Service in the name of health: Double Up 4 Vision

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to talk about for Talk about it Tuesday. I started writing one thing and then decided against it. It wasn’t a bad post. I just didn’t want to talk about it. Then it came to me. Today’s post should be dedicated to one of my endeavors.

For those who know me, you know that I am all about service. I even joined a Sorority whose founding principles included service. Loving service the way that I do is probably why I fell in love with the public health field. There is nothing but service in this field. I am in service heaven. A lot of times the service that I am involved with need some type of physical movement on my part. My newest service for the year is no different. i will actually be riding my bike. On October 13th, participating in the Double up 4 Vision race.

Double up 4 Vision is a race hosted by Lighthouse International. For over 106 years, Lighthouse International has fought the good fight against vision loss through prevention, treatment, and empowerment. As a person who wears glasses and has an increased risk due to familial history of having severe vision issues, this organization is dear to me. My maternal grandmother, God bless her soul was legally blind in one eye. She has glaucoma and was using drops for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with glaucoma. While I do not have glaucoma, I am at risk and find myself going to the eye doctor several times a year. So many people of color have vision issues secondary to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Programs such as Lighthouse International are necessary in fighting the good fight. Personally, I can’t imagine being blind. I don’t even want to be legally blind.

I look forward to riding my bike in this race. I ride for all of those who can’t see but wish that they could. Being able to see for many is a luxury that not everyone can afford. I ask that you support my endeavors and give to my cause. If you happen to be on the sidelines watching, I will be the one with the purple and white bike with huffy written in gold. You can donate here. I promise you no amount is to small and is appreciated.

Today’s prescription: Appreciate the little things and take nothing for granted. No pun intended, but in the blink of an eye what you knew yesterday could be gone today.

In health,

Maliyka is health

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Mental Health: A fact of life

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Depression, schizophrenia, paranoid, bi-polar, etc., etc. At one point these words have been said around us possibly even directed towards us. We all know someone who has been labeled with one of these words. That someone might just be you. Regardless of who it may be, the stigma tied to all of these diagnosis is ugly.

Mental illness affects so many people from so many walks of life. It does not see color, ethnicity, finances, gender, etc. Rather it sees people. In the United States, mental health is a huge problem. Public Health folks like myself, are constantly looking at this complex health issue. According to the World Health Organization, “mental illness results in more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Other published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime (CDC). Mental illness also places a financial burden on society. In the United States alone, it cost about $300 billion. That was in 2002. With the increasing new diagnosis, I am sure that oat has skyrocketed.

Real talk, mental illness is a disease that one really as no control over. Abstinence won’t prevent it. Money doesn’t stop it from happening. Love has no hold over it. Just as easily as you were sane yesterday, today you could be diagnosed as mentally ill. It is a disease that deserves a high amount of awareness. It is a disease that some communities i.e. African-American need to understand exist within their ranks too.

To the mentally ill, know that you are loved. You are not alone. Someone can help you. If you need help but don’t know where to turn here are some resources:

Mental Health America by State

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Web MD Mental Helpline List

Today’s prescription: take a deep breath and breathe. Try not to stress over the little things. Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness (Richard Carlson).

In health,
Maliyka is health

Maliyka is health

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Since my inception into the public health realm, I constantly find myself asking myself just what is good health. All of the definitions state that good health is the absence of disease. Personally, that definition seems to broad. What happens if you do have a disease but in spite of the disease you are healthy? You are not suffering from any opportunistic infections. You have no co-morbidity. To the outside world, you are as healthy as the healthy person. Just what category do you fall under?

It is questions like this that run the mind of us folks who have taken on the role as a health educator. The who’s, why’s , what’s, where’s and how’s are always front in center in our mind. We are agents of change. We don’t go into the field of health for money. Rather we do it because we have a love for it. We seek to make this a better world for those that live in it. At least, that is why I went into the field. The only way I will be a millionaire is if I marry rich or hit the lottery. I am content in being Maliyka A. Muhammad…public health agent.

This blog will talk about all of the issues that relate to public health. There won’t be a drama fest unless it relates to hunting for the best answer surrounding a complex health education. Each day, Monday-Friday I will talk about a different as it relates to a different topic. The topics are:

Mental health Mondays
Talk about it Tuesday
Women’s Wednesday
Man-up Thursday
Fit Friday

Feel free to drop me a note if you have a specific question that you want answered. Talk about it Tuesday is dedicated to just that. On that note sit back and enjoy my world as I navigate throught it as a public health agent.

The prescription for the day is be happy and healthy. It’s the key to good health.

In health,
Maliyka is health