The Health Wire

Beyond providing basic medical care coverage, your Katy ISD benefits have a lot to offer to keep you and your family healthy, happy and fit. Here's the latest news from our health care providers and partners. Check back often.

Focus of the Month : October is Blindness Awareness Month

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Learn to be your own best friend

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. Between bad decision making and holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations, it can be hard to maintain our physical and emotional wellbeing. Beacon health is here to help you reverse that trend, with an online seminar entitled “Self-care: remaining resilient.” In this course, you’ll learn how to identify ongoing symptoms of stress and how to develop a healthy approach to the demands of work and home. Sign up online and let us help you start taking it easier on yourself.

Setting up relationship success

In the early stages of a relationship, it can be hard to see past the stars in your eyes. What does it matter how this person manages financial demands or responds to family strife? But if you’re considering making a long-term commitment like marriage, it’s important to sit down and discuss some key issues. Each of you should prepare a list of items for discussion in advance and come to the conversation with an open mind. Once you’re on the same page about these important issues, you can move forward with a clear understanding of where your relationship is heading.

It’s American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, so what better time to learn more about this common medical condition? Nearly 30 million Americans are affected by diabetes—10 percent of our population—and that number is growing. There are two types of diabetes. Only 5% of diabetics have Type 1, which cannot be predicted or prevented. However, you can lower your risk for the more common Type 2 by staying at a healthy weight, eating well, and being physically active. This month, get involved and help us imagine a world without diabetes. 

Turn to better sleep for better health

If you’re not getting enough sleep every night, you’re not alone. Tens of millions of people have problems falling and staying asleep. There are different reasons why this happens, but the results are the same. Not getting enough restorative sleep can lead to lower levels of energy and focus, a weakened immune system, and other serious health concerns. If you’re not getting enough sleep to be your best, a handful of simple changes could help you get a good night’s rest more often.

We need to talk about suicide

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to have this important conversation about mental health. It may seem uncomfortable, but research shows that suicide deaths are preventable for people under care. For every person who dies by suicide, another 278 move past serious thoughts of killing themselves. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, know that you’re not alone. Reach out to find the help you need to get you through this crisis. If you’re worried about someone else, there are steps you can take to help. With five simple actions, you can be the one to save a life.

Hurricane recovery resources

The storm may be over, but many of us will be feeling its effects for weeks and months to come. If you need help, know that there are many resources available. The Beacon Health Employee Assistance Program at 866-222-KISD(5473) can help you find housing and transportation, file claims, access FEMA and similar resources, and receive counseling services. If you need medical assistance, you can use Teladoc® at no cost to you. Call 855-220-4585 to register and you’ll be connected to a board-certified physician. And if you need financial assistance, you can receive a loan or hardship distribution from your retirement plan. We’ve been humbled by the strength, kindness, and generosity on display this past week. Now gather your friends and family close and let’s get to work rebuilding our city.

It’s hurricane season. Are you ready?

Hurricane season began in June, but the most activity usually occurs between August and October. This year, forecasters predict that we’ll see 5-9 hurricanes. Do you know what to do if a storm comes this way? First, prepare in advance and have a plan. Decide now what you absolutely must take and what you’ll be willing to leave behind. Gather all important documents into one box or file that you can grab and go. Make sure that you always have water, batteries, medical supplies, and non-perishable food on hand throughout hurricane season. Most importantly, if evacuation is advised, go!

Don’t text and drive. It’s now the law.

We all know that it’s dangerous to text and drive, but sometimes you just can’t help sending one brief message. Well, starting September 1st, resist that impulse. A new Texas state law will take effect that bans “reading, writing, or sending electronic messages” while driving, unless the vehicle is stopped. First offences carry a fine of $25-$99. With this legislation, Texas becomes the 47th state in the nation to ban texting and driving. This law does not apply to other uses of cell phones, such as controlling the stereo or GPS. Be safe—your message can wait.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Back-to-school is approaching, and your children will be having lots of interactions with other kids. Keep in mind that diseases such as the measles, the mumps and pertussis (whooping cough) can be caught and spread by typical adolescent behavior – just kids being kids. These diseases, which can be serious, require hospitalization, or even cause death, are preventable with the use of vaccines. In fact, vaccination is one of the best ways to protect children from 16 potentially harmful diseases. So, it’s important to protect your child at every age and keep up with a regular immunization schedule. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.”

When you lose a loved one.

Following the death of a spouse, a family member or a friend, is one of the toughest times you’ll have to live through. Grief is a natural reaction. Coping with the loss of a loved one and dealing with that grief takes time, but there are things you can do to help. It’s important that you express all your emotions. Holding them in could result in physical or emotional illness. And don’t go through it alone. Get support. Talk to family members, your doctor, a clergyman or grief counselor. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Enjoy your summer, sunburn free!

It’s summertime! As you pack your beach bag and prepare to hit the water, remember to protect yourself from the sun to decrease your risk of skin damage. Whether you’re soaking up the sun by the pool or just running to the store, you can never be too careful protecting your skin. As you and your family enjoy your vacation outdoors, remember to take smart measures to avoid too much sun. Taking small steps like wearing a hat, reapplying sunscreen and staying in the shade during the hottest parts of the day could help you avoid melanoma and skin cancer.

The link between body and mind is clearer than you might think. Research suggests spiritual, emotional and mental factors can affect us physically. And we all know how pain and illness can impact our mood. The solution: mind–body therapies. Studies have found these techniques helpful in treating everything from headaches to chronic disease. Want to learn more? See the steps you can take to help keep your body and mind healthy.

Protecting your loved ones starts at home

For many of us, getting older comes with sight, balance or health issues—making falls in the home that much scarier. But did you know a few simple steps could make your home much safer? Extra railings, properly lit stairs and walkways, and nonslip surfaces can help prevent accidents and injuries. Learn about the little things you can do to make home a safer place to live for everyone, inside and out.

May is National Mental Health Month

Even if you don’t suffer from a mental health condition yourself, chances are that you know someone else who does. It’s estimated
that 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental disorder in any given year, though fewer than one-third of adults and half of children
will receive any form of treatment. Mental health issues can range from anxiety to depression to substance abuse. These are real
medical conditions and should be treated as such. Mental Health Month is intended to raise awareness and understanding of these
disorders. By highlighting available screenings and treatments, we can help millions of people get the help they need.

Ready, set, quit!

If you’re a smoker, you already know how bad it is for your health. But did you know how many resources exist to help you cut the habit? Nicotine replacements have been around for many years, and are now available in five different forms: gum, lozenge, patch, inhaler, and nasal spray. All of these can help reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. There are also prescriptions that can alter your brain’s chemistry to make smoking less appealing. When combined with counseling, these treatments are the most effective way to quit for good. If you’re ready, work with your doctor to set a plan. With the right tools, you can start to quit today! 

It’s time to get screened

If you’re 50 or older, it’s time to schedule a colon cancer screening. It may not be something that we really like to talk about, but it’s better to have an awkward conversation than to miss finding a treatable cancer early. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, and it affects both men and women. It also usually occurs in people over the age of 50. But because cancers take years to develop, a routine screening can pick up the early signs before they turn into cancer. So don’t let a curable cancer go unnoticed—schedule your screening today. 

You can take control of your heart health.

February is American Heart Month. It’s a good time to remind yourself of the risk factors that can contribute to heart disease and how to avoid or reduce their effects. Take a moment and read this bulletin that will: 

  • Educate you on heart disease 
  • Teach you about the risk factors that you can control 
  • Show you how you can reduce your risk of heart disease 
  • And direct you to valuable resources to learn more about having a healthy heart. 

Your heart’s health is in your hands. Take control and reduce your risk. 

And make sure the celebrations don’t get out of hand.

If you’re struggling with the responsible part of Drink Responsibly, remember, you’re never far from help with a drinking problem. Don’t ignore it because of a holiday party or celebration. Learn how to get things under control.

For any benefits question or concern, including 24/7 Nurse Line access, one call does it all.
Call us at 866-222-KISD (5473)