We’ve all heard the slogan “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” but do any of us stop to reflect on this public safety campaign? According to the National Highway Safety Transit Authority (NHTSA), drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year — that’s one person every 50 minutes. This astounding statistic is compounded by the fact that every year, traffic-related deaths spike between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This timeframe is described by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals as “one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving.” Consequently, the federal government has designated December as National Drunk Driving Prevention Month. This is to remember the lives lost as a result of those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by impaired driving.
How to Observe National Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Month:
- Do a sober period – During December, try to challenge yourself and set a period of time without drinking alcohol.
- Take a cab or ride-sharing app after a party – “Who’s got the Uber?” . . . (YOU)
- Be a designated driver – This selfless act is sure to impress the in-laws!
- For more information about impaired driving please visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving
Unfortunately, it should be no surprise to anyone that America is in the midst of a mental health crisis, which has only become exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic. One group particularly affected by this crisis are America’s farmers and ranchers. They face many barriers to receiving care such as transportation difficulties, limited providers, or stigma in their fiercely independent and private communities.
By the Numbers:
- Farmers are among the most likely to die by suicide, compared with other occupations, according to a January study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also found that suicide rates overall had increased by 40% in less than two decades.
- More than 450 farmers killed themselves across nine Midwestern states from 2014 to 2018, according to data collected by the USA TODAY Network and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. The real total is likely to be higher because not every state provided suicide data for every year and some redacted portions of the data.
- The deaths coincide with the near-doubling of calls to a crisis hotline operated by Farm Aid, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to help farmers keep their land. More than a thousand people dialed the number in 2018 alone, said spokeswoman Jennifer Fahy.
At Apportis, we seek to expand rural mental health access for farmers and ranchers in the Midwest region. By surrounding our farmers with a community of care, more people will be able to spot the red flags of mental health issues in our aging farmer population. By getting our farmers the help they need, we can lessen the suicide rate, as well as provide the resources to most effectively manage the stress than comes with the agricultural lifestyle.
If you or someone you know is dealing with mental health issues, please contact:
Farm Aid Hotline, 800-FARM-AID (327-6243) Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7
Well I took this one right out of Joan Callamezzo’s playbook: Gotcha! With my homage to NBC’s sitcom Parks and Recreation, I wanted to take time to highlight tomorrow as ‘Family Health & Fitness Day.’ Celebrated the second Saturday in June each year, this special day promotes the importance of parks and recreation in keeping communities healthy. That is why the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) designated this year’s theme “Parks Build Healthy Communities.” So to participate, Apportis team members chose to show off their favorite parks in the Columbus and Cleveland areas. For me this was an easy assignment, as I live across the street from Goodale Park, but it caused me to reflect on this theme and how our parks are really centers of our community.
We all just experienced three months unlike any other in our lives, but it was amazing to see the “connectiveness” of everyone in our community. For me, nowhere was that more evident than the park right across the street from my house. As I worked from home in my living room I couldn’t help but notice the diverse range of people using the park. Despite nearly every entertainment and fitness business closing, there was one place they could still use to stay fit. While everyone chose to use the space in different ways to exercise, everyone adhered to some form of social distancing. Whether they were wearing masks, deliberately staying 6 feet away at all times, etc. there was one commonality, we’re all in this together – connected.
This really struck me when I recently bothered to read the inscription on the statue of Lincoln Goodale. It reads: In 1851 he donated this beautiful parcel of land to the City of Columbus to be “forever kept and preserved as a public park,” thus making Goodale Park the oldest in the city. For me, this really hit home that 169 years later I still get to enjoy his gift to the city and his legacy in the community.
Please share your Family Health & Fitness Day ideas, virtual events and photos with us on social media using the hashtag #NRPAFamilyFitDay.
In his final year in office, President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place June 1969 in Manhattan. This was a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations in response to a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a well-know gay bar in New York City. At the time, Gay Americans faced an anti-gay legal system in which their havens were raided and leaders arrested. The Stonewall riots are widely considered the catalyst of the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.
The 1960s were tumultuous time of social upheaval and it’s important to remember those who fought for the civil rights of the LGBT community. In June 2009, President Barack Obama expanded the commemoration further by declaring June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.” As our understanding of this community continues to expand, so does the desire for inclusion and connectedness. Just like any marginalized population, those who are LGBT can face mental health issues. Therefore, it is essential for these at-risk individuals find acceptance and understanding with their peers in their community. This is why we commend groups such as the Kaleidoscope Youth Center who work alongside queer youth to create free programming, housing, and support services here in Columbus, and all over the state of Ohio.
The Apportis platform was built for easy integration with groups like KYC, to provide their users and staff with the ability to connect virtually, find localized resources in their community, and a peer to peer interface. So just like how LGBT individuals found a home at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, we hope to provide that community and sense of belonging in the 21st century!
Please use #PRIDE2020 #PrideMonth and #Pride to raise awareness on social media.
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are three types of viral hepatitis. Although each type of viral hepatitis is caused by a different virus and is spread in different ways, they all affect the liver and can cause serious health problems according to the CDC. Learn the ABC’s of Hepatitis.
Apportis is proud to be providing a solution to benefit patients who need help in many areas. During this time of social distancing, telemedicine enables patients who are shut-in or housebound to reach out for services without the need to leave home, making it easier to manage their conditions without in-person consultations. This National Hepatitis Awareness Month, all are asked to join Apportis in spreading the word and encouraging others to get educated on this epidemic that impacts so many.
Please use #HepAware2020, #HepTestingDay, and #hepatitis to raise awareness on social media.