Category: Awareness

An unhoused man holds a sign that reads "Seeking human kindness" on the MBTA

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Can Change Lives

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual observance when people and organizations across the country draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness. While the problems are broad and causes are varied, the solutions that have been shown to work (but are rarely implemented in the United States) are centered around harm reduction as opposed to criminalization.

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the street, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or staying with family or friends. While the U.S. government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year. Housing can greatly affect access to healthcare, and lack of access to affordable healthcare can equally affect housing.

Being excluded from access to affordable healthcare can be a barrier in itself to getting a job and escaping poverty. Unhoused people face significant

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Resources for Transgender Awareness Week & Remembrance Day

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth; ‘gender identity’ is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both (gender fluid), or neither (non-binary). Gender expression involves expressing one’s gender identity through their social roles, appearance, and behaviors. Many health concerns that transgender people face are due to minority stress, such as discrimination and social/internalized stigma.

Transgender people experience gender dysphoria, a clinically significant distress recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) caused by a person’s assigned birth gender differing from the one with which they identify. This leads to increased depression, which can be exacerbated by being rejected by family and friends, being the victim of abuse/violence, or experiencing discrimination. Gender-affirming operations have shown to yield long-term mental health benefits for transgender people

Transgender people can face

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Resources for National Diabetes Awareness Month

November has been observed as National Diabetes Awareness Month since 1975. In the United States, more than 100 million people are living with diabetes or prediabetes; that’s nearly 1 out of every 11 people with diabetes, with 1 out of 4 unaware they have the condition. Awareness of the disease cannot only prevent future cases for those at risk, but also help raise funds to develop new treatments for those living with diabetes.

There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes presents with the body not making insulin, and those diagnosed must take insulin injections every day. Only 5% of those diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, and there is no known method to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, one’s body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors:

  • Being overweight;
  • Being 45 years or older;
  • Having parents or a sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; and
  • Being physically active less than three times per week.

Race and ethnicity can affect one’s risk. Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Preventing type 2 diabetes can be as easy as eating healthy

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Intersex Awareness Normalizes Naturally Occurring Bodies

The “i” in LGBTQIA stands for intersex. Intersex is an umbrella term for people with differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy. Intersex people are born with these differences or develop them in childhood/puberty. There are many possible differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, and/or chromosomes compared to the typical binary notion of male and female bodies. An estimated 1.7% of people are born intersex.

Since 2004, October 26 is observed as Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex Awareness Day commemorates the anniversary of a protest held by members of the intersex community during the annual American Academy of Pediatrics convention in 1996. Activists gathered in action against the standard practice of invasive gender-based surgeries that many intersex children have historically endured. This practice is largely considered outdated and harmful today, though only Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Boston Children’s Hospital have categorically stated that they do not perform infant genital surgeries.

Intersex people are often made to feel like medical curiosities

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Mental Illness Awareness Relieves Stigma

For over 30 years, the first full week of October has been Mental Illness Awareness Week. This year, the NeedyMeds blog has observed Mental Health Month in May, Minority Mental Health Month in July, and Suicide Prevention Month in September. We’ve discussed how everyone’s mental health matters, the unique factors affecting mental health for vulnerable populations, and how to prevent devastating outcomes, but we have not yet touched on the realities of mental illness in 2021.

Twenty percent of the population — as many as 65.6 million Americans — live with some kind of mental health condition, with nearly 5% living with a serious mental illness that substantially limits their life activities. Those living with mental illness fight stigma while trying to survive under profound internal duress. Awareness is important to ensure resources are made available to those who need them and the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses can be reduced.

Everyone has stress and difficult emotions on occasion, and this is completely normal. Mental illness, however, is any condition that

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.