Advocacy is central to our Student Senate and we’d like to take some time to acknowledge some of the observances during the month of January. Here are just some of the ways in which we can begin to create awareness and advocacy during this month as well as learn about resources that are available.
Cervical Health Awareness Month
Cervical Health Awareness Month provides everyone with a chance to learn how women can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and Cervical Cancer. HPV and Cervical Cancer are both spread through sexual activity. In most cases, HPV can later turn into Cervical Cancer.
HPV can be avoided with the HPV Vaccine. Getting a regular screening to find early signs of Cancer can be very helpful. When doctors are able to see early signs, it can prevent an invasive cancer from occuring later.
National Birth Defects Prevention Month
January is a time to talk about birth defects, what they are and how we can prevent them. It is important to recognize that a birth defect is either a physical or biochemical abnormality due to either biological or environmental factors.
According to the CDC, there are five big ways to prevent birth defects that are good for both the mom and the baby. The five things are:
- Taking 400 micrograms of Folic Acid a day,
- Talk to your Healthcare provider before stopping or starting any new medications,
- Stay up to date with all vaccines,
- Try to reach a healthy weight before getting pregnant,
- And finally, boost your health by avoiding substances that are harmful, such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
Thyroid Awareness Month
Thyroid Awareness Month is a time to talk about Thyroid Disease, ranging from the symptoms to the diagnosis and treatment. Women are more likely to be affected by Thyroid Diseases than men.
The Thyroid is an endocrine gland within the neck, consisting of two connecting lobes. It can be found under your Adam’s Apple. Symptoms of Thyroid Disease include slow movements, speech or thoughts, irregular menstrual cycles, puffy face, long recovery period after activity, acid reflux, hair loss, and so many others. You can learn more about them here: Thyroid Awareness Month 2019 - The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Thyroid Disease includes Thyroid Cancer, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, and others not listed here.
National Stalking Month
National Stalking Month is a time to reflect on victims and their families who have experienced harassment and/or stalking throughout the course of their lives. There are many different forms of stalking and harassment. Therefore, it is important to have conversations about the signs and trigger warnings of harassment and stalking.
If you have seen the Netflix Original titled “You,” there is a case of stalking that happens. I encourage you to talk about that show with your peers and have discussions of the different signs you noticed while watching the show.
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