Mental Health awareness efforts on the rise in El Paso

El Paso KVIA-TV weather anchor Iris Lopez, 29, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago. She was 27 and said she automatically linked “mental health illness” with “crazy.” “I would experience mood swings that were difficult for me to control at times. My moods would quickly change from extreme sadness to extreme happiness,” Lopez said. When it came to seeking help, she found that The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was the organization that helped her the most.

PTSD treatment for combat veterans still a challenge with mixed success

As the longest war in U.S. history rages on in Afghanistan, the military continues to struggle with battling the mental wounds of combat when soldiers may be reluctant to seek help. “I have received behavioral health counseling multiple times. It has been difficult for me to admit that I had a problem, but going and accepting has helped me tremendously,” said Sgt. Jacob Holmes, a 10-year veteran who works with the Army’s 24th Press Camp Headquarters which is a unit of soldiers/journalists, currently stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso. Holmes, who responded to interview questions by email, was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2012.

Exercise is crucial to stay fit during and after pregnancy

Finding out you’re going to be a mother is overwhelming, especially with the physical changes going on inside the body, but continuing an exercise routine allows women to benefit greatly throughout their pregnancy, local health professionals say. Most pregnant women can tailor their workouts to meet her physical needs and the health and safety of her baby. Discussing exercise plans with their doctor early on establishes what adjustments are needed to continue a normal exercise routine. For women who don’t regularly go to the gym, their level of exercise will depend on their level of pre-pregnancy fitness. “With patients with normal pregnancy, no pre-term labor, no risk of low implantation and no issue of bleeding (basically a normal pregnancy) we recommend to start exercising as soon as you’re pregnant,” said Dr. Jorge Aranda of Providence Women’s Health Partners.

Entre libros y pañales: se necesitan guarderías para madres y padres universitarios de Ciudad Juárez

Por Ana Carolina Valero Cortez, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

Amamantar a un hijo, para muchas es la mayor expresión de amor que una madre pueda profesar a su hijo, arrullarlo y calmar su llanto al mismo tiempo que el pequeño sacia su hambre es un derecho que prohibirlo sería lacerante para ambas partes, sin embargo, para Ixchel Villarreal, una joven madre universitaria ese derecho se vio violentado, pues la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) no es una institución incluyente con los hijos de sus estudiantes. A través de un video publicado en las redes sociales, Villareal hizo público su reclamo, la activista local y egresada de la carrera de Psicología denunció un supuesto acto de discriminación dentro del Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Administración (ICSA) por amamantar a su bebé en uno de los edificios. Después de que Villareal pidiera informes para poder ingresar a la maestría, Melquíades, de 10 meses, empezó a inquietarse, el calor sofocante de la ciudad y el hambre provocó en el pequeño malestar; un sofá dentro de un edificio con aire acondicionado parecía el lugar perfecto para amamantarlo y calmar su desosiego. Unos quejidos bastaron para que dos catedráticas de la universidad abandonaran sus cubículos para interrumpir la lactancia, argumentando que una institución educativa no es lugar para tener a un niño, que era un distractor molesto para los estudiantes y que además, no era el “espacio” correcto para amamantarlo. El video de denuncia tuvo tanto impacto que rápidamente empezaron a ventilarse acontecimientos de intolerancia tanto de maestros como de alumnos hacia las madres que por necesidad o gusto asistían con sus hijos a clases, de igual forma, surgieron comentarios reprobatorios apoyando la postura de las docentes.

Meal replacement shakes no substitute for healthy diet, fitness experts say

Sarah Onofrey is one among millions around the world who rely on some sort of dietary supplement to lose weight and improve their overall health. “I had always used diet pills and I always felt sick, groggy, dehydrated, and dizzy,” Onofrey said recently as she waited for an Herbalife shake at a Nutrition Club in northeast El Paso. “But with (Herbalife shakes), I don’t feel like I’m going without anything. I feel a lot healthier.”

As a matter of fact, according to a 2011 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of all American adults use one or more of these types of products believing it improves their health. In an age when trendy health and fitness-related terms like “#gainz” and “fit fam” are seen everywhere from bumper stickers to Instagram bios, it’s no surprise that meal replacement shakes have been in such high demand in recent years.

Air pollution leads to lower grades for some El Paso schoolchildren, study finds

El Paso’s poor air quality is driving down school performance for children in neighborhoods with high rates of airborne metabolic disrupting chemicals, researchers say. In a study published in the September issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso and Northeastern University looked at school performance among fourth and fifth-grade public school children in El Paso. They found that children exposed to higher levels of airborne toxins had lower grade point averages,

Related: Air quality one of biggest threats on U.S., Mexico border

Study author Stephanie Clark-Reyna, a second-year doctoral student at Northeastern University who attended UTEP as an undergraduate, said she hopes the research will have an impact on how El Paso addresses its unique air quality issues. “Air quality in El Paso is concerning because of the trucking industry. Last time I looked it up, something like 800,000 trucks passed through a single port of entry in one year,” Clark-Reyna said.

This ranch combines yoga and horsemanship in healing therapy

In the sleepy little farm town of Canutillo, Texas – just across the river from El Paso, is the 20-acre Rio Grande Valley Ranch that boards horses, steers, ponies and even goats . The ranch is also home to a some horses that are specially trained to help people with special needs. The horses are used to connect with people who have disabilities such as social disorders, confidence issues, PTSD, fetal alchohol syndrome, Downs syndrome, autism and even young abuse victims.

Noel Cass and her friend Rita Nicolini operate KNJ Therapeutic, which helps about five people a day break through the wall built by their disabilities. Cass was trained in Phoenix and is PATH certified, which stands for Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. She has been in the field for 10 years.

Hazy skyline of El Paso

Air quality one of the biggest threats on U.S., Mexico border

EL PASO – Lower Valley resident Daniela Caro struggles to breathe some days. “On bad days my asthma gets really bad, my throat closes up, even walking to class is a little bit hard,” she said. The 23-year-old El Pasoan lives near Riverside where trucks spew toxic fumes as they transport goods across the El Paso-Juarez border. The American Lung Association ranks El Paso’s pollution in the top 20 among U.S. metropolitan areas for both particles and ozone. Poor air quality has been linked to health issues, particularly for at-risk groups like children, older adults and anyone with respiratory problems like asthma.

Entravision’s annual health fair helps El Pasoans with limited access to care

EL PASO – On a recent Saturday in September hundreds of local residents attended a health fair event, sponsored by Entravision 26, at Sunland Park Mall. The annual event provided residents with health and medical information as well as free vaccines, blood pressure and hearing tests. The all-day event featured music, free food, and an opportunity for attendees to have their picture taken with well-known Entravision news reporters and anchors. A primary goal of the fair was to help residents who lack medical insurance and have limited access to health care. One of the primary speakers at the fair was Weather Anchor Aldo Acosta, 53.

Volunteers serve compassion at El Paso church food pantry

Parishioners of El Paso’s Holy Trinity Church, 10000 Pheasant Rd, work together to keep their food pantry shelves stocked for families in need. Many drop off donations of needed supplies at the church and then volunteers sort and stock the donations and prepare baskets each week for families that don’t have enough to eat. UT El Paso multimedia journalism student Kayla Melson reports on the operation and how those in need of help can contact the food pantry.