Monthly Archives: April 2022

Earth Day: Worries and Anxiety over Climate Change and how to deal with both

By Canyon Skare, NMHC Undergraduate Intern

Today is Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now brings environmental awareness to the forefront of our minds each year on April 22nd. However, this awareness can also bring with it anxieties and stressors about our changing climate. This feels especially relevant this year, as just last week stories of scientists being arrested for protesting climate change reached the news cycle.

Most notably, NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus broke down before being arrested after he and another colleague chained themselves to the Los Angeles J.P. Morgan Chase building as part of a worldwide protest of over 1,200 scientists in 26 countries calling themselves the “Scientist Rebellion.” This story comes in the wake of Don’t Look Up’s recent release. A Netflix film that satirized common narratives that deny and spawn misinformation surrounding climate change, Don’t Look Up starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy, a climate scientist much akin to the real-life Kalmus.

With experts like Kalmus becoming increasingly emotional in their pleas to the public to take climate change seriously, it can be easy to spiral into anxiety and worry over climate change. Anxieties about reducing our carbon footprints, recycling effectively, and limiting our fossil fuel emissions can feel overwhelming with sustainability reminders that come alongside Earth Day celebrations, especially as it gains more and more media prominence. Such personal stressors almost evaporate entirely, however, when one looks at the national and global levels of emissions, numbers that can provoke almost existential dread. What can we as individuals do against such a challenge? Are we doomed along with the climate? And if we are doomed, what’s the point in continuing to fight against the inevitable?

Fortunately, this doom-and-gloom is not the case. Since 2010, sizeable steps have been taken to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change. Scientists are confident that even if current climate policies stagnate, we’ll be able to avoid the apocalyptic level of change that provokes dread. Renewable sources of energy are becoming more and more widespread (see the increasing number of TESLA cars on Lincoln’s streets for a local example), and overall increases in emission levels have actually been going down since 2010. While the anxieties surrounding climate change are well-founded, it’s important to give ourselves grace and look at the picture with a factual view. Climate change is a serious problem that we must solve, but we’re making progress, and that itself is something to celebrate this Earth Day.

I also encourage you to watch the following video for more details on our fight against climate change!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Important Dates for Mental Health Awareness for the Month of April

By Canyon Skare

While the coming of April often brings to mind April Fool’s pranks, this month also brings special awareness to multiple communities, services, and dimensions of well-being. Here at NMHC, we’re looking to highlight a few of them this month, reminding everyone to stay mindful of their mental health.

First launched in 1972 as “National Autistic Children’s Week,” April quickly evolved into Autism Acceptance Month, with World Autism Awareness Day itself being observed on April 2nd. Autism refers to a broad range of conditions, characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. These are just common challenges, however, as there are many subtypes of autism along a spectrum with 1 in 44 people being affected. So throughout April, we encourage everyone to keep their neurodivergent friends and family in their thoughts, remembering to be accommodating of the needs of these individuals, meeting them with kindness and understanding. 

April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. First observed by way of presidential proclamation from Ronald Reagan in 1983, Child Abuse Prevention Month has been a staple of the national conversation. In 2016, Barack Obama released an official statement during April, stating that “during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.” His words ring true, as 2020 studies from the Children’s bureau showed that approximately two million children received Abuse Prevention services and around 1.2 million received response services. In our own efforts to “recommit to giving every child” a safe home, April should also find us keeping an eye on the children in our lives. 

In addition, the Stress Management Association first observed stress awareness month in April of 1992, and it continues to today. As a third-year undergraduate at UNL, I can certainly relate to this. This time of the semester, tests, projects, and papers start piling up, causing folks like me a lot of stress. Aside from measures of Acute Stress or types of short-term stress that go away quickly after the stressful event is over, it’s highly important to be aware of Chronic Stress this month. Chronic stress lasts for longer periods of time, going from multiple weeks to months. For those with chronic stress, they can often fail to realize that it’s a problem, and if they don’t find ways to manage stress, it can also lead to other mental health concerns like Anxiety and Depression. One great way people have kept their stress in check during April is through the 30-day stress awareness challenge. This 30-day challenge encourages people to do one action each day that will benefit their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

April is also Alcohol Awareness Month, National Counseling Awareness Month, and the first week of April is National Workplace Wellness Week! Regardless of where you’re at this month, we at NMHC encourage you to be a little more mindful of these communities, services, and dimensions of well being throughout April. And of course, find time to enjoy those April showers.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.