June is Pride Month!

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Many people know that June is Pride Month, but do you know the history behind it? Officially known as LGBT Pride Month, June is a time to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, which helped launch the push for LGBT rights into the mainstream media.[1] On June 28, 1969, at around 1:20am, police arrived at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, NY to conduct a discriminatory police raid. At the time, homosexuality was still criminalized. Men could also be arrested for dressing in drag and women received the same punishment if they were found wearing less than three pieces of “feminine clothing.”[2] The 200 or so patrons at the Stonewall Inn resisted and rioted until nearly 4:00am, resulting in thirteen arrested protesters, four injured…
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Mental Health Awareness Month: Balancing Work and Life

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Work allows you to provide for yourself and your family while also serving a purpose in the community, but when it takes over your life it can negatively affect your health. How health suffers when work takes over your life: Mental and physical impacts of workplace burnout and stress are estimated to cost as much as $190 billion per year ($6,025 per second) in healthcare spending in the U.S.[1]Poor work-life balance increases your risk for health conditions like sleeping problems, digestive disorders, and mental health problems. This is especially true for people who work longer shifts or on nights and weekends.[2]Working overtime increases the likelihood of having symptoms of depression, especially in men.[3] For people with chronic conditions, balancing the demands of work while also caring for your health or…
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Mental Health Awareness Month: Finding the Humor in Life

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Finding humor in the circumstances of life can lift moods with laughter and help people to better deal with and overcome difficult experiences. Hormones produces by stress can do a lot of damage to the mind and body over time. Since humor and laughter reduce the amounts of these hormones, it has been shown that they can help reduce the risk of blood clots, heart conditions, and other stress-related diseases.[1] When you incorporate humor into your life, you are likely to see many benefits, including a stronger immune system, improved mood and anxiety relief,[2] better interactions with others,[3] and less burnout on the job.[4] When you laugh, your body: Decreases stress hormone levels[5]Stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles[6]Increases activity in the brain’s reward systemReleases endorphins, the body’s natural pain blockers[7]…
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Mental Health Awareness Month: Connecting with Others and Finding Your Passions

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Finding other people to relate to and doing things that bring you enjoyment are great ways to improve your mood and overall mental health. Loneliness can dramatically affect your health. Feelings of loneliness can cause the same amount of damage to your lifespan as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.[1] Being lonely is associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure in older people.[2] Poor social support makes it harder to recover from mental illness, while a strong social support system improves overall outcomes and the ability to bounce back from stress.[3] One study even found that women with breast cancer who have weak support systems before treatment have more pain and symptoms of depression over time.[4] How social interaction and recreation can benefit you: People with strong social relationships…
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Mental Health Awaresness Month: Getting in Touch with Your Soul for Health

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Regardless of whether you rely on meditation, yoga, or religion, caring for your soul is an important part of taking care of yourself that can improve physical and mental health along the way. Spirituality and religion can mean something different to everyone. Some feel a connection to something larger than themselves, while others find the ideas of an organized religion personally important. What benefits can you get from being spiritual or religious? One study found that people who attended religious services monthly showed a 22% lower risk of depression[1]U.S. military veterans who identified themselves as being highly religious or spiritual showed high levels of gratitude, purpose in life, and post-traumatic growth, and lower risk of depression, suicidal thinking, and alcohol abuse than their lesser or non-spiritual/religious peers[2]In a study of…
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