Tag Archives: resources

What We’re Reading via The New York Times

If you don’t follow The New York Times, you should. One of the reasons we love it is because they publish excellent and timely articles on health, and we sex educators rely on it to stay up on the latest news. It is a reliable and sound resource for us. Here are a few of our recommendations from the last month or so…

Searching for Sex, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, January 25, 2015

If you’re fascinated by all things sex ed like I am, you MUST read this article. I’m not even going to prep you with a little introductory paragraph because I want you to be totally blown away. The article is a bit long so if you don’t have time now, bookmark it for later.

Medicating Women’s Feelings, by Julie Holland, February 28, 2015

There are lots of things our society doesn’t talk enough about and mental health tops the list, in my opinion. This article, written by an experienced psychiatrist, says enough is enough! She says, “The new, medicated normal is at odds with women’s dynamic biology; brain and body chemicals are meant to be in flux. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives.” I highy recommend this read…share the article, talk about it, reach out to a friend.

Two Strains of H.I.V. Cut Vastly Different Paths by Carl Zimmer, March 2, 2015

Two strains of HIV-2 have made it to gorillas from chimps, and it's created two rare strains, O and P.

Two strains of HIV-2 have made it to gorillas from chimps, and it’s created two rare strains, O and P, both of which have jumped to humans in Cameroon

We’ve posted many articles about HIV before, including this one the origin of HIV. What I like about Carl Zimmer’s article is that he retraces what we already knew about HIV’s origin, but helps us fill in the gaps by exposing us to new research. HIV-2 didn’t just take one giant leap from primate to human, IT TOOK NINE! HIV-1 was trickier to track down. Scientists have been sifting through chimpanzee and gorilla feces for years looking for answers and now they finally have definitive proof that they can use to reconstruct the path that HIV-1 took. It’s a very fascinating read so be sure to check it out!

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Who Cares for the Caregivers?

Most of the time when we talk about self-care, we’re focusing on how you can support yourself when you’re going through a rough time. That’s obviously important, but what about when you’re spending a lot of time supporting someone else?

This came up recently when I was talking with some colleagues about the issues around abortion stigma. When we were talking about resources, I mentioned that I’ve taken a number of counseling calls from medical practitioners during my time as a a counselor with Exhale. I know that’s not what most people think of when they think of a support talkline, but I wasn’t expecting the level of surprise and interest that folks had! While we’ve given out those resources for years, the idea of using them for ourselves had never come up.

But in fact, a lot of the people who use these kinds of hotlines are people who are supporting someone else. Exhale’s very first call was from a father who wanted to support his daughter after her abortion, and counselors on all kinds of talklines and support sites have worked to help people be able to support others more effectively. Especially when it comes to issues that involve a lot of stigma, like abortion or sexual assault, having a place to get support anonymously can be particularly important. You often can’t share details with your normal support systems, like your family or mutual friends, but you will often have your own feelings that you want to work through.

Supporting other people can be rough – making sure you’ve got ways to tend to your own needs is crucial, both to make sure that you don’t burn out, and to help you be there in the best ways you can for the people you love. So, if you’re looking for some advice on how to support a friend who’s going through a tough time or want to discuss how it’s affecting you, here are some resources that may be able to help you both:

Exhale – post-abortion talkline
Backline – talkline addressing abortion and making decisions about unplanned pregnancies
Trevor Project – crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth – hotline and online support and community
RAINN – sexual assault hotline and online support
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Hotline and online support

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