Contributed by Kathleen Palmer, Sexual Violence Prevention Health Program Manager, Idaho Division of Public Health.
Did you know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Every year since 1970, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has led the nation in recognizing ways to respond to and prevent sexual violence. In light of the #MeToo movement that has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment, now is a great time to engage with sexual violence prevention efforts around Idaho and in the United States. Continue reading
The #MeToo movement on social media has really highlighted the idea that sexual assault is a significant concern for everyone. According to the 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 men in Idaho have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, it’s a good time to learn how to support survivors and spread awareness. Continue reading
According to the 2017 Idaho Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, 21% of female students and 5% of male students in Idaho experienced sexual dating violence in the past 12 months. Sexual dating violence includes kissing, touching, or being physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to by somebody they were dating or going out with. While every month is an appropriate month to discuss healthy relationships with young people in your life, February is National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Month. Continue reading
May is national Mental Health Awareness month, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is joining with Idaho Regional Behavioral Health Boards around the state to commend individuals who have worked hard to reduce the stigma around mental health and volunteered in their communities to inspire hope, recovery and resiliency.
The winner of IDHW’s first-annual Voice of Idaho award, Lisa Koller, is one of those individuals. Part of her journey to recovery and dedicating her life to helping others with mental illness was inspired by receiving help from an Idaho peer support specialist after she graduated from Mental Health Court in 2007. Lisa now works as a peer support specialist and recovery coach at The Center for HOPE recovery center in Idaho Falls.
Read more below about Idaho’s program of certified peer support specialists from Idaho Division of Behaviorial Health Administrator Ross Edmunds, and Lisa Koller’s personal story of her struggles with substance use disorder and mental illness as recounted in her own words: Continue reading