Friday, January 25, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Mermaids

I learned about today's Feel Good Friday organization, Mermaids, because Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently joined a gaming livestream that was raising money for the organization. You can watch that interaction here and read more about Mermaids below.

Mermaids is an organization based in the United Kingdom that provides "family and individual support for gender diverse teenagers and children". As explained on their website, "We work to raise awareness about gender nonconformity in children and young people amongst professionals and the general public. We campaign for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and lobby for improvements in professional services."

Mermaids has helped thousands of people since their formation in 1995. They have a help-line you can call and they run support groups for youth and their parents. In addition, the website has tons of resources, including links to videos and articles that are designed for young people, parents, and professionals. They also provide trans-inclusive diversity training for schools, organizations and private companies.

You can see the impact Mermaids is having on young people and their families by watching this 4-minute film, #IKnowWhoIAm.

If you'd like to support their work, you don't have to stream your Donkey Kong game on Twitch. You can buy and wear some merchandise, make the traditional donation and raise awareness on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Mermaids_Gender.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Nashipai Maasai Project

This week Kenya was in the news because of a deadly terrorist attack. While there is always bad news to report, the reason I write this Feel Good Friday blog every week is to remind us that there is always good news to report too, often from the same place. That's why today, I'm highlighting the Nashipai Maasai Project in Kenya.

Founded in 2015 by girl's education activist Selina Nkoile, the mission of the Nashipai Maasai Project is "to promote education amongst the Maasai Community so as to create a self sustainable society free from all forms of violence against women and children such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage".

You can read this article about how Selina's experience receiving an education prevented her from becoming a child bride and put her on a path to create the Nashipai Maasai Project and lead rescue missions.

The project brings girls in the surrounding community to the Naningoi Girls Boarding School to receive formal education. When possible, the project pays the school fees for children from the poorest backgrounds. As of this time last year, 163 of 800 girls in the area had been rescued and Selina is determined to reach every single one.

The project is expanding to include permaculture schemes to teach the women in the community agriculture as well as income generating activities such as beadwork, tailoring and baskets.

If you're in Kenya, you can support the work of the Nashipai Maasai Project by volunteering. No matter where you are, you can always make a donation and show some social media love by liking their Facebook page.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Feel Good Friday - La Clinica

Many people prioritize their health in the new year which inspired me to highlight my neighborhood community health center, La Clinica, in today's Feel Good Friday.

La Clinica de La Raza, more commonly referred to as La Clinica, was founded in 1971 with the mission "to improve the quality of life of the diverse communities we serve by providing culturally appropriate, high quality, and accessible health care for all."

In it's early days, La Clinica was a free clinic run by volunteers "to provide greater health care access in the Latino community located in the East Bay Area of California." Today, La Clinca has expanded to 35 sites in 6 cities across Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties. Click here for a full list of locations.

Their services include those you would expect: medical, dental, vision, prenatal and postnatal care, health and nutrition education and pharmacy services to name a few. There are also more unique programs targeted to the communities in which they work.

Project New Start provides gang-related youth with tattoo removal, mentoring and social support services to help them take the first steps towards escaping gang life. De Colores is program "mobilizing young gay, bisexual men and trans women of color in the East Bay Area, ages 17-29, to shape a safer and healthier community." Community Health Education programs include youth peer education, day laborer outreach and support groups for Latina women living with HIV.

In 2017, La Clinica served 87,000 patients, 95% of whom are low-income. If you'd like to help La Clinica with their mission of health care for all, you can volunteer, donate and spread the word about the work they do by liking their Facebook page following them on Twitter @La_Clinica_

Friday, January 4, 2019

Feel Good Friday - New Year's Resolutions with the APA

It's the first Feel Good Friday of 2019! Let's talk about how to stick to your New Year's resolutions with the help of our friends at the American Psychological Association.

Since 1892, the American Psychological Association (APA) has aspired to "excel as a valuable, effective and influential organization advancing psychology as a science." As further explained on their website, they are "the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members."

In order to fulfill their mission of "advancing psychology to benefit society and improve people's lives" they promote research in the field, establish standards of ethics, conduct and education for clinicians, and disseminate knowledge through meetings, reports and other publications.

For the non-psychologists among us, the APA website has a number of helpful resources. There are books, for both adults and children, magazines and brochures dealing with topics such as addictions, emotional health and parenting - all of which can be found on the publications page. The psychology help center provides resources related to work and school, families and relationships, and disasters and terrorism. You can also get help choosing a psychologist and yes, sticking to your New Year's resolutions!

For those of you who read all the way to the end (or skipped ahead) here are the promised tips:
  • start small
  • change one behavior at a time
  • talk about it
  • don't beat yourself up
  • ask for support
You can read the full article at this link.

To keep up with all the latest news and resources like the APA's Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @APA.

Happy New Year!