mother Teresa and her nuns didn’t wait for governments to deal with the Lepers in the Leper colonies. They took proactive measures and helped those who had Leprosy. By the way, they didn’t wear masks or gloves. We are safe and we will continue to come to the aid of those who have been forgotten and ignored. The Homeless and the many EDP’s.

According to the non-profit The Bowery Mission, nearly one in every 125 New Yorkers is homeless,  reports Emily Drooby of NetTV

About the Guardian Angels
In 1979, New York City was the crime capital of the United States. Along with many NYC natives, Curtis Sliwa grew tired of the subway threats, street fights and fearful nights. These dangers and lack of control were the impetus for Sliwa’s groundbreaking idea: The Guardian Angels. Conceived as a grassroots opportunity for individuals to rally with one another, The Guardian Angels quickly became an international phenomenon. Known by their signature red berets, the Angels’ persona stood for justice and the empowerment of individuals.

Today, The Guardian Angels have expanded into 14 countries and over 140 cities. The volunteer organization continues to flourish as individuals assume local responsibility for their communities. It is a constant example of the power of “Us and We, not I and Me.”

Website: http://guardianangels.org

Wine Enthusiast, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, Alejandra Villagra

Lotus Chefs × COVID-19 Care

NEWS AND SUPPORT FROM LOTUS CHEFS AND RESTAURANTS

Andrew Wong and Kimberly Hernandez boxing up at home meals for elderly, vulnerable and in need hospitality workers in the community. 

In these difficult times, our clients are working tirelessly to offer educational and practical initiatives, but also to bring some excitement to many who are struggling with the boredom and loneliness of isolation. At Lotus, we cannot express enough our pride in representing them and we believe they can help make this whole process a little easier. We will continue to support our restaurants and chefs and the industry through this time of adversity.

Andrew Wong, London

Michelin starred chef Andrew Wong is working to create at-home meals for elderly and vulnerable members of the local community with the help of his protégé Kimberly Hernandez, Head Chef at Kym’s. Using restaurant quality produce, meals will be packaged and hand delivered free of charge, ready to be heated up at home. The boxes will be left on the doorstep of those who are self isolating to minimise human contact for those who are at high risk. For the time being the initiative is being organised through his local parish church – St Peters in Eaton Square. Andrew will continue to work tirelessly to find opportunities to keep his staff busy and motivated whilst also giving back as much as he can to his surrounding community in SW1.

Brace, Copenhagen

The team at Brace have just launched an incredible take-away option at their Copenhagen restaurant with a huge selection of dishes that can be collected, heated and finished at home. The new take-away menu very much carries the soul of Brace and utilises all local, organic and wild produce with sustainability and seasonality at its core. Dishes can be ordered every day of the week, for both lunch and dinner online at www.restaurantbrace.dk.

WAGYUMAFIA, Japan & Hong Kong 

Kobe beef specialists Wagyumafia have started their first-ever premium meat home delivery service. Supporting his farmers is Wagyumafia founder Hisato Hamada’s top priority, saying ’As we promised them, despite the current crazy crazy situation, we will never stop, but keep thinking and be more creative than yesterday.’ For people living in Japan please message @wagyumafia_butcher and in Hong Kong message @wagyumafiahk for details on how to order.

Aqua Crua, Barbarano Vicentino (VI)

In the initial weeks of the COVID 19 contagion, before the total lockdown of the country, Giuliano Baldessari from 1* Michelin Aqua Crua in Vicenza was the first chef in the country to offer his guests a “Comfort the Souls” – a bespoke 4 course menu for €30 that could be collected from the restaurant and enjoyed at home. Aqua Crua has since closed and will reopen in April. Baldessari has joined many Italian chefs in the initiative #iocucinoacasa (I cook at home) by Gambero Rosso, by showing a short and easy recipe for home cooking: watch here. He is going live daily on instagram at 3:30pm GMT with recipes and cooking techniques.

TURK Fatih Tutak, Istanbul

Istanbul’s critically acclaimed TURK Fatih Tutak has closed its doors until further notice, however, stay tuned for home-style recipes and tutorials on chef Fatih Tutak’s Instagram. His video tutorials will showcase Turkish dishes with soul that will be easy to produce, nourishing and inventive.

Marsan and Joia, Paris

Hélène Darroze has closed the doors of her Parisian restaurants; Marsan and Joia until further notice. The 2* Michelin chef and her teams are respecting French isolation instructions, and plan to come back stronger when they reopen their doors. For updates please follow @helenedarroze,  @marsanparhelenedarroze,  and @joiaparhelenedarroze.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, London

Hélène’s two Michelin star restaurant at The Connaught has restricted it’s opening hours, and will now close on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  It remains open Wednesday to Saturday, and the team looks forward to welcoming guests, with restricted reservations, spacing between tables and increased hygiene practices. For news please follow @helenedarrozeattheconnaught.

Ikoyi, London

Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Okdukale have taken the sad decision to temporarily close Ikoyi in St James’s Market. They will continue to support the entire Ikoyi team, and once things have settled, start cooking again.  For updates please follow @jeremychanikoyi and @ikoyi_london.

Mirazur, Menton

Mirazur has temporarily closed in Menton, on the Cote D’Azur. Mauro, Julia and the whole Mirazur family look forward to welcoming guests again soon.  For news and recipe inspiration please follow @maurocolagreco and @restaurantmirazur.

Il Pagliaccio, Rome

Anthony Genovese and the team of 2* Michelin Il Pagliaccio in Rome have also joined the movement started in Italy earlier this month for a stronger and safer future, by closing the restaurant until the 4th April.

Lux Lucis, Forte dei Marmi

Lux Lucis in the Hotel Principe Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany, home to the Michelin starred cuisine of Valentino Cassanelli, has postponed its seasonal reopening from March until May this year.

Duomo & I Banchi, Ragusa 

A ‘see you soon’ has been sent from Sicily from Ciccio Sultano, as he closes I Banchi and 2*Michelin Duomo in Ragusa until the 6th April. Sultano, though, has joined many Italian chefs in the initiative #iocucinoacasa (I cook at home) by Gambero Rosso, by showing a short and easy recipe for home cooking: watch here.

Farzi Cafe, London
Modern Indian Restaurant Farzi Cafe have closed their doors until further notice, but look forward to receiving guests as soon as they can. For updates please follow @farzilondon.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Ending Suicide This National Suicide Prevention Month

By Vinay Saranga M.D.

National Suicide Prevention Month is this September, with Suicide Prevention Week being recognized Sunday, Sep. 8, 2019 – Saturday, Sep. 14, 2019. Suicide is a growing issue in America, with an estimated 44,965 Americans ending their own lives each year, or roughly 123 each day. Think about that for a moment: 123 people each day saying they’ve had enough.

Suicide is the worst possible outcome there is not just for the individual, but for the family he or she leaves behind. Quite often this involves parents and grandparents, children, siblings and friends who are left wondering why. Why did he do it? Why didn’t I see the signs? Could I have done more? Is this somehow partially my fault? Was I not nice to him or her?

As mental health professionals, it hurts us too. If the person didn’t get help, why not? Was he or she denied access to mental health benefits? If he or she was under our care, where did we go wrong? Did we not see the signs or prescribe the wrong course of treatment?    

When it comes to suicide, there are no straightforward answers. In fact, most of the time, we never get answers unless the person left behind a note, and even then, we are still often left scratching our heads in disbelief and dismay.

That’s why initiatives like National Suicide Prevention Month and Suicide Prevention Week are so important. It helps us shine the light on the pain of suicide, even if for a short period of time. The reality is, we need to have open conversations about suicide, depression and overall mental health all the time, 365 days a year. We need to end the stigma surrounding mental illness immediately or unfortunately, suicide will continue to needlessly end the lives of so many around us.

The only bit of good news is that suicide is preventable, but an intervention must take place. The driving force behind a suicide must be properly dealt with before it spirals out of control, whether this is a mental illness, nasty divorce, job loss or anything else.

We can provide hope and support by starting a conversation. Reach out to help normalize the topic. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment for mental illnesses. It is not a sign of weakness. Someone suffering from heart disease wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for their heart condition. The same normalization needs to be visible in the mental health community. If you suspect someone might be suicidal, here are some things you can do to help.

Talk

Again, help normalize the topic by conversation. Simply asking someone if they are thinking about suicide is a good step. Never promise to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. Be open and non-judgmental. Encourage immediate professional intervention through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is available 24-hours a day.

Connect

Professional help is essential. Don’t just suggest it because they might be unlikely to follow through. Do it for them. Someone who might be suicidal could be suffering from deep depression, mania and other conditions that sometimes prevent clarity. Do the research and help get them set up with an appointment with a mental health professional like a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or licensed counselor.

Support

If someone in your life is contemplating suicide, constantly remind them that there is hope. There are many successful treatments which can help turn how their feeling around. Life is worth living. Continue to support and communicate with them. You can increase their feelings of connectedness and share your ongoing support. There is evidence that even a simple form of reaching out, like sending a card or email, can potentially reduce their risk for suicide. Remember, loneliness is a major cause of depression.

This National Suicide Prevention Month, let’s put an end to this horrific epidemic once and for all. The more we continue the conversation and bring attention to it, the more people we will reach and save.

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry. http://www.sarangapsychiatry.com/

Catt Sadler is Speaking Up to ‘Change This STAT’ on Cervical Cancer Screening

Questions for 360 Magazine with Catt Sadler on 6-20-19 on Cervical Cancer.

Question: Talking about cervical cancer. Why are women less likely to be screened?

Catt Sadler: Well, I think there’s a plethora of reasons why women are not getting screened. Sometimes it’s just that they’re so incredibly busy. You know, we forget we’re in the fast lane. We have so many obligations that we’re just not making our annual exam a priority. I also think that, a lot of women just aren’t armed with the information. The statistics are alarming. They’re shocking. One woman every two hours is dying of cervical cancer. One in five women are not getting screened for cervical cancer. More than half of the new cases of cervical cancer are in women who are rarely getting screened or aren’t getting screened at all. So we want to empower women with this information to go out and do what they need to do because cervical cancer is so very preventable, right? So if I can use my voice and be aligned with this initiative to help women get to the doctor and we can in fact change these statistics, then I will have done my job.

Question: Great. Is health insurance not taking preventative measures or is health insurance taking preventative measures for this?

Catt Sadler: It’s my understanding that health insurance is very on board with this cause. Obviously we want to eliminate the deaths associated with cervical cancer in general. So most insurance policies are covering the HPV and pap test together as part of the well visit. I understand that the Affordable Care Act also covers this particular screening. But there’s a wealth of information on changethisstat.com/ for more specifics on how it might pertain to you and whatever plan that you have personally.

Question: And what made you want to be part of this discussion?

Catt Sadler: Well, I’m a champion of women in general. I have spoken out on a lot of issues. I believe in standing up and using our voices. I’ve done that in regards to pay inequality. I work with a foundation, Women Like Us, where I’m supporting women-led causes all around the world. And so when this was brought to my attention that cervical cancer was killing so many women and that it was so preventable, it just seemed like such an easy formula that if I could use my voice and put it out there and tell women what they can so easily do to make change. It was really a no-brainer.

Question: And are there any dietary measures women can take to lessen their chances of contracting this disease?

Catt Sadler: I’m not sure about that. I am not a medical expert. But I do know that again, the website answers those very specific medical questions. I would say to go to changethisstat.com/. There is a lot of information out there all over the Internet, but not all of it is particularly accurate. I’m confident that what you will find on

changethisstat.com/ is really the best information out there for women in regards to that.

Question: And last question, can self-diagnosis help or are there any early signs women can be on the lookout for?

Catt Sadler: Not really. No. I mean, that’s what’s kind of scary about cervical cancer in particular. It’s not like you start feeling a different way necessarily. You might feel as if you’re in perfect health. There aren’t any real glaring signs necessarily, and it can happen so quickly. Hence the encouragement of going to your doctor annually and regularly, you know. It doesn’t matter your age. It doesn’t matter how you’re feeling. It’s just all of the experts in all of the research is pointing to going and getting this particular screening at your doctor.

Question: Okay, thanks. Give me that website one more time.

Catt Sadler: It’s changethisstat.com/

Question: Perfect. Thanks, Catt.

Catt Sadler: You’re welcome. All right. Take care. Bye. Bye.