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Showing posts from June, 2016

Mental Health in the Peace Corps

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As you can tell by the title of this blog, today I want to chat about mental health. Specifically, mental health as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Statistically speaking, mental health disorders affect a shit ton of people each year (give or take a shit ton) and some of those people are Peace Corps Volunteers (yep, those are real stats).
I’ve wanted to talk about this issue for some time now, but until I’d been in Peace Corps over a year, I didn’t feel 'experienced' enough to address this topic. Now that I have lived the ins and outs of mental health in the Peace Corps, I feel able to talk about this issue with more authority (for lack of a better word).
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
According to MentalHealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” The Mayo Clinic says that mental health illnesses include depression, anxiety, schiz…

Child Protection Event

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Sup home skillets?!
Child Protection Week started on 29 May here in South Africa and to help raise awareness for this critical issue, 17 local creches came together to put on an event and march. I attended the event with Tlhatlhane Creche (the creche I work with on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The day started with a [short] march through town (these little legs can only do so much), followed by an event at one of the creches. Each creche performed a song, skit, and traditional dance. The songs and skits addressed everything from abuse to safety practices.
Issues we promoted: Don't write your child's name on the front of their backpack. A young child might assume a stranger is friendly if the stranger addresses the child by name.The children all memorized a chant (which I wish I could post of video of because it's freakin' adorable) which basically went like this: "don't touch me here *points to chest* or here *points to crotch* or here *points to butt* or I'll…