Domestic Partner Abuse

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By Tracy Fromm, Mental Health Counselor for Caring Communities Domestic partner abuse is widespread in the U.S. The phenomenon is also known as intimate partner abuse and battered women’s syndrome. Those of any socioeconomic class can become victims of domestic abuse. Both heterosexuals and those within the LGBTQ+ community are at risk.  Intimate partner abuse also affects individuals of all ethnic/racial backgrounds. Victims of domestic abuse, in the majority of cases, either live/cohabit with another person who is physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abusive.  These individuals live a very difficult existence. In most cases, the abuser uses assaultive and/or coercive tactics to gain power and control in a relationship. No one consciously chooses an abusive partner and the initial signs may be subtle.  Many abusers begin by making comments, such…
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National HIV Testing Day – June 27th!

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Each year June 27th is set aside to promote National HIV Testing Day (NHTD)! The awareness day, first observed in 1995, is a time to focus on the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV.[1] The 2020 NHTD theme is all about the power of “knowing.” Not just knowing your status, but knowing your risk, knowing your prevention options, and knowing your treatment options.[2] Together with the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, the CDC aims to empower communities and healthcare providers to reduce stigma and prevent HIV transmission, especially among the hardest hit populations. Both campaigns also state the importance of staying healthy when living with HIV and to know what services exist in your community to help. Here’s how Caring Communities can help you stay “in the…
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The New “Normal”

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by Tracy Fromm, Mental Health Counselor for Caring Communities Well, two months have passed since the inception of social distancing and self-quarantine.  I can honestly say I thought this would be an easy transition.   As I spoke with clients early on, I noticed a willingness to adapt to the new changes, to cooperate with requests by our President and Governor to “social distance.”  However, the longer the duration of isolation, I am noticing more anxiety with clients and difficulty dealing with monotony and boredom.  Continued confinement is antithetical to human beings.  We are beginning to “long” for previous times, the freedom to go anywhere and not have to strategize our every move.  We want to return to a time when we didn’t carry hand sanitizer and wear a mask.  Our…
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May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

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May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States! This is a time to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and encourage our communities to get tested.  There are several types of hepatitis, all of which affect the liver. Most have treatments available, though they do not all have vaccines or cures.  Hepatitis A: This is a vaccine-preventable, contagious disease of the liver transmitted by blood or stool. Those who contract hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months, but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. (1)  The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is to get vaccinated, and most children in the U.S. are vaccinated around age 12-23 months. The vaccine has been shown to last at least 20 years. (2)  Hepatitis…
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Self-Care During Stressful Times

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by Tracy Fromm, Mental Health Counselor at Caring Communities The ultra-stressful outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a reality shock and upended life for all of us. No one in the world can say their lives have not been affected in various ways. It is an event unlike any other we have experienced. After several weeks of being informed about the virus, and the mandate of social distancing and limited travel, many people are experiencing “cabin fever”. Individuals are not used to being isolated from others. We need and want companionship. We hope that this will all be soon behind us. So how can we continue to maintain our equilibrium, our mental health, and live without having residual feelings of anxiety or uncertainty once this virus has ended? It…
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