Category Archives: Public health

What’s Your Risk? Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

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May is Mental Health Month and this year’s theme is Risky Business. Mental Health America wants to educate people about how certain behaviors and habits can affect mental health. These include risky sex, drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, and problematic exercise routines. Mental illnesses affect almost everybody whether it is short term, long term, severe, or mild. According to a study, after following people ages 11-38, only 17% were able to avoid some sort of mental illness! Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse were the top three findings in the study.

College is a huge life transition. It is an exciting experience, but it is also full of stress and pressure to do well academically and socially. Did you know that 75% of all mental illnesses begin to show up by age 24? That makes college a critical time to become aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental illness. It is important for students to get help as soon as possible. Fortunately, the rates of students getting help has been increasing over the years, although it is difficult to determine how effective their help and treatment is.

The following link is a guide to common mental illnesses in college students. It provides coping strategies and advice to those who may be struggling with a mental illness, or those whose friends may be struggling. This link is also a great source to learn more about each mental illness.

http://www.learnpsychology.org/mental-health/

Mental illness is serious, and it is not something to be embarrassed about. There are people available who want to help. Here at MSUM, Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center is a place to go for help! Evaluate your behaviors. Are they risky? If you or a friend are showing signs of a mental illness, don’t be afraid to utilize your available resources!

 

Sources:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201705/mental-health-awareness-month

http://time.com/4473575/college-mental-health-guidebook/

https://namiwilmington.org/mental-health-month-2017/

Hear what SNHL’s Students have to Say!

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Are you interested in the areas of nursing or healthcare? MSUM’s School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership may have a program for you! Here is a list of SNHL’s programs:

  • B.S. Degree in Health Services Administration (major and minor)
  • RN to BSN (major)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (masters)
  • Master of Healthcare Administration (masters)
  • Nursing Educator (certificate)
  • Nursing Administration and Organizational Systems in Leadership (certificate)

It can be difficult finding a program and school that fits you. Fortunately, the SNHL faculty members here at MSUM strive to fulfill the goals of their students. There are several opportunities offered to enhance students’ learning experiences. Some of those opportunities include scholarships, study abroad, and academic conferences! The SNHL is a great fit for many! Here is what one of our own students has to say about her experience at SNHL:

“When I started at the MSUM I did not know about the HSAD program and I was a chemistry major. After the first semester I notice that there is something related to healthcare and I met with one of the professors, I was very interested in the HSAD and its classes because this was the thing that I want to do in the future. Being in the HSAD program needs passion in order to add to the healthcare field and find new ideas to improve it. The HSAD classes helped me a lot in knowing more about the healthcare and what are the things we should be aware of, because this is a place where you help others and provide care for them. I’m very happy that I graduated from this program and now doing my Master’s in health administration too!” – Marah Omar

Check out the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership’s programs today and learn about the many opportunities we offer!

 

Just Breathe! It’s National Clean Air Month 2017!

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We can all agree that air is an important part in our everyday lives. Without it, there is no life. What do we do when it starts to cause more harm than good? Education is a start! May is National Clean Air Month and the purpose is to educate people about the affects air quality can have on our lives. Clean air has been a hot topic for years as pollution increases and air quality decreases. Certain amounts of oxygen, carbon dioxide,  and nitrogen come together to create clean air. It does not include pollutants or allergens.

It’s important that we understand what clean air is and what is not clean air. Poor quality air causes harm to all living things. It affects plants, bodies of water, and animals. It also causes cancer and serious respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and worsens symptoms of those with asthma. Other health conditions caused by air pollution include nausea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, birth defects, developmental delays, compromised immune systems, and the list could go on. Low quality air affects the entire body!

Currently, about 39% of people living in the United States are living in poor air quality areas. Do you think that percentage is high? It is, but good news! This percentage is lower than last year! Our country has been working hard to improve air quality thanks to many factors including carpooling, walking, biking, or taking the bus to work; decreasing the output of pollutants from factories; recycling; and so many more. The Clean Air Act was established in 1970 and has created the base to our efforts towards clean air. Many decisions in the government that involve air quality are influenced by the Clean Air Act. Since 1970, there has been an increase in energy use, economy, and miles driven. You would think that air quality would get worse due to these factors, but thanks to the Clean Air Act, air has actually improved in quality!

Having clean air to breathe is vital for good health. Some places in our country need more work, but our efforts to improve the quality of the air that we breathe is working! Let’s continue to work toward a clean environment! Check out the following link to look at the rankings for cleanest and most polluted cities in the United States and see if you can find where Fargo-Moorhead area ranks!

City Rankings

Interactive Map of Quality

 

Sources:

http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/

http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/cleanairmonth.html

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749107002849

http://breatheproject.org/news/clean-air-dirty-air/

 

 

Congratulations To Our New Alumni!!!

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Now is the time of the year when some students have crammed for their last final, written their last paper and have finished any practicums or experiences. Tomorrow, May 12th, join us in welcoming new additions to our alum. Commencement will begin at 10 am tomorrow in Nemzek Hall. If you cannot join us in person, there is a link below for a live feed.

Live Stream

Below is a schedule for the entire day.

10:00 am Ceremony – Student Lineup begins at 9:00 am
College of Education and Human Services
College of Science, Health and the Environment
Graduate Studies

2:00 pm Ceremony – Student Lineup begins at 1:00 pm
College of Arts, Media and Communication
College of Business and Innovation
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Graduate Studies

Almost Free…Study Day is May 3rd 2017

never-study-hard-the-art-of-studying-smartToday is a day to both relax and panic. Today is MSUM’s study day. There are no classes held today and professors will be in their offices all day to offer help. The next 7 days are filled with finals that you may or may not be prepared for.

Every year the students can be sorted into two groups: Newbies and Old-timers. The newbies walk into their class at the normal time. They look around at all the empty seats. They have a nervous breakdown. They forgot that finals are not held at the same time as class normally is. Sometimes they get lucky and haven’t missed any finals, sometimes their luck stinks.

The Old-timers check when their finals are here. They get to their classrooms 10 to 15 minutes early. They still have a nervous breakdown, but at least they’re in the right place at the right time.

For example, someone may have General Chemistry II this semester every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am. For some reason, their final is being held on Tuesday at 9.

The School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership hopes you all study hard and long today so that you may pass your classes and finals with flying colors! Good luck to all!

Calling All Users of Science

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This Saturday there is going to be a series of marches and protests occurring in 358 cities in the United States and over 500 world wide. The March for Science is the first event of it’s kind. It is a call for support from all students, science-based careers and anyone who benefits from scientific advances (psst that’s everyone). It’s a nonpartisan even that is urging policy makers to look at evidence based practices and scientific data to influence their policies and ruling instead of money.

You can find a city near you here that is holding a march. The Fargo/Moorhead area is holding a large one that is expecting several thousand visitors. Here are some of the missions or goals that the March for Science hopes to achieve.

  • Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest. They wish for policy makers to make decisions not altered by other agendas.
  • Cutting-edge science education. They believe that a science background isn’t only for a select few, the entire  majority of the population should be able to interpret scientific literature.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. This comes into play with the previous mission, they wish to have an outreach in education.
  • Open, honest science and inclusive public outreach. Several policies that have been passed recently have banned or limited the exchange of scientific literature and dialogue. By restricting access to the newest information, the governmental body is harming it’s people.
  • Funding for scientific research and its applications. Under the proposed 2018 budget, all scientific bodies with federal funding will see a cut from 10% to 31%. They wish to change so that we are capable of producing more advancements.

In the few months that this has been planned, they have partnered with over 300 different scientific agencies and centers. Here is their page for the MN marches specifically.  They have several social media accounts; check them out on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.

 

Care for the Earth, and it’ll care for you Earth Day 22nd 2017

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Take a deep breath, now let it out. The air you just breathed in was probably refreshing at best, tolerable at worst. You might have noticed the onion or tuna you ate, but that was the worst of it. The next time you drink water, look at it. Is it clear? Probably. Is it colorless? Again, most likely. Is there water in your cup? Well duh.

Never before have these two things been at risk before, drinking and breathing, in the human existence time frame. With the help of globalization and a population boom, humans are having a profound effect on the world. We haven’t had to come to terms that it won’t last forever, because we’ve never had to worry about that in the past.

For the first time in human existence, carbon levels have risen above a threshold it has never crossed before. It didn’t just stop there; the current levels of carbon are sitting at 133% of that threshold. This rise in carbon is having an increased effect, often called the Greenhouse Effect. Due to this warming, there are many changes that are taking place in the world.

Professor Wallace recently gave a seminar on climate change here on campus and the effects that it has on human health. In her presentation she introduced us to some interesting points. A warmer world, even by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius shifts the mosquito habitat. More people will be exposed to mosquito borne disease and for longer times; Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile and the list goes on. Currently 3.6 billion are at risk for these diseases. With a temperature increase that number could rise up to 5 billion. Allergies will worsen as their window widens also. Flooding will increase, as will hurricanes and tornadoes.

Some cities have to issue warnings over smog exposure. It is estimated that of the 10 million deaths every year in China, 1 million is caused by pollutants. Exposure to all these new chemicals is wreaking havoc on our bodies and the environment. In addition to this smog exposure, there is an increasing amount of people with other respiratory problems such as asthma. In 2001, 1 in 14 people had asthma. In 2009, 1 in 12 people. That is the most recent number, although the CDC projects that as many as 1 in 10 people have asthma today.

The goal of Earth Day is to bring awareness to all these issues. It is trying to create scientifically literate people who will in turn be scientifically literate voters on environmental policies. They aim to change the direction of the world towards more green energy, jobs and technology. They hope that by 2020 a majority of the population will be able to understand the scientific literature that affects their lives and environments.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, and attendance was well above what anyone was expecting. 20 million people, roughly 10% of the population, joined the rallies and marches. It has been one of the most effective awareness days because it is bipartisan for the most part. After that first celebration, the government felt pressured into creating the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and the Endangered Species Act were also created.

Here are some more facts about Earth Day and our environment.

  • There is roughly 155 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean and roughly 9 billion is added every year
  • We will only be able to fill 60% of the world’s water needs by 2030 without better management
  • The Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 banned many chemicals that were ripping a hole in the ozone. Thanks to that act, the ozone is now healing and the hole is closing.
  • A convention was held in 1997, the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here many countries around the world pledged that they would work to sustain a diverse biosphere starting in their own countries.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standard is an aggressive self- proposed bill in California that says that the state has to get half their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Many states followed, but theirs is the most ambitious.
  • In 2012 the Earth Day Network planted 1 billion trees to try and bring back forested areas.

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/asthma/

http://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Earth-Day-Action-Toolkit-2017.pdf

http://mashable.com/2015/04/22/earth-day-facts/#ugyWvQqJIaqB

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-earth-day-46-facts-environment/