Posts tagged with "help"

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.

HELP USA helps children

Helping Children Experiencing Homelessness to Succeed in School

At HELP USA, we believe that housing is only the beginning. We do everything we can to ensure that our residents thrive. For our youngest residents, this means making sure they get the best education possible. At HELP Bronx Crotona, a family shelter in the South Bronx, we have dramatically improved school attendance rates for the youth who live there. As a result of a partnership with the NYC school system, over 25% more students have good attendance rates. We’re excited that our young people have made such dramatic progress, and look forward to sharing more about our clients’ successes in the future!

Jon Bon Jovi visits HELP USA!

April is National Volunteer Month, and we’d like to say thank you to the many volunteers that help us accomplish our mission. We recently hosted a very special day of service in Newark, NJ. Students from Rutgers beautified the grounds of JBJ Soul Homes, and Jon Bon Jovi himself even stopped by! Jon Bon Jovi is a longtime friend of HELP USA and partnered with us to build JBJ Soul Homes and other housing developments. To learn more, visit our website.

“HELP was wonderful” – Ivy Lee’s Story

When Ivy Lee’s mother passed away, he found himself without a safe home. So he turned to HELP USA, where he found a new, affordable apartment at HELP Philadelphia V.

Click to hear why he’s grateful to HELP USA.

GIVE TODAY!

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.