Every November, AAHP observes American Diabetes Month to promote awareness of diabetes and our work to help Black Montgomery County residents manage and prevent diabetes. More than 34 million Americans live with diabetes, with African Americans facing higher risks of death and serious health complications from diabetes compared to White Americans. AAHP’s Diabetes/Heart Health focus area gives hope and resources to diabetics (and prediabetics) who wish to take control of their health by making positive lifestyle changes.
This American Diabetes Month, AAHP challenges you to take AT LEAST one of the following actions to spread awareness of diabetes and its impact:
- Learn more about AAHP’s services and programs for diabetes education, prevention and management by visiting AAHP’s website.
- Attend a Health Promotion (formerly called Chronic Disease Management) class on zoom. Check out AAHP’s calendar to see the class schedule, and click on the Zoom link for each class to register and attend.
- Sign up for dMeetings, AAHP’s online diabetes education classes.
- Sign up for AAHP’s new Diabetes Prevention Program (see more info below).
- Share a post about diabetes from AAHP’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages.
If you are prediabetic or at risk for developing diabetes, join AAHP’s new Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Led by the Centers for Disease Control, the program guides participants through lifestyle changes that can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Learn more:
Most people understand that smoking can lead to lung cancer. In fact, according to the CDC, smoking causes roughly 90% of all lung cancer deaths. However, despite being highly preventable, lung cancer kills around 146,000 Americans each year. But what is the reality behind those numbers? Consider these five lesser-known facts:
- Lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined.
- African American men have the highest rates of lung cancer in the U.S., with an incidence rate 30% higher than for White men. Both African American women and men are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer in spite of lower smoking rates and less exposure to cigarette smoke compared to White Americans.
- Because lung cancer screening comes with health risks, lung cancer screening is recommended only for people who have a history of heavy smoking, and currently smoke or recently quit within the past 15 years, and are between the ages of 55 and 80.
- People who live and spend a great deal of time around smokers increase their lung cancer risk as much as 20-30% through secondhand smoke.
- More than half of lung cancer patients die within one year of diagnosis.
For information and resources to help you or a loved one stop smoking, visit Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services online or call 240-777-1222.
Life continually throws at us unexpected challenges. At times, the pace of life and our various struggles overwhelm us. How we respond in these moments impacts our health more than most people may realize. We must protect our physical and mental health by focusing on building emotional resilience and managing stress in healthy and productive ways.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to learn and practice good stress management. Learn breathing techniques
that can help you relax and lower your blood pressure. Pray, meditate, and practice gratitude as best as you can according to your faith. Exercise regularly to fight depression, manage your weight, and prevent chronic disease. Consider professional therapy and self-care coaching. These health practices can help you keep your mind and your body strong.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you respond to stress in harmful ways such as drinking alcohol in excess, using drugs, or overeating, your body and your mind will take a hit. Chronic stress keeps our cortisol (stress hormone) levels elevated, which can impair immune function, increase the risk for chronic disease, and make it harder to lose weight. Stress can exacerbate a host of health issues, including heart disease (leading to strokes and heart attacks), preterm labor, mental illness, and substance abuse.
While it’s almost impossible for most people to have the best response to stress 100% of the time, we can do the best we can, one decision at a time.
- Over 70% of young people who took a screen at mhascreening.org between April and July 2020 mentioned loneliness and isolation as the main things contributing to their struggles. Learn more about #CopingDuringCOVID at mhanational.org/backtoschool.
- Young people continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID19 related mental health issues. Roughly 9 in 10 are screening with moderate-to-severe depression and 8 in 10 are screening with moderate-to-severe #anxiety. Learn more at mhanational.org/backtoschool. #BackToSchool2020
- Chronic loneliness, which many of us are feeling these days due to COVID19, can translate to poor sleep, high blood pressure, greater risk of suicidal ideation, and even alcohol and drug use. Learn more about #CopingDuringCOVID at mhanational.org/backtoschool. #BackToSchool2020
- If your kid or teen seems to be struggling, and it persists, something more serious might be going on. Get screened for mental health at MHAscreening.org. #BackToSchool2020
- Since March of 2020, 83% of 11-to-17-year-olds screened positive or at-risk for #anxiety at MHAscreening. org, and 91% screened positive or at-risk for #depression. Learn more at mhanational.org/backtoschool. #BackToSchool2020 #CopingDuringCOVID
- 61% of teachers said their jobs were always or often stressful and 58% said they had poor mental health due to stress. Debates over reopening and safety concerns are making teachers’ mental health worse. Learn more at mhanational.org/backtoschool.
In support of Black Montgomery County moms and their families, AAHP is excited to introduce a series of videos and online tools on pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, and more. Visit AAHP’s website to see the coming videos on pregnancy through the first year of life.
Check out the SMILE program’s childhood development classes, featuring presentations by SMILE nurse case managers. The more moms learn and participate in SMILE activities, the more SMILE bucks they can cash in for giveaways and prizes like pacifiers, books, car seats, and more. The next class will be held on November 20 at 1pm. Check the calendar for later dates. Learn more about the SMILE bucks program here
Although social distancing remains in effect for Thanksgiving, putting a twist on your videochat festivities can offer new ways to make special memories. Research creative celebration ideas, such as planning a family menu and cooking together while videochatting. Coordinate a recipe swap and cook-off. Take a “Zoom 2020 Family Photo.” Have a centerpiece contest. Creativity is key in helping us cherish special times with loved ones even during difficult times.
This animated video from TedEX explains how yoga’s combination of movement and posture, breathing techniques, and spiritual contemplation can benefit one’s health: