Stop Stressin’

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by Dr. Chelsea Graziano, Assistant Director of Case Management When an individual is experiencing stress, their body activates their sympathetic nervous system, often known as the “fight or flight” response. This name is based in the evolutionary theory that when the body becomes stimulated by something that is dangerous to our safety, it needs to be prepared to do one of two things: fight to stay alive or escape the danger. These may have been an individual’s best options for survival during early evolutionary history when the major sources of stress were life threatening. (Think wooly mammoths and competing tribes with spears!) However, “fight or flight” responses do not always work with today’s life stressors. Despite our internal desires to want to fight the person who cuts us off in…
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STI Awareness Week

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The second full week of April serves as the annual observation of STI Awareness Week. This year it runs from April 11-17, 2021 and includes several themes encouraging our communities to know their status and maintain their health. Our focus this year is on “Talk, Test, and Treat,” a set of three simple actions that can help protect your sexual health! Talk We encourage everyone to talk as openly as possible about their sexual health! This means having on-going conversations with your partner(s). Here are some ways you and your partner(s) can make sex safer: Be open about if one of you has an STI or HIV, if it is safe to do so. Talk about the last time you were tested for an STI. Would you be willing to…
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LGBT Health Awareness Week

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National LGBT Health Awareness Week is a time to bring attention to the health disparities that affect the LGBT community. This year’s awareness week will be observed March 22-26, 2021 and marks the 19th annual observance. Individuals in the LGBT community have many of the same health concerns as the general population, but a combination of stigmas, rejection, violence, and inequality means they experience certain health challenges at a higher rate with less support[1]. Historically, healthcare access has been harmful to the LGBT population. Until 1973, homosexuality was considered a disorder by professionals, and it wasn’t until 2013 that transgender status was removed as a disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Additionally, many LGBT individuals have previously been subject to reparative therapies such as electroshock…
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“Sleep It Off”

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by Dr. Chelsea Graziano, Assistant Director of Case Management Medical recommendations indicate that adults should be getting on average 8 hours of sleep per night. At that rate, an individual spends a whopping 2,912 hours asleep per year. This equates to 232,960 hours of sleep in your lifetime based on the current average lifespan in North America of about 80 years. That is a total of 26.6 years of sleep! However, many of us experience poor sleep at least periodically, if not more pervasively, throughout our lives. If you knew you were going to be doing something for an average of 26.6 years of your life you would probably want to make the best of it, right? As we approach Daylight Savings Time and prepare to lose an hour of…
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Let’s Talk About Sex (and Intimacy)

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by Dr. Chelsea Graziano, Assistant Director of Case Management Along with what seems to be a never-ending amount of snow, the middle of February brings the tidal wave of Valentine’s Day. Jewelry commercials, condom ads, specials on dinners for two at your favorite local restaurants, markups on chocolate, and heart shaped everything…seriously everything. From early ages we are socialized to see the need for romantic relationships during this time of year. Every year elementary students wait eagerly to see who put valentines in their hand decorated boxes in the classroom. Society puts such pressure on the need for romantic partnerships and their tie to self-worth. As we mature, those eagerly awaited paper valentines tend to become replaced with the idea that romanticism and intimacy are tied to sex.  This begs…
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