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.

NACDAC Offers Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) is offering a free “Youth Mental Health First Aid” training which is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

This free eight-hour interactive course will be held on six different dates at the Full Service School, 86207 Felmor Road in Yulee, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Lunch will be provided at no charge. The one-day class is being offered on the following dates: Friday, February 17; Monday, February 20; Friday, March 3; Monday March 6; Wednesday, April 5; and Thursday, April 6.

For more information or to register contact Stephanie Basey at (904) 583-4306 or email stephaniebasey@nacdac.com.

The course introduces participants to the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, substances use disorder, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. At the end of the course, participants will be certified Youth Mental Health First Aiders (a three-year certificate).

For more information regarding NACDAC and its programs and initatives, please visit www.NACDAC.org.

FREE Program on Mental Health Signs and Symptoms

Friends of the Library is offering a FREE presentation on signs and symptoms of mental health issues, led by Katrina Robinson-Wheeler, LMHC, CAP, SAP, the Community Liaison and Trainer for Starting Point Behavioral Health. Participants will learn how families and friends can recognize indications and find help for individuals dealing with depression, substance abuse, trauma and other issues needing care and services. Read more

Hearing Loss Support Group of Nassau County

Connect with others facing the challenges of hearing loss through education on speech reading and guest speakers.

Meetings are at Baptist Hospital in the Rayonier Conference Room located at 1250 February 6, 2017, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. – also Feb. 20, March 6 and 30th, and April 3rd and 17th.

For more information contact: hlsgnassau@gmail.com

Vaccinating the Future, TEDxFSCJ

TEDxFSCJ Announces Upcoming Salon: Vaccinating the Future

TEDxFSCJ will host a salon exploring the critical role vaccines play in promoting public health.

Recent advances in vaccine research have laid the groundwork for addressing many of the key public health issues of the 21st century. Yet vaccines have also proved a source of popular misunderstanding, and ever-new outbreaks of infectious disease challenge researchers and practitioners alike to keep pace with a globally interconnected health environment.

The evening includes a panel discussion with Dr. Keith Knutson, a leading cancer researcher at the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Pauline Rolle, the medical director of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. Co-hosted by Florida State College at Jacksonville professors Dr. Dianne Fair and Dr. Lourdes Norman-McKay, the salon will provide insight into how a vaccine is brought to market, how vaccines are tested for safety, the challenges of getting vaccines to the public and new hope for using vaccines to fight cancer.

Join the conversation with cutting-edge researchers and dedicated public health workers committed to growing healthy communities.

For more information, visit http://www.tedxfscj.com/.

WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 2017, from 6 – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville Deerwood Center-Performance Theatre, Room G-1709
9911 Old Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Two New Support Groups Offered FREE To Local Residents

Are you or someone you know in need of support to be successful in your recovery? Have you or someone you know recently lost a loved one and in need of comfort and support? Not sure where to turn or how to get help?

Beginning January 23, Nassau Alcohol Crime Drug Abatement Coalition (NACDAC) will be offering two new support groups for community members.

“Relapse Prevention” is a FREE support group being offered to individuals in recovery from any type of addiction. The group’s goal is to harbor a safe, confidential environment where one can gain support and skills to be successful in recovery and provide networking opportunities for continued future support.

“Living With Loss” is a FREE support group offered to anyone who has lost a loved one and needs a safe place for comfort and support. The group is designed to assist participants with healing methods, self-awareness exercises and give a sense of connectedness to others.

For more information, please contact Kerrie Albert, NACDAC Director of Prevention Services at (904) 277-3699 or email kerriealbert@nacdac.com.

Friends of the Library Offers FREE Presentation on Community Hospice

Friends of the Library is offering a FREE presentation led by Maureen Paschke, a specialist in social gerontology, who will inform participants about Community Hospice and its services for patient care and family needs.

Ms. Paschke is an expert in the non-medical aspects of aging and has led bereavement support groups for those who find themselves alone. Participants will also learn about palliative care and what that means for patients and their loved ones.

This FREE program is brought to the community by the Education Committee of the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library. It will be held in the Fernandina Beach Library’s Meeting Room at 24 North 4th Street, on Tuesday, January 17 at 10:30 a.m. Registration is not required.

For further information regarding this event, on joining Friends of the Library or to donate, please visit the Friends of the Library website at www.fernandinaFOL.org.

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