The month of September marks World Suicide Prevention month, but mental health isn’t just a topic that needs attention one month or one day of the year, it’s a 365 days a year issue; so let’s talk about it!
Every 40 seconds, someone around the world commits suicide. In the US alone there are 132 suicides on average each day. These statistics are alarming and something that can be prevented by ending the stigma around mental illness and getting help.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
The stress of 2020 alone can be taking a toll on your mental health and you are not alone. It’s important to take steps towards real self-care and addressing these issues.
- Talk to a friend – Pick up your phone, create a Zoom or Teams call, meet up at a park or outside your home, whatever the method is, go talk to a friend or family member you can trust and ask them to listen. Let them know how you’re feeling, oftentimes this helps alleviate the stresses we hold on our shoulders.
- Eat well – Food has a huge impact on our mood and cognition. Not getting a specific nutrient can affect your mental health! In fact, researchers have found that poor diets play a role in worsening mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to put food in your body that doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment, but also the next day.
- Meditate or Take A Break – Oftentimes, we’re too busy running around, thinking too much about changes we need to make, or wondering what the future looks like that we forget to slow down and take a breath. It’s critical to give yourself time to decompress and live in the now. You can take a walk, meditate for a few minutes, try out yoga, or work on some breathing exercises, whatever you can do to force yourself to slow down.
- Stay Active – Your physical health affects your mental health! If you are not taking care of your body, this can easily affect your mood and stress levels. Even by just moving your body for 30-60 minutes, three days a week can help relieve stress and sleep better. Exercise can not cure depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses but it can help boost your overall mood and provide an additional outlet to manage your mental health.
- Go Outside – Time spent outside may have a positive impact on your mental health! Some studies have shown that nature can lift your mood or lower anxiety. So take a minute to step outdoors and reduce your screen time!
HOW TO HELP OTHERS
Helping others is also critical we can’t all go through this alone.
- Check-In! Ask Questions – If you know someone who may be struggling or if you don’t know, it’s important to check-in and ask! Everyone shows emotions differently and they may be struggling on the inside and hoping someone will reach out to help.
- Help Them Connect – Help them connect with others who can support them, either through an online group or a local chapter. Having a support group that has felt what they are feeling or helping them find the resources they need for professional guidance can make a significant impact.
- Follow Up and Keep Showing Up – It’s easy to check in on your friends once but it’s important to keep checking in on your friends. Keep the conversation going! Consistency can make a world of difference for someone that is struggling.
Did you know your WCUI Student Services team is also here to help? They are always available to be the listening ear and can help you connect with resources in your area to support you, your education, or your health. Connect with them:
- Los Angeles: email@example.com
- Ontario: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phoenix: email@example.com
In addition, there are a lot of wonderful foundations and programs available if you are in need, want to help someone in need, or are looking to advocate for suicide prevention. We’ve made a short list here, but your Student Services team can also help you find a resource for your specific needs:
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1(800) 273-8255 or Text START to 741741, En Español 1(888) 628-9454
- Trevor Project Lifeline: Call (866) 488-7386 or Text START to 678-678, thetrevorproject.org
- Jed Foundation: JedFoundation.org
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsp.org
- Veterans Crisis Line: veteranscrisisline.net
- National Institute of Mental Health: nimh.nih.gov
- Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or Text TalkWithUs to 66746
- BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health: https://wellness.beam.community/
- Inclusive Therapists: inclusivetherapists.com
- Black Mental Health Alliance: blackmentalhealth.com
- The Steve Fund: stevefund.org, or Text STEVE to 741741
- Latinx Therapy: latinxtherapy.org
There is no judgment. You are not alone. So let’s keep talking.
This year, the CDC is recommending everyone receive the flu shot this flu season. The vaccine will help protect yourself and the people around you from the flu. In addition, the flu shot can help reduce the impact on healthcare systems currently fighting to protect our communities from COVID-19. Call your healthcare provider or connect with your local pharmacy today to learn more about the flu shot and schedule an appointment before the flu season is upon us!
Where Can I Get a Flu Shot?
In addition to connecting with your healthcare provider, you can use the below resources to find a clinic and schedule a flu shot. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the flu shot, but there are low-cost options for those without healthcare insurance:
- CVS Pharmacy
- Walgreens Pharmacy
- Rite Aid Pharmacy
- Wal-Mart Pharmacy
- LA County Free Flu Shot Services
- Arizona Department of Health
Why Should I Get A Flu Shot?
Flu shots can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu. In addition, the vaccine can help protect others in your community who are at higher risk to have flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. With the current pandemic still underway, it’s important to reduce the number of respiratory illnesses, like the flu from spreading throughout your community and potentially threatening the health of yourself and others.
Who Can Get a Flu Shot?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot every flu season with rare exceptions. More information on who should and who should not get a flu vaccine is available on the CDC website.
When Should I Get My Flu Shot?
The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before flu viruses begin spreading in your community. This is because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Be sure to make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. In fact, this year, the CDC recommends getting your flu shot by September or October to provide the best protection at the start of the flu season.
For the most up-to-date information or questions about the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC website and talk with your healthcare provider.
On Constitution Day 2020, we were reminded of all the rights we have as United States citizens, one of those rights is the right to vote! It’s important to utilize this right to make sure your voice is heard. The people and propositions on your ballots can impact your community, so it’s important to make sure you and your opinions are represented. Hit that unmute button, make sure you’re registered to vote, and show up on election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020! Go to https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/register-to-vote/ to get registered today! Or use the resources below to find more information for your state.
How to Register to Vote in California
California residents are able to register to vote online, via mail, or in person!
Voter registration deadlines in California:
- Online registration deadline: Monday, October 19, 2020
- Mail-in registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Monday, October 19, 2020
- In-person registration deadline: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
If you plan to register to vote online, you will need:
- Your California driver license or California identification card number,
- The last four digits of your social security number and
- Your date of birth.
Your information will be provided to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature.
If you do not have a California driver license or California identification card, you can still use this form to apply to register to vote. However, you will need to take additional steps to complete your voter registration.
Not sure if you’re registered to vote?
Use the California Secretary of State website to see if you’re registered to vote and where you’re registered to vote: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/
You can also use the above link to find your polling place, find information for upcoming local and state elections, and find contact information for your county elections office.
Executive Order by Governor Newsom:
All voters who register in California by October 19, 2020 will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for the November Election by Executive Order:
“Recognizing the threat COVID-19 continues to pose to public health, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to ensure that Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe and accessible manner during the General Election this November. The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters. Californians who may need access to in-person voting opportunities – including individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others – will still be able to access in-person voting opportunities”
Due to the executive order, registered California voters do not have to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for this election.
How to vote by mail:
- Fill out your ballot
- After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope.
- You may return your voted ballot by mail, in person, or to a drop box
- If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.
- If you are returning your ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box, it must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.
- Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.
Important Voting Dates in California
- November 3, 2020 – Election Day – All ballots must be received by 7:00 am to 8:00 p.m.
- November 3, 2020 – Personally delivered ballots must be delivered by close of polls.
- Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, and received by your county elections office no later than November 20, 2020.
- Vote early: California voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 5, 2020, to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Early voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop off locations may be found on the Secretary of State’s Early Voting website.
What to Bring to the California Polls
- If you’ve voted in California before, you don’t need to show ID.
- If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail and didn’t include your driver’s license number, California ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration, you may be asked to provide ID when you vote. Acceptable forms include:
- copy of a recent utility bill,
- the sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency,
- a US passport,
- driver license,
- official state identification card,
- or student identification card showing your name and photograph.
- Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.
How to Register to Vote in Arizona
Voter registration deadlines in Arizona:
- Online registration deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020
- Mail-in registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Monday, October 5, 2020
- In-person registration deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020
Arizona residents must go to their assigned, polling place. You can find your assigned polling location here: https://my.arizona.vote/WhereToVote.aspx?s=address&language=en. When you arrive to vote at the polls on Election Day you will announce your name and place of residence to the election official and present one form of identification from List #1 or two different forms of identification from List #2 or 3.
List #1 – Sufficient Photo ID including name and address (One Required)
- Valid Arizona driver license
- Valid Arizona non-operating identification card
- Tribal enrollment card or other forms of tribal identification
- Valid United States federal, state, or local government-issued identification
List #2 – Sufficient ID without a photograph that bears the name and address (Two Required)
- Utility bill of the elector that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
- Bank or credit union statement that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election
- Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
- Indian census card
- Property tax statement of the elector’s residence
- Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
- Arizona vehicle insurance card
- Recorder’s Certificate
- Valid United States federal, state, or local government-issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the County Recorder
- Any mailing to the elector marked “Official Election Material”
List #3 – Mix & Match from Lists #1 & #2 (Two Required)
- Any valid photo identification from List 1 in which the address does not reasonably match the precinct register accompanied by a non-photo identification from List 2 in which the address does reasonably match the precinct register
- U.S. Passport without address and one valid item from List 2
- U.S. Military identification without address and one valid item from List 2
California Voting Resources:
Arizona Voting Resources:
General Voting (All States) Resources:
America’s’ most influential document, the Constitution, was signed on September 17th, 1787 by our Founding Fathers. Now every year on September 17th, we commemorate the signing of this document, which protects individual freedom, and the fundamental principles that govern the United States. The Constitution places the government’s power into the hands of citizens, and through the structure of the Constitution, legislative, judicial, and executive branches are kept in check with one another. To celebrate the day, we’ve put together important facts and activities to help you understand how the document relates to our world today including, why the Constitution is important, knowing your rights, the Liberty Medal Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and interactive online games!
WCUI Students, you can find all these resources today and after Constitution Day in your Online Student Resource Center (OSRC) in Canvas under the Smith Library module. Make sure to look through the activities and fill out the form to enter into the raffle to win a prize! *One winner will be selected for each campus.
Why the Constitution is Important
Have you heard of the Schoolhouse Rock? If you haven’t seen this already now’s the time to watch this cartoon video! “The Preamble” by Schoolhouse Rock helps explain the purpose of the Constitution in a catchy way, but why is the Consitution still important today?
- Creates a government that puts the power in the hands of the people
- Separates the powers of government into three branches: the legislative branch, which makes the laws; the executive branch, which executes the laws; and the judicial branch, which interprets the laws
- Sets up a system of checks and balances that ensures no one branch has too much power
- Divides power between the states and the federal government
- Describes the purposes and duties of the government
- Defines the scope and limit of government power
- Prescribes the system for electing representatives
- Establishes the process for the document’s ratification and amendment
- Outlines many rights and freedoms of the people – like the right to vote, the right to protest, freedom of speech, and so many other human rights that are key in our political landscape today.
Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, former associate justice of the Supreme Court, put it this way:
“What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? First and foremost, the answer is our freedom. It is, quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. It’s also the world’s shortest and oldest national constitution, neither so rigid as to be stifling nor so malleable as to be devoid of meaning.
Our Constitution has been an inspiration that changed the trajectory of world history for the perpetual benefit of mankind. In 1787, no country in the world had ever allowed its citizens to select their own form of government, much less to select a democratic government. What was revolutionary when it was written, and what continues to inspire the world today, is that the Constitution put governance in the hands of the people.”
You can learn more about the Constitution, explore scholarly resources, and understand your rights as a citizen as deemed by this living document by visiting the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution website. (Links to an external site.)
Test your knowledge with games like “Do I Have A Right?”, “Cast Your Vote” and more through free, interactive online games created by iCivics: https://www.icivics.org/games
Know Your Rights
Know your rights by carrying the Interactive Constitution in your pocket.
The app version of the Interactive Constitution features a full analysis of the first 15 Amendments to the Constitution and the Articles, or Structural Constitution, from scholars representing different viewpoints. For each Amendment or Article, the scholars first agree on a Common Interpretation, and then they discuss Matters of Debate on each point.
To learn more and download the app, go to the following links in the App Store or Google Play:
2020 Liberty Medal Ceremony – A Tribute to Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg
On September 17, 2020, Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will receive the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center during a live broadcast at 3:30 p.m. PST. This 32nd annual award will be given to Justice Ginsburg for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all and is the apex of a year-long celebration that marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
To join in, visit the National Constitution Center’s website on Thursday, Sept 17th at 3:30 pm PST!
In the very near future, we will be issuing new technologies to all active students including Office365 cloud-based subscriptions and a student portal via Orbund. The following features will be available next week:
Student Email Addresses (ex. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Microsoft Word Online, Microsoft PowerPoint Online, Microsoft Excel Online
Microsoft OneDrive (cloud storage)
When Should We Expect These New Features?
Next week! You’ll see student email addresses and cloud-based apps available to you via Office365. Directions and login information will be sent to your current personal email address when the rollout occurs.
A second rollout will be made in early July. As a student, you’ll get limited access to your student portal via Orbund (certain features will be available while others won’t be ready yet). Directions and login information will be sent to your new WCUI email address when the rollout occurs.
There will be many more rollouts to come. Please check your email for future announcements.
Roll Out #1: Office365 (Student email, cloud-based apps)
- Office365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together the best tools for the way people work today. By combining best-in-class apps like Excel and Outlook with powerful cloud services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams, Office 365 lets anyone create and share anywhere on any device.
- With Office365, students will have a student email (ex. email@example.com) and have the ability to create documents using the cloud-based apps of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and more!
Roll Out #2: Orbund (Student Portal)
- Orbund is a powerful Student Information System that WCUI has partnered with to ensure students, through a student portal, will have access to their information, be able to communicate online with staff and faculty, and make pay payments online.
- Note: Not all features will be available when released to students.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.