October is a busy month for health observances. We’ve selected a few and offer resources that might be useful in your wellness programs.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month – A new report on breast cancer demonstrates that public awareness and early detection saves lives: the breast cancer death rate continues to fall by about 2% per year. But it remains leading cause of death for women, and this week we learn about a new study linking breast cancer to alcohol consumption. For news, resources, and help for survivors, visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
National Depression Screening Day – Oct. 11 – Each year in America almost 30,000 people die by suicide, and 70% of those people tell someone or give warning signs before taking their own life. National Depression Screening Day provides mental health screenings and educational materials about common mental health problems, and it educates friends and family members about the signs of suicide and effective ways to respond to a loved one who may be at risk for suicide. The site has a wealth of information, including a clickable national map of screening sites.
Drive Safely Work Week – Oct 1-5 – The single greatest source of work-related fatalities is traffic related accidents. This annual campaign sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety is devoted to improving the safety and health of the nation’s workforce by promoting safe driving practices at the workplace.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month – According to The Centers for Disease Control, victims of severe intimate partner violence (IPV) lose nearly 8 million days of paid work—the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs—and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity each year. Overall, IPV is estimated to cost nearly $6 billion a year. In terms of prevalence, 85% of IPV victims were women and groups with high risk include Indian/Alaskan Native women and men, African-American women, Hispanic women, and young women and those below the poverty line.
Sudden Infant Death (SIDs) Awareness Month – Despite some progress in reducing incidences in recent years, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year of age, continuing to claim the lives of more than 2,000 babies each year. While there is no known prevention, there are steps parents can take to reduce the risk. The site offers facts and educational materials, as well as news and links to local activities.
Celiac Awareness Month – Celiac disease (CD) is a common genetic disorder. In people with CD, gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) can trigger an autoimmune response which can damage the small intestine. This, in turn, causes the small intestine to lose its ability to absorb the nutrients found in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications. The main treatment is living a gluten-free life. The website offers resources to help people learn more about this disorder and how to live a gluten-free life.


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