LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

MARCH is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and the National Disability Rights Network have created a campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as barriers that people with disabilities sometimes face when connecting with the communities they live in.

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THE start of a new year brings a time in which we look to creating resolutions on how to better ourselves physically, but at times we neglect our mental and emotional state.

In addition to starting a membership at one of the local gyms, we may need to seek services related to our behavioral health. Behavioral health includes not only ways of promoting well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, but also has as an aim preventing or intervening in substance abuse or other addictions. Behavioral health looks not only at prevention and treatment for our mental health and/or substance abuse addictions, it also provides us with the supports we need in Recovery for our conditions.

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SINCE this is November 2016 and also Diabetes Awareness Month, I have decided to talk about my diabetes and how I have dealt with it since I was diagnosed in 2004.

When the doctor told me that I had an elevated sugar level and that I would need to go on medication to control it, I was shocked. I thought I was healthy. Days after the doctor’s visit, I had not taken any medication and was still in disbelief. This wore off eventually, but only after denial, learning about diabetes, wallowing in my sorrow, and then acceptance. This process took me several months to a year. Even after this, it was still very difficult to talk about it with anyone, including my wife, who is my partner in life.

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EVERY October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month.

The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages. This week (October 17-30) is STAND UP for Others week.

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ISLANDERS have long held a cultural belief in the value of an extended family structure woven tightly in and around an unconditional love and respect for our elders.

Our “local” sense of family is deeply rooted in a kind of obligation to assist one another and to take into account the needs and wishes of the family when making decisions. Some of that obligation can include domestic work, childcare, sending money home, going home, donating to family events such as funerals, helping our relatives, putting people up in our homes and, above all, respecting and caring for our elders.

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SEPTEMBER is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control states that about one out every five children in the United States has obesity and certain groups of children are more affected than others.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey done with CNMI high school students over a 10-year period had shown a decrease in the rates of obesity, but those rates are once again beginning to rise. Childhood obesity can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Children who have obesity may also face other challenges like bullying and stigma.

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OUR vision is a valuable sense that many take for granted, but if you have ever been hit in the eye by ball out on the playground or gotten sand in your eye during a day at the beach, you know there is no joy in having limited vision.

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. A time when we “look” at helping our children maintain their vision.

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MANY a youngster has asked this question. Some responses might be that it is a reflection of the ocean, or as NASA puts it: Purple light is scattered in all directions by tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Purple is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves.

Wait, what’s that you say? The sky is blue, not purple? Continue reading