FSCJ Offers Free Oral Cancer Screening

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) welcomes the public for a free event on the importance of oral cancer screenings as part of its Quarterly Health Series.

Eva Grayzel, a nationally-recognized Master Storyteller and performance artist, was diagnosed with stage IV oral cancer at age 33 and was only given a 15 percent chance of survival. Drawing on her own experience and success story, Ms. Grayzel now applies her stage skills to communicating the importance of regular screenings in a unique and powerful way.

For over a decade, she has captivated dental professionals worldwide using her story as a catalyst for change. The riveting details of her delayed diagnosis stimulate thinking about enhanced patient care and education. A champion for early detection, Eva founded the Six-Step Screening(tm) oral cancer awareness campaign.

Immediately following the presentation, attendees are invited to the FSCJ Dental Hygiene Clinic for complimentary oral cancer screenings with our students under the supervision of clinic dentists.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at 5-6 p.m.
Zeke Bryant Auditorium – FSCJ North Campus, 4501 Capper Road, Jacksonville, FL 32218

Dealing with Hurt Feelings and Self Injury

People deal with difficult feelings in all sorts of ways. They may talk with friends, go work out, or listen to music. But some people may feel an urge to hurt themselves when distressed. Harming or thinking about harming yourself doesn’t mean you have a mental disorder. But it is an unhealthy way to cope with strong feelings. Finding new ways to cope can help you get through difficult times.

Some unhealthy ways people may try to relieve emotional pain include cutting, burning, or hitting themselves. These behaviors can be difficult to detect. People usually keep them a secret. Wounds can often be treated at home and covered with clothing or jewelry.

“The largest percentage of people who engage in non-suicidal self-injuring behaviors are teenagers,” says Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp, an NIH-funded psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Around 2 out of 10 teens and college-aged students report trying this behavior at least once.

Those are the key ages because youths are changing environments, Muehlenkamp explains. “Transitioning into college or from junior high into high school creates a lot of potential change. You lose the familiarity of your social group, and your social support might shift. There’s a lot of new stress and pressures.”

People who are anxious, are depressed, or have an eating disorder are also more likely to turn to self-injuring behaviors. So are those in sexual minority groups who experience discrimination and bullying, such as those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual.

“Self-injury is a sign that someone is struggling,” says Muehlenkamp. “Many youths transition out of it. But those who engage in it more repetitively and chronically may benefit from a direct clinical intervention.”

If you’re a parent or caregiver who’s concerned, look for frequent unexplained injuries and clues like bandages in trash cans. Watch to see if the person wears appropriate clothing for the weather. Someone who is self-harming may wear long pants or sleeves to cover their injuries, even when it’s hot.

“The way most people find out is the person who is self-injuring will disclose it,” Muehlenkamp says. They often tell a friend or a sibling first.

If someone confides in you, “your first reaction is essential to whether or not they will seek help,” Muehlenkamp explains. “Be as nonreactive and nonjudgmental as possible.”

Not everyone who self-injures is suicidal. But the only way to know is to ask. If they express any suicidal thinking, get them connected with a mental health provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for advice.

Parents can open conversations with their kids by asking them if they’ve heard of self-harming behaviors or if they know friends who do it. If a friend has confided in them, they can offer to go talk to a trusted adult with their friend to get them help.

There are no medications for treating self-injuring behaviors. But some medications can help treat mental disorders that the person may be dealing with, like depression or anxiety. Mental health counseling or therapy can also help you learn new ways to cope with emotion. See the Wise Choices box for tips on handling strong emotion.

Written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.

Wellness Festival Discount Offered for Nassau County Residents

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – This fall, travelers and locals alike will have a new way to get fit and focused thanks to the inaugural Amelia Island Wellness Festival (Nov. 10-12), a three-day “well-abration” for renewing mind, body and soul. Nassau County residents are being offered a $250 “locals only” discount off the weekend package price, using code FBFLOVE. The festival will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, where attendees can experience educational and inspirational sessions with acclaimed names in yoga, meditation and fitness, headlined by life transformation specialist Heidi Powell. The Amelia Island Wellness Festival is a ticketed event open to the public. More information, including tickets and accommodations, is available at ameliaislandwellnessfestival.com.

“We’ve partnered with some of the most qualified fitness and wellness advisors around the country to develop an all-encompassing wellness retreat designed to inspire self-discovery and healthy living,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau “With 13 miles of pristine coastline and other breathtaking natural beauty, Amelia is an ideal setting to connect to one’s self and to nature.”

In addition to Heidi Powell, co-host of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss” series, the wellness festival will feature music and inspiration from MC YOGI, along with pop-ups, panels and instruction by yogi-influencer Laura Sykora (@laurasykora); dance-inspired cardio studio, DanceBody; and MNDFL, New York City’s fast-growing meditation center. The festival schedule of events (subject to change) includes the following classes and brands:

-Empowering thousands across the globe with her vision of transforming lives from the inside out, celebrity trainer Heidi Powell will lead the keynote speech and share advice on fitness, nutrition, parenting, marriage and finding balance. Powell will also lead the featured fitness class, introducing participants to her best practices – the first of its kind in the region.

-MC YOGI, recognized as a leading voice in the emerging genre of conscious music, will kick off the festival with his beat-happy, Krishna-crazed music that blends his love and knowledge of yoga culture with hip hop, reggae and electronic music. Enjoy inspirational talks about his journey and transformation through yoga, meditation and the power of music.

-Yogi-influencer Laura Sykora will lead several yoga classes, open to all levels of practice, in the fun and playful, yet challenging style for which she is known. Classes will be offered at various times.
DanceBody, one of New York and Miami’s hottest new workout crazes, combines dance-inspired cardio and toning set to motivating music to encourage attendees to move their bodies in new ways and work muscles they didn’t know existed. Well-rounded, full-body workouts, easy to follow classes and feel-good motivation offer an unparalleled dance-inspired fitness experience.

-Meditation is an increasingly popular wellness trend for all ages, and MNDFL is the New York City studio credited with bringing the contemplative practice to the masses in the Northeast. Two of MNDFL’s leaders will bring the transformative powers of meditation to Amelia Island to guide mindfulness and encourage refocus for participants.

In addition to the selection of sessions, on-site activities at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island host location will include a welcome reception, break-out sessions, morning yoga, and select food and beverage offerings. The weekend will culminate with a communal dinner on Saturday, including a panel discussion with the wellness masters.

Additional offers are available island-wide, including: standup paddleboard yoga instruction, offered by Kayak Amelia; nature kayak trips guided by Amelia Island Kayak Excursions and Kayak Amelia; Flexx It, Spin, Punchography and PIYO fitness classes at The Beat Fitness Studio; fitness instruction by Susie Dodge Fitness and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation; as well as a variety of yoga classes ranging from sunset yoga to beer yoga, offered by Centered on Yoga, Pajama Dave’s, and Café Karibo.

At a package price of $349 for Nassau County residents (code: FBFLOVE), participants enjoy access to official programming Friday through Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Tickets can be purchased at ameliaislandwellnessfestival.com. Additional activities, accommodation offers, and packages will be offered across Amelia Island. For more information and a full schedule of events, go to ameliaislandwellnessfestival.com.

Positive Parenting

Parents have an important job. Raising kids is both rewarding and challenging. You’re likely to get a lot of advice along the way, from doctors, family, friends, and even strangers. But every parent and child is unique. Being sensitive and responsive to your kids can help you build positive, healthy relationships together.

“Being a sensitive parent and responding to your kids cuts across all areas of parenting,” says Arizona State University’s Dr. Keith Crnic, a parent-child relationship expert. “What it means is recognizing what your child needs in the moment and providing that in an effective way.” This can be especially critical for infants and toddlers, he adds. Strong emotional bonds often develop through sensitive, responsive, and consistent parenting in the first years of life. For instance, holding your baby lovingly and responding to their cries helps build strong bonds.

Building Bonds
Strong emotional bonds help children learn how to manage their own feelings and behaviors and develop self-confidence. They help create a safe base from which they can explore, learn, and relate to others.
Experts call this type of strong connection between children and their caregivers “secure attachment.” Securely attached children are more likely to be able to cope with challenges like poverty, family instability, parental stress, and depression.

A recent analysis shows that about 6 out of 10 children in the U.S. develop secure attachments to their parents. The 4 out of 10 kids who lack such bonds may avoid their parents when they are upset or resist their parents if they cause them more distress. Studies suggest that this can make kids more prone to serious behavior problems. Researchers have been testing programs to help parents develop behaviors that encourage secure attachment.

Being Available
Modern life is full of things that can influence your ability to be sensitive and responsive to your child. These include competing priorities, extra work, lack of sleep, and things like mobile devices. Some experts are concerned about the effects that distracted parenting may have on emotional bonding and children’s language development, social interaction, and safety.

If parents are inconsistently available, kids can get distressed and feel hurt, rejected, or ignored. They may have more emotional outbursts and feel alone. They may even stop trying to compete for their parent’s attention and start to lose emotional connections to their parents.

“There are times when kids really do need your attention and want your recognition,” Crnic explains. Parents need to communicate that their kids are valuable and important, and children need to know that parents care what they’re doing, he says.

It can be tough to respond with sensitivity during tantrums, arguments, or other challenging times with your kids. “If parents respond by being irritable or aggressive themselves, children can mimic that behavior, and a negative cycle then continues to escalate,” explains Dr. Carol Metzler, who studies parenting at the Oregon Research Institute.

According to Crnic, kids start to regulate their own emotions and behavior around age three. Up until then, they depend more on you to help them regulate their emotions, whether to calm them or help get them excited. “They’re watching you to see how you do it and listening to how you talk to them about it,” he explains. “Parents need to be good self-regulators. You’re not only trying to regulate your own emotions in the moment, but helping your child learn to manage their emotions and behavior.”

As kids become better at managing their feelings and behavior, it’s important to help them develop coping skills, like active problem solving. Such skills can help them feel confident in handling what comes their way.
“When parents engage positively with their children, teaching them the behaviors and skills that they need to cope with the world, children learn to follow rules and regulate their own feelings,” Metzler says.

“As parents, we try really hard to protect our kids from the experience of bad things,” Crnic explains. “But if you protect them all the time and they are not in situations where they deal with difficult or adverse circumstances, they aren’t able to develop healthy coping skills.”

He encourages you to allow your kids to have more of those experiences and then help them learn how to solve the problems that emerge. Talk through the situation and their feelings. Then work with them to find solutions to put into practice. 
Meeting Needs
As children grow up, it’s important to remember that giving them what they need doesn’t mean giving them everything they want. “These two things are very different,” Crnic explains. “Really hone in on exactly what’s going on with your kid in the moment. This is an incredibly important parenting skill and it’s linked to so many great outcomes for kids.”

Think about where a child is in life and what skills they need to learn at that time. Perhaps they need help managing emotions, learning how to behave in a certain situation, thinking through a new task, or relating to friends.

“You want to help kids become confident,” Crnic says. “You don’t want to aim too high where they can’t get there or too low where they have already mastered the skill.” Another way to boost confidence while strengthening your relationship is to let your kid take the lead.

“Make some time to spend with your child that isn’t highly directive, where your child leads the play,” advises Dr. John Bates, who studies children’s behavior problems at Indiana University Bloomington. “Kids come to expect it and they love it, and it really improves the relationship.”

Bates also encourages parents to focus on their child’s actual needs instead of sticking to any specific parenting principles.

It’s never too late to start building a healthier, more positive relationship with your child, even if things have gotten strained and stressful. “Most importantly, make sure that your child knows that you love them and are on their side,” Metzler says. “For older children, let them know that you are genuinely committed to building a stronger relationship with them and helping them be successful.”

By being a sensitive and responsive parent, you can help set your kids on a positive path, teach them self-control, reduce the likelihood of troublesome behaviors, and build a warm, caring parent-child relationship.

Tips for Connecting with Your Kids
-Catch kids showing good behavior and offer specific praise.
-Give children meaningful jobs at home and positive recognition afterward. Don’t be overly critical; instead, help them improve their skills one step at a time.
-Use kind words, tones, and gestures when giving instructions or making requests. 
-Spend some time every day in warm, positive, loving interaction with your kids. Look for opportunities to spend time as a family, like taking after-dinner walks or reading books together.
-Brainstorm solutions to problems at home or school together.
-Set rules for yourself for mobile device use and other distractions. For instance, check your phone after your child goes to bed.
-Ask about your child’s concerns, worries, goals, and ideas.
-Participate in activities that your child enjoys. Help out with and attend their events, games, activities, and performances.

Written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.

Coping With Grief – Life After Loss

Losing someone you love can change your world. You miss the person who has died and want them back. You may feel sad, alone, or even angry. You might have trouble concentrating or sleeping. If you were a busy caregiver, you might feel lost when you’re suddenly faced with lots of unscheduled time. These feelings are normal. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn. Scientists have been studying how we process grief and are learning more about healthy ways to cope with loss.

The death of a loved one can affect how you feel, how you act, and what you think. Together, these reactions are called grief. It’s a natural response to loss. Grieving doesn’t mean that you have to feel certain emotions. People can grieve in very different ways.

Cultural beliefs and traditions can influence how someone expresses grief and mourns. For example, in some cultures, grief is expressed quietly and privately. In others, it can be loud and out in the open. Culture also shapes how long family members are expected to grieve.

“People often believe they should feel a certain way,” says Dr. Wendy Lichtenthal, a psychologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “But such ‘shoulds’ can lead to feeling badly about feeling badly. It’s hugely important to give yourself permission to grieve and allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. People can be quite hard on themselves and critical of what they are feeling. Be compassionate and kind to yourself.”

Adapting to Loss 
Experts say you should let yourself grieve in your own way and time. People have unique ways of expressing emotions. For example, some might express their feelings by doing things rather than talking about them. They may feel better going on a walk or swimming, or by doing something creative like writing or painting. For others, it may be more helpful to talk with family and friends about the person who’s gone, or with a counselor.

“Though people don’t often associate them with grief, laughing and smiling are also healthy responses to loss and can be protective,” explains Dr. George Bonanno, who studies how people cope with loss and trauma at Columbia University. He has found that people who express flexibility in their emotions often cope well with loss and are healthier over time.

“It’s not about whether you should express or suppress emotion, but that you can do this when the situation calls for it,” he says. For instance, a person with emotional flexibility can show positive feelings, like joy, when sharing a happy memory of the person they lost and then switch to expressing sadness or anger when recalling more negative memories, like an argument with that person.

Grief is a process of letting go and learning to accept and live with loss. The amount of time it takes to do this varies with each person. “Usually people experience a strong acute grief reaction when someone dies and at the same time they begin the gradual process of adapting to the loss,” explains psychiatrist Dr. M. Katherine Shear at Columbia University. “To adapt to a loss, a person needs to accept its finality and understand what it means to them. They also have to find a way to re-envision their life with possibilities for happiness and for honoring their enduring connection to the person who died.”

Researchers like Lichtenthal have found that finding meaning in life after loss can help you adapt. Connecting to those things that are most important, including the relationship with the person who died, can help you co-exist with the pain of grief.

Types of Grief 
About 10% of bereaved people experience complicated grief, a condition that makes it harder for some people to adapt to the loss of a loved one. People with this prolonged, intense grief tend to get caught up in certain kinds of thinking, says Shear, who studies complicated grief. They may think the death did not have to happen or happen in the way that it did. They also might judge their grief—questioning if it’s too little or too much—and focus on avoiding reminders of the loss.

“It can be very discouraging to experience complicated grief, but it’s important not to be judgmental about your grief and not to let other people judge you,” Shear explains.

Shear and her research team created and tested a specialized therapy for complicated grief in three NIH-funded studies. The therapy aimed to help people identify the thoughts, feelings, and actions that can get in the way of adapting to loss. They also focused on strengthening one’s natural process of adapting to loss. The studies showed that 70% of people taking part in the therapy reported improved symptoms. In comparison, only 30% of people who received the standard treatment for depression had improved symptoms.

You may begin to feel the loss of your loved one even before their death. This is called anticipatory grief. It’s common among people who are long-term caregivers. You might feel sad about the changes you are going through and the losses you are going to have. Some studies have found that when patients, doctors, and family members directly address the prospect of death before the loss happens, it helps survivors cope after the death.

Life Beyond Loss 
NIH-funded scientists continue to study different aspects of the grieving process. They hope their findings will suggest new ways to help people cope with the loss of a loved one. Although the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming, many people make it through the grieving process with the support of family and friends. Take care of yourself, accept offers of help from those around you, and be sure to get counseling if you need it.

“We believe grief is a form of love and it needs to find a place in your life after you lose someone close,” Shear says. “If you are having trouble moving forward in your own life, you may need professional help. Please don’t lose hope. We have some good ways to help you.”

Wise Choices – Coping With Loss
-Take care of yourself. Try to exercise regularly, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep. Avoid habits that can put your health at risk, like drinking too much alcohol or smoking.
-Talk with caring friends. Let others know if you need to talk.
-Try not to make any major changes right away. It’s a good idea to wait for a while before making big decisions, like moving or changing jobs.
-Join a grief support group in person or online. It might help to talk with others who are also grieving. Check with your local hospice, hospitals, religious communities, and government agencies to find a group in your area.
-Consider professional support. Sometimes talking to a counselor about your grief can help.
-Talk to your doctor. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you’re having trouble with everyday activities, like getting dressed, sleeping, or fixing meals.
-Be patient with yourself. Mourning takes time. It’s common to feel a mix of emotions for a while.

Written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.

Home Sites at Amelia Island’s Crane Island Development Going Fast

AMELIA ISLAND, FL – The master planned community of Crane Island, located on Florida’s Amelia Island, has confirmed reservations for 27 lots, which is more than half of the available inventory in Phase I. Sales for the 169-acre community – with approximately 100 acres set aside for preservation – began Jan. 11. Phase I includes 48 lots, with a total of 110 home sites in all, starting from $300,000.
 
“In less than 40 days, we’ve seen incredible interest and intent for this community,” stated Crane Island Developer Jack B. Healan, Jr. “The location, access to resort-like amenities, exceptional homebuilder offerings and our dedication to preserving this natural setting have made Crane Island a highly sought after home site in Northeast Florida.”
 
The first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years, Crane Island is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access.
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island resident Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park.  The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.  Builders for the development include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
The Crane Island Sales Team expects to break ground this summer on Phase I. For more information about Crane Island, visit the Sales Office Gallery (960185 Gateway Blvd., Suite 109, Fernandina Beach, FL), online at www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.

2017 Fernandina Pirates Club Scholarship

The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. is calling for entries to their scholarship essay contest open to all Nassau County high school seniors. The gnarly scallywags offer two separate awards. One winner will be given some extra booty for college, and the other winner is chosen from the pool of students who enter the competition that have chosen to serve in our United States Armed Forces.

All contestants must submit a 750 word essay to the Pirates Club, by Monday April 10, 2017. The subject is to be about pirates or pirating: past, present or future, complete with proper citations and references. Eligible students may attend high school at home, in a public or private school, or in another county, but they must be a full-time resident of Nassau County, Florida.

The award for the college bound student is a check for up to $1,500.00 made payable to the winner’s chosen school upon acceptance, and must be applied towards tuition and/or books. The winning entry for the student entering military service will receive a check for $500.00 upon completion of basic training. Proof of completion is required.

The winner(s) must be available to join the Pirates on Sunday, May 7, 2017 on the Waterfront Stage during the “Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival” for a formal announcement, public relations photos and of course to grab the booty!

Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc.
P. O. Box 17243
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

All entries must be submitted to the above address and post marked by April 10, 2017. For more information please visit FernandinaPirates.com.

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