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Period poverty affects people all over the world. These women of color are working to end it



Period Poverty, Menstrual Health Awareness Month, Menstrual Health Equity, Black Women's Health and Wellness, Flow Initiative, Free Menstrual Products,

When Sabrina Natasha Browne runs out of menstrual hygiene products, she, like many people, goes to CVS and pays the $12-15 it may cost to restock. Four years ago, she didn’t realize what number of menstruating women simply couldn’t walk right into a pharmacy and walk out with the menstruation products they needed, especially in her community of Hoboken, New Jersey.

A New Jersey specialist said her eyes were opened when she participated in a volunteer produce collection event organized by The Hoboken Girl and Flow initiativea national nonprofit organization based in New Jersey.

“As a volunteer, I immediately motivated my network to donate thousands of products to those in need,” she added.

Browne didn’t stop there. She eventually became a partner in The Flow Initiative, working with founder Eiko La Boria to end period poverty for all. In particular, she works on organizational partnerships and increases consumer awareness of period poverty across the country.

“I’m proud to be a partner with The Flow Initiative and to be at the forefront of the menstrual health movement with Eiko as we work to end period poverty,” she explained.

Browne described period poverty as “a public health problem in which women, girls and people who menstruate do not have access to products that support menstrual health, including sanitary pads, tampons and sanitary pads.”

She added that this can be a global problem, affecting adults and kids. More or less two out of five teenage girls admitted they couldn’t afford menstrual products, one in five may miss school because of their period, and one other 44% said they felt embarrassed or ashamed about not having access to products. When women do not have reliable access to high-quality menstrual health products, it can impact their ability to go to school, work and contribute to society.

(From left to right) Sabrina Natasha Browne and Eiko La Boria. (Photo: Flow Initiative)

“Period poverty can impact a person in several ways, including disruptions to education, health problems, psychological impacts, economic mobility, and stigma and social isolation,” La Boria shared in an email. “The financial burden of purchasing menstrual products can strain limited household resources, exacerbating poverty.”

Period poverty is a public health issue that will disproportionately affect Black and Brown women and women of lower income status on this country. This may not only be access to the right products, but in addition the right tools to cope with symptoms comparable to pain from cramps.

“Even if a Black woman has access to menstrual products, the symptoms themselves can impact her education, work and personal life. But when these symptoms are compounded by period poverty, the losses can be even greater,” Browne wrote in an email.

While period poverty may accompany poverty generally, “it is not something that discriminates. I’m sitting here and I say, ‘Well, there’s a hot spot in this one particular state.’ Every state struggles with period poverty,” Browne explained.

The Flow Initiative, launched by La Boria in New Jersey in 2018, goals to end period poverty and further promote menstrual health equity. The national nonprofit uses a three-pronged approach to get to the heart of the problem. First of all, it helps deliver products. It then provides education on menstrual health and hygiene. The final step in her approach is to influence policy.

Last 12 months, The Flow Initiative marked the anniversary of his death New Jersey Bill A1349which requires all public schools to provide students in grades 6 through 12 with free menstrual health products. The bill also requires the state to cover the costs, which Browne said “relieves the burden on schools.”

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“From my perspective, we’ve seen that women, girls and people who menstruate feel this particularly at the school level because it’s a big part of what we do,” Browne added.

She explained that students “miss school, career development, and the opportunities that come with not having access to products. And now New Jersey is one of the first states to really chart a path where hopefully other states will replicate and pass similar laws.”

Universal laws could also potentially lead to greater public understanding of menstruation. Browne noted that half of the world’s population menstruates, yet there continues to be rampant misinformation and inadequate education.

Browne said that when organizing events, The Flow Initiative is inundated with questions, from general questions on periods to advice on the best products.

Period Poverty, Menstrual Health Awareness Month, Menstrual Health Equity, Black Women's Health and Wellness, Flow Initiative, Free Menstrual Products,
Sabrina Natasha Browne distributing menstrual health products. (Photo: Flow Initiative)

“In doing this work and talking to some of my peers, I learned how many of them either had periods but didn’t know what it was,” Browne noted. “I mean in each of our experiences, when you think about where (you were when) you got your first period: ‘Who helped me?’ “Who listened to me?” For some of us, these are moments of pride and excitement. For others, it may bring back pain and sadness.”

Browne, who’s of Liberian and Belgian descent, said she grew up in a house where menstruation was not shameful. She was raised with enough supplies, not stigma, and was given the number 101 by her grandmother. La Boria, a Puerto Rican woman, didn’t know the details of menstruation until her first period, when her mother, who worked as a nurse, explained to her that it would occur every month.

“I was devastated and irritated,” she said. “It inspired me to provide young people with the education to know what is happening to their bodies, the ability to properly manage their menstrual cycles and understand the enormous responsibility that comes with it.”

Since its inception, the Flow initiative has made quite a few advances. To date, the organization has distributed over 1.3 million menstrual health products, conducted just over 300 workshops, and, as well as to successfully supporting the passage of Bill A1349, helped organize New Jersey’s official Menstrual Health Equality Day on May 28.

They also had the opportunity to partner with major players in the menstrual health market, including U by Kotex and Other partners include Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and more.

Browne said that from White House meetings to influencing local policy, the Flow Initiative has managed to establish itself as a “credible national player” in the mission for menstrual health equity.

“We are credible, we are compassionate. We are on the front lines of this work. And that is what the brands which have worked with us appreciate,” she said.

The initiative can be all the time relevant. As part of a social media campaign called ‘Voices for Change’, the organization is organizing a period products drive to secure £100,000 in funds to support students over the summer months. La Boria said they are also preparing for more initiatives.

“The Flow initiative is in an era of innovation and diversification of solutions. We are preparing exciting initiatives,” she said.

To learn more about period poverty and the way you possibly can support its efforts, visit the website Flow Initiative website.

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Health and Wellness

After the surgery, I was given opioids to take at home. What do I need to know?




Opioids are sometimes prescribed after discharge from the hospital after surgery to help relieve pain at home.

These strong painkillers may cause unwanted unintended effects or harm, reminiscent of constipation, drowsiness, or the risk of addiction.

However, you may take steps to minimize this harm and use opioids more safely after recovering from surgery.

What varieties of opioids are the most typical?

The mostly prescribed Post-operative opioids in Australia include oxycodone (brand names include Endone, OxyNorm) and tapentadol (Palexia).

In fact, about half latest oxycodone prescriptions in Australia, according to a recent hospital visit.

Most often, patients will receive immediate-release opioids for pain relief. These are fast-acting drugs and are used to treat short-term pain.

Because they work quickly, their dose could be easily adjusted to your current pain level. Your doctor gives you instructions on how to adjust your dose depending in your pain level.

Then there are slow-release opioids, that are specifically formulated to release your dose slowly over about half to a full day. They could also be marked on the carton as ‘prolonged release’, ‘controlled release’ or ‘prolonged release’.

Slow-release preparations are mainly used for chronic or long-term pain. Thanks to the slow-release form, the medicine doesn’t have to be taken as often. However, it takes longer to achieve effect compared to an immediate-release drug, so it is just not commonly used after surgery.

Controlling pain after surgery is necessary. This will assist you to rise up and move faster and get better faster. Moving early after surgery prevents muscle atrophy and harm related to immobility, reminiscent of pressure sores and blood clots.

Everyone’s pain level and pain medication needs are different. Pain levels also decrease as the surgical wound heals, so you might need to take less medication as you get better.

But there’s also risk

As mentioned above, unintended effects of opioids include constipation and feeling drowsy or nauseous. Drowsiness may additionally increase the risk of falling.

Opioids prescribed for pain relief at home after surgery are often prescribed for short-term use.

But to one in ten Australians proceed to take them up to 4 months after surgery. One study found that individuals didn’t understand how to safely stop taking opioids.

This long-term use of opioids can lead to addiction and overdose. It may additionally reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. This happens because the body gets used to the opioid and wishes more of it to get the same effect.

Addiction and unintended effects are also more common slow-release opioids than immediate-release opioids. This is because people normally take slow-release opioids for a very long time.

There are also concerns about “residual” opioids. One study found that 40% of participants were prescribed them greater than twice the amount they needed.

This leads to unused opioids remaining at home could be dangerous the person and his or her family. Storing leftover opioids at home increases the risk of taking an excessive amount of, sharing it inappropriately with others, and taking it without medical supervision.

Don’t keep leftover opioids in your medicine cabinet. Take them to the pharmacy for secure disposal.
Photo by Archer/Shutterstock

How to minimize risk

Before using opioids, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about using over-the-counter pain relievers reminiscent of acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medicines reminiscent of ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen, Brufen) or diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren, Fenac).

These could be quite effective in controlling pain and can reduce the need for opioids. They can often be used as a substitute of opioids, but in some cases a mixture of each is mandatory.

Other pain management techniques include physical therapy, exercise, heat or ice packs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss which techniques will profit you most.

However, for those who do need opioids, there are a couple of ways to ensure that you might be using them safely and effectively: :

  • ask about immediate release as a substitute of slow-release opioids to reduce the risk of unintended effects

  • you must not drink alcohol or take sleeping pills while taking opioids. This may increase drowsiness and lead to decreased alertness and slower respiration

  • as you might be at greater risk of falls, remove trip hazards from your private home and ensure that you may safely get off the sofa or bed and go to the bathroom or kitchen

  • Before you begin using opioids, make a plan together with your doctor or pharmacist about how and when to stop using them. Opioids after surgery are best taken at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.

Woman holding a hot water bottle (pink cover) on her stomach.
A heat pack may help relieve pain so that you need to use less painkillers.
New Africa/Shutterstock

If you might be concerned about unintended effects

If you might be concerned about the unintended effects of using opioids, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Side effects include:

  • constipation – Your pharmacist will give you the chance to offer you lifestyle advice and recommend laxatives

  • drowsiness – do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you are attempting to not sleep during the day but still go to sleep, the dose could also be too high and you must contact your doctor

  • weakness and slow respiration – this may occasionally be an indication of a more serious side effect, reminiscent of respiratory depression, which requires medical attention. Contact your doctor immediately.

If you might be having trouble withdrawing from opioids

If you could have difficulty coming off opioids, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can suggest alternative methods of relieving your pain and offer you advice on progressively reducing your dose.

Withdrawal symptoms reminiscent of agitation, anxiety and insomnia may occur, but your doctor and pharmacist can assist you to manage them.

What about leftover opioids?

When you stop using opioids, take any leftovers to your local pharmacy for secure and free disposal.

Do not share opioids with others and keep them away from others in your household who do not need them, because opioids could cause unintended harm if not used under medical supervision. This may include accidental ingestion by children.

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Health and Wellness

The best tunnel look from Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals





Last night, the Boston Celtics won the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on their home court. However, in matters of style, there have been several other winners before the match. The core members of the Celtics decided to decorate comfortably slightly than flashily as they’d done previously. For example, Jayson Tatum appeared in a tunnel look consisting of a chic striped sweater and slim pants. The moment was a bit laid back, nevertheless it was a sanitized tackle streetwear.

Jaylen Brown, the 2024 Finals MVP, wore an all-black outfit: His outfit consisted of a black t-shirt and one other long-sleeved version underneath. He paired these pieces with elegant tailored trousers and leather shoes.

An additional look I liked was PJ Washington of the Dallas Mavericks. He wore a striped shirt and crisp dark blue jeans. This tunnel kit was an elevated version of the game day uniform.

Before the game, Tim Hardaway of the Dallas Mavericks wore a yellow sweater with a white T-shirt underneath and dark brown pants. His teammate Kyrie Irving wore an identical cream long-sleeved ensemble that stood out.

Check out the best tunnel looks from Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals below.

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Health and Wellness

Do you suffer from mental illness? Why some people say yes even if they haven’t been diagnosed




Mental illnesses akin to depression and anxiety disorders have gotten more common, especially amongst people young people. The demand for treatments is increasing, and some of them can be found on prescription psychiatric drugs They climbed up.

These rising trends within the prevalence of mental illness are accompanied by a rise in public interest in mental illness. Mental health messages saturate traditional and social media. Organizations and governments are increasingly urgent in developing awareness-raising, prevention and treatment initiatives.

The culture’s growing interest in mental health has obvious advantages. It increases awareness, reduces stigma and promotes help-seeking.

However, this will involve costs. Critics are nervous social media mental illnesses breed in these places and that extraordinary unhappiness becomes pathologized by the overuse of diagnostic concepts and “therapy says“.

British psychologist Lucy Foulkes argues that trends in attention growth and adoption are related. Her “prevalence inflation hypothesis” suggests that growing awareness of mental illness may lead some people to be misdiagnosed when they experience relatively mild or transient problems.

Foulkes’ hypothesis suggests that some people have too broad conceptions of mental illness. Our research confirms this view. In a brand new study we show that lately, the concepts of mental illnesses have broadened – we call this phenomenon “concept creep“- and that people are different when it comes to their concept of mental illness.

Why do people self-diagnose mental illnesses?

In our recent one testwe examined whether people with a broad understanding of mental illness are in actual fact more prone to self-diagnose.

We defined self-diagnosis as an individual’s belief that she or he has a disease, whether or not she or he received a diagnosis from a specialist. We assessed people as having a “broad understanding of mental illness” if they considered a wide selection of experiences and behaviors to be disorders, including relatively mild conditions.

We asked a nationally representative sample of 474 American adults whether they believed they had a mental disorder and whether they had received a diagnosis from a health care skilled. We also asked about other possible aspects and demographics.

Mental illness was common in our sample: 42% said they self-diagnosed it, and most of them received it from a health care skilled.

People with greater knowledge about mental health and fewer stigmatizing attitudes were more prone to report a diagnosis.
Mental Health America/Pexels

It is due to this fact not surprising that the strongest predictor of reporting a diagnosis was experiencing relatively severe stress.

The second most vital factor, after distress, was the broad concept of mental illness. When anxiety levels were the identical, people with broad concepts were significantly more prone to report a current diagnosis.

The chart below illustrates this effect. It divides the sample by levels of distress and shows the share of people at each level who report a current diagnosis. People with broad conceptions of mental illness (the best fourth of the sample) are represented by the dark blue line. People with a narrow definition of mental illness (lowest fourth of the sample) are marked with a light-weight blue line. People with broad views were way more prone to report mental illness, especially when their distress was relatively high.

The percentage of participants with a broad (dark blue) or narrow (light blue) conceptualization of mental illness who self-diagnosed various levels of distress.
Provided by the authors

People with greater mental health knowledge and fewer stigmatizing attitudes were also more prone to report a diagnosis.

Our study results in two further interesting conclusions. People who self-diagnosed but didn’t receive an expert diagnosis tended to have a broader understanding of the disease than those that diagnosed it.

Additionally, younger and politically progressive people were more prone to report the diagnosis, which is consistent with some opinions previous researchand held broader conceptions of mental illness. Their tendency to carry more expansive concepts partially explained their higher diagnosis rates.

Why does this matter?

Our findings support the view that expansive conceptions of mental illness encourage self-diagnosis and should thus increase the apparent incidence of mental sick health. People who’ve a lower threshold for outlining distress as a disorder usually tend to discover as having a mental illness.

Our findings do indirectly show that people with broad concepts overdiagnose and people with narrow concepts underdiagnose. They also don’t prove that having broad concepts of self-diagnosis or leads to a rise in mental illness. Nevertheless, the findings raise serious concerns.

First, they suggest that increasing awareness of mental health can come for a price. In addition to increasing knowledge about mental health, this will increase the likelihood that people mistakenly recognize their problems as pathologies.

Incorrect self-diagnosis could have opposed consequences. Diagnostic labels could be identity-defining and self-limiting when people begin to imagine that their problems are everlasting. difficult to manage facets of who they are.

The woman is crying
Some people may misidentify their problems as mental illness.
Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Second, unfounded self-diagnosis can lead people experiencing relatively mild levels of hysteria to hunt help that’s unnecessary, inappropriate, and ineffective. Last Australian research found that people with relatively mild distress who received psychotherapy were more prone to worsen than to get well.

Third, these effects could also be particularly problematic for young people. They are most prone to broad conceptions of mental illness, partially because social media consumptionand comparatively often experience poor mental health. Time will tell whether expansive conceptions of illness play a job within the mental health crisis amongst young people.

Continuous cultural changes favor increasingly expansive definitions of mental illness. These changes will likely have mixed blessings. By normalizing mental illness, they may help remove its stigma. However, pathologizing some types of on a regular basis suffering could have an unintended downside.

As we grapple with the mental health crisis, it’s critical that we discover ways to boost awareness of mental sick health without inadvertently increasing it.

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