FEBRUARY AWARENESS SPARKS
Sparks ignite February awareness initiatives for many important health and social issues. It is the month for Love, Black History, Heart Disease, and Teen Dating Violence Awareness, to name a few. Holidays this month include Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.
AWARENESS WEEKS this month bring us Burn Awareness Week (2/6-2/12); Random Acts of Kindness Week (2/13-2/19) and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2/21-2/27).
AWARENESS DAYS include National Girls and Women in Sports Day (2/2); World Cancer Day (2/4); Give Kids A Smile Day (2/4) and Love Your Pet Day (2/20).
This year’s TEEN DATING VIOLENCE Awareness Month theme is Talk About It. A call to action to young people and those who support them to engage in meaningful conversations about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy or even abusive.
Each February advocates join forces to raise awareness about teen dating violence (TDV) and put a spotlight on ways to help diffuse and prevent it from happening. According to the love is respect initiative, 1 in 3 teens in the United States will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. love is respect is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and was established in 2007 by in response to a national discourse about the need for prevention services, especially among teens. It provides a safe, inclusive space where teens and young adults can access information and get support in an environment designed specifically for them. #TDVAM
There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and help others to decrease the prevalence of TDV. All the resources from love is respect, including live-advocate support, are free, confidential and 24/7/365. Call love is respect at 1.866.331.9474, Visit loveisrespect.org or Text LOVEIS to 22522
BLACK HISTORY MONTH — this year’s theme focuses on Black Health and Wellness. The theme reflects that we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic in which racism has been labeled a “public health crisis” and during an ever-growing awareness about the ways in which African Americans have been disproportionately affected by health concerns.
The founders of Black History Month are ASALH: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History; established in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. This month they host The 2nd annual Black History Month Virtual Festival which includes the marquee event, Black Bodies: From Exploitation to Excellence, a two part-series exploring the historic exploitation of African Americans for the advancement of scientific and medical discovery. Both sessions will illuminate how these challenges and practices were used to leverage change in the medical profession, and foster resilience and excellence in our communities. For details visit: https://asalh.org/festival/
HEART HEALTH MONTH — This year’s theme focuses on reclaiming your rhythm. It is all about finding your rhythm after the pandemic which has taken a huge toll on Americans and their heart health. Practicing self-care goes a long way to a healthy heart.
Simple self-care, such as taking a moment to de-stress, giving yourself time to move more, preparing healthier meals, and not cheating on sleep can all benefit your heart. And that’s a good thing, because heart disease is largely preventable and focusing on improving your heart health has never been more important. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women and men in the United States, and many Americans remain at risk of getting it, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.