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Photo by Colette Cosner, UW Arts Sciences Communications Specialist

Photo by Andie Long, Global Washington

On Tuesday, June 5, five Global Washington member non-profits received grants from students at the University of Washington for their global programs, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The grant-making was part of a new course on philanthropy for social impact, taught by Stephen Meyers, assistant professor in the UW Department of Law, Societies, and Justice.

Funding for the grants was provided by the Philanthropy Lab, a private foundation that is dedicated to increasing philanthropy education at U.S. universities. Blue Acrylic Double Name Necklace Personalised with 2 Names HZmI1wlbF

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By Joanne Lu

In 2015 John Deere Foundation committed funds to support Mercy Corps’ work to increase household incomes of smallholder rice farmers in Indonesia. Photo Credit: Mercy Corps.

Over its nearly four-decade history, Mercy Corps has continuously expanded through private, public and civil society partnerships to “help people recover from disaster, build better lives and transform their communities for good.”

What started in 1979 as Save the Refugee Fund – a task force responding to the infamous Cambodian “Killing Fields” refugee crisis – steadily grew into the humanitarian aid giant that Mercy Corps is today. The organization now works in almost 40 countries, with programs spanning more than a dozen humanitarian and development sectors, and has even been Pandora Pendant 390396XX Month Droplet 07p20Lqw
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On June 18, 2018, PepsiCo Foundation announced a$4.2 milliongrant to WaterAid, a leading international water and sanitation non-governmental organization, to provide clean water access to communities in southernIndiafacing extreme water shortages, specifically in Palakkad (Kerala), Nelamangala (Karnakata), and Sri City (Andhra Pradesh).

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Hillsdale County residents battle suicide epidemic in local community
By Nicole Ault -

When Lorie Nichols’ phone rings, she knows that answering it might put a life in her hands.

Some­times a call comes in the middle of the night, a last grasp at life from a sui­cidal person who listens to a deeper instinct, or a des­perate plea for assis­tance from the person’s friend. A member of the Hillsdale County Suicide Pre­vention Coalition, Nichols talks to her callers until they’re safe, directs them to a coun­selor or a hotline, or calls 911.

She gets these calls about once a month, and so far, no one has died on her watch, she said. But not everyone calls; not everyone even knows they have the option.

Twelve sui­cides were reported in Hillsdale County in 2016, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Ser­vices . Three sui­cides have been reported since August 2017, said County Com­mis­sioner Ruth Brown. Year to year, the official numbers fluc­tuate: Ten sui­cides were reported in 2012, four in 2013, 12 in 2014.

As the country faces a growing epi­demic of sui­cides — earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control reported a 25.4 percent uptick in sui­cides from 1999 – 2016, and a 32.9 percent increase in Michigan — members of Hillsdale County are fighting it with pre­ven­tative action in the adult com­munity, the college, and the local schools.

The five-year moving-average number of sui­cides in Hillsdale County in 2012 – 2016, 8.6, is the highest it’s been at least since 1999 – 2003, according to a data page from MDHHS . Though the MDHHS Miore Diamond Necklace 18ct Yellow Gold Diamond Solitaire Pendant M0600Y 415cm 4cm Extender Diamond Solitaire Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold ROKExcH
for the county in 2016, citing imprecise or unre­liable infor­mation, the crude rate was 26.2 (out of 100,000 people) that year, down from 28.3 in 2014 but higher than any other crude rate available since 2000.

But the sta­tistics don’t really tell the story, according to Brown, who said suicide is a serious problem in the county — and under­re­ported.

The rates don’t account for attempts, and even suc­cessful sui­cides are kept off of death records, often masked by friends and rel­a­tives who are scared of shame and trauma. Brown said she knows of a woman who paid a funeral director to call her husband’s death an accident. He’d turned on the gas in the garage, and she didn’t want her children to know.

Brown herself became aware of Hillsdale’s suicide problem in 2013 when the finance com­mis­sioner showed her an increase in county autopsy expenses because of a greater number of deaths by gunshot, a telltale sign of a rising suicide rate ( Tuscany Silver Sterling Silver Pink Cubic Zirconia Hug and Kiss Pendant on Adjustable Curb Chain Necklace of 41cm/1646cm/18 6n6BG
of sui­cides reported in Hillsdale County from 2009 – 14 were com­mitted with a firearm).

Suicide’s stigma is at the root of its per­pet­u­ation, Brown said.

Brown hit a “stone wall” when she tried to start a program in 2014 to help people strug­gling with sui­cidal incli­na­tions, she said; no one wanted to talk about it. But she finally got the support of the Hillsdale Area Min­is­terial Asso­ci­ation and founded the Hillsdale County Suicide Pre­vention Coalition in January 2015 with Nichols, who pastors House of Refuge Church.

The 10-member coalition tries to fight stigma by spreading awareness through lec­tures and brochures and pro­viding trainings for people in the com­munity, including the sheriff’s department.

It also fights depression, which Nichols said is one of the main con­trib­utors to suicide. On the last Tuesday of every month, the coalition hosts a depression support group that meets at Nichols’ church. About five adults come for support each week, Nichols said.

Depression and sui­cidal thoughts usually stem from some kind of trauma, Nichols said. Often, people struggle with family or financial issues. Brown said that in 2009, after the recession, sui­cides increased.

Depression doesn’t dis­crim­inate by socio-eco­nomic status, though said Brock Lutz, a member of the suicide pre­vention coalition and director of health and wellness at Hillsdale College. Stu­dents at the college may be, on average, in better financial straits and family sit­u­a­tions than people in the local com­munity, but many still struggle with depression, though perhaps for dif­ferent reasons.

Of the stu­dents that the wellness center sees for coun­seling, about 10 percent, maybe less, have diag­nosable depression, Lutz esti­mated. In a school year, about 4 – 6 stu­dents are eval­uated for hos­pi­tal­ization. In 2005, a Hillsdale College football player com­mitted suicide, and that left an impact on the school that sparked a desire to provide more assis­tance to stu­dents, Lutz said.

Stu­dents often struggle to have the right per­spective, Lutz said, letting stress and dif­ficult cir­cum­stances weigh them down.

“Some­times stu­dents come in and think, ‘I’ve got this.’ They think that some­thing is wrong if it’s hard,” Lutz said. “The truth is, life is full of joy, and it’s also full of pain. When life is dif­ficult, we’ve got to figure out how to respond to that.”

Depression weighs on youth in Hillsdale’s public schools, too. In a 2015 survey con­ducted by Youth Oppor­tu­nities Unlimited Through Hillsdale (YOUTH) at nine schools in the county, 8th- and 11th-graders reported depression to be one of the top five issues impacting them most. The other issues were bul­lying, pressure to achieve, low self-esteem, and not fitting in.

In the 2017 – 18 school year, 50 Hillsdale County 9th- and 11th-graders reported that they had attempted suicide in the past year in an online survey from the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth. Twenty-one said they had to receive medical treatment because of their attempts.

Reports allow The Hillsdale County Com­munity Foun­dation to be helpful to stu­dents, said Amber Yoder, director of com­munity engagement at HCCF, in an email. Last October, in the Hillsdale College Roche Complex’s bas­ketball court, YOUTH hosted mental-health speaker Mike Veny to kick off its #wontbe­silent social media cam­paign and peer-to-peer support system for stu­dents.

At this point, one of the biggest chal­lenges to success in fighting suicide is a stub­bornness to address the issue in the com­munity, Brown said. People tell her she’ll never be able to make a dif­ference; there will always be suicide.

Others, Yoder said, don’t think there’s even a problem to address.

“There are some who do not believe that mental health is a serious issue affecting young people,” Yoder said. “There is some­times an instinct to ignore it, not take it seri­ously, or to not talk about it.”

That’s hard when the coalition, and pre­vention efforts in general, need per­sonnel most of all, Brown said. The coalition members all have other jobs; no one can devote 40-hour weeks to pre­vention efforts.

But atti­tudes and awareness appear to be changing for the better.

Even adults came to the Veny event, and not just in the gym; the speech ran on a TV station based 70 miles away, Yoder said. It encouraged schools to create peer lis­tening teams and par­tic­ipate in trainings about helping sui­cidal people.

“[The] ripple effects of that initial pre­sen­tation have been amazing,” Yoder said. “The schools that are par­tic­i­pating in the social media cam­paign and the peer lis­tening ini­tiative have been very open and receptive to addressing the needs of young people who are strug­gling with emo­tional and mental health issues.”

At the college, the wellness center will hold 80 hours of coun­seling ses­sions per week, more than ever before, Lutz said. He’s seen demand for coun­seling rise in his seven years here — there were 2,100 visits this past school year — and he doesn’t attribute that to more unhealthful stu­dents so much as a falling stigma and greater awareness of ser­vices.

Brown said she’s hoping to educate leaders in the town — like the sheriff’s office and the police department — on helping sui­cidal people too, if the coalition can obtain the grants it needs for training mate­rials.

She’s opti­mistic that the town’s attitude is shifting in a way that will help shed suicide’s stigma and encourage people to reach out, aware of the resources they have.

“It used to be around here, no one talked about suicide ever,” she said. “But things are changing.”

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Nicole Ault
Nicole Ault is a junior at Hillsdale College studying economics, journalism, and German. email: / Twitter: @nicole_renee971

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In similar fashion, the Ebola pandemic (2014) caused panic across the globe. In the USA, public health officials found themselves confronting not a disease epidemic (it had only seen four cases and one death compared to more than 11,000 deaths in west Africa), but rather a Avalaya Leaf Green Summer Shapes Necklace amp; Drop Earrings Set In Matte Silver Plating 40cm Length/7cm Extension 1CpTs8z1M
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, health agencies, care providers, and even victims) simultaneously reached inwards to stoke fear. Again, risk and communication analysis shows that what was needed yet lacking was robust and “comprehensive, transparent and easy‐to‐understand information on risks and the current degree of scientific uncertainty”.

In between swine flu and Ebola was of course severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, which caused a wave of irrational responses, fear spreading faster than the disease itself, devastating trade, travel, and tourism in a host of countries. It led to the development of the International Health Regulations (IHR), first tested by the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 that also led to panic and mass hysteria in many countries. Although WHO explicitly sought to avoid fear panic by taking measured responses, in some ways it fuelled anxiety. Evaluation of its response shows that it did not “acknowledge legitimate criticisms, such as inconsistent descriptions of the meaning of a pandemic”; after it declared a pandemic, a time when public awareness was particularly important, WHO “chose to diminish proactive communication with the media by discontinuing routine press conferences on the pandemic”. Other communication failures included confusion over what could happen with what was most likely to happen.

Over the last 100 years, the global community has been relatively fortunate: SARS for example was an “ easy problem to solve. Once clinical symptoms appear then there is ample time to isolate someone before they become infectious”. Similarly, H1N1 was relatively a mild virus. Today, however, a highly urbanised, globalised community is facing more frequent and more deadly viruses. For the Coalition for Epidemic Preparation Innovation (), backed by theUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,the worry is that viruses such as will mutate to become transmissible from human to human. CEPI’s repeated warning is that we react and don’t plan. The most worrisome finding of the committee , in assessing the H1N1 response, was that the “world is ill prepared to respond to a severe influenza pandemic or to any similarly global, sustained and threatening public-health emergency”. Indeed, Pandora 791548ENMX US Heart Flag Charm wy8PHDHnV
of the “next” epidemic are truly concerning. Larry Brilliant’s observation that “outbreaks are inevitable, epidemics are optional” seems to apply both to pandemics and the social panic they spawn. There are rules and guidelines as to how to prepare for a pandemic and how to Naava 9ct White Gold Teardrop Earrings o5ML6buIF
and avoid panic: we ought to follow both as if our lives depended upon it.

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From doodling to DD, from board games to yoga, from jamming with your friends to relaxing in the meadow – and everything in between – there are tons of awesome electives here at AstroCamp. These classes are quick, one-off adventures led by an instructor who’s excited to share this time with you. If you want to hang out with your friends and do something chill, we have those! If you want to challenge yourself and do something incredible, we have those, too!

Regardless, there are so many options that it can be a challenge to choose which one to do. Thankfully, we’ve written this guide to help you! These lists are by no means completely comprehensive, but they will give you an idea of what to expect.

If you love playing outside, getting your hands dirty, or just want to enjoy the summer sun, these electives are great options! There are the crazy ones that push you out of your comfort zones, the ones that pit you and your friends against each other, or just plain calm enjoyment of nature.

There are tons of games being run on camp at any given time. Whether you’re competing against each other or working together, the options are many!

If working with your hands to make something cool is your jam, check out any of our art electives. Use your imagination and let loose your inner designer. If music is your art, we have guitars, keyboards, even a full drum set for you and your friends to rock out!

Campers often affectionately refer to AstroCamp as “Nerd Camp,” and these electives embrace it! You can come together for cooperative storytelling, play scifi video games, or even grab a foam sword and fight your friends!

If all you’re looking for in an afternoon is to be weird and silly, then these electives are the best option for you. No matter which one you choose, you’re guaranteed to have an odd – but fun – time.


Remember, electives are all about you! Keep an open mind while you’re signing up. If you don’t get your first pick, that might be an opportunity for you to try something new! No matter what you choose, it’s bound to be great.

Written By: Scott Yarbrough

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cCARE serves the greater San Diego and Fresno communities. Our mission is to provide quality and value in cancer treatment, hematology and other patient health services through a network of doctors and providers who are focused on outcomes, research and personalized care.

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