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March is national Women’s History Month, a time to acknowledge, reflect and honor the many achievements of women. Vanderbilt’s Office of Health and Wellness is reminding the university community of resources available to help address women’s and gender-related health challenges.
Women’s and gender-related health challenges are complex. Coping skills cannot completely insulate individuals from change and loss, but they can provide relief and comfort.
- Share your story with loved ones. Being open with others can lessen feelings of guilt, shame and fear.
- Consider “opting out” when necessary. Evaluate your stress level and limit your participation, if needed, at events.
- Practice asking for what you need. Your loved ones may not know how to support you even when they want to. Being honest can help.
- Try a mindful activity. Any activity can be a mindfulness practice by paying close attention to the present moment.
- Gently point out when someone says something unhelpful. Whether you are going through reproductive planning or changes or experiencing migraines, people may say things that hurt—and it is OK to tell them so.
- Explore options for personalized support. Asking for help does not make you weak or less capable than others; in fact, a therapist can be a crucial guide in finding tools that are right for you.
Working with a Lyra mental health provider can be a great way to access the support you need and to take control of your mental health. Get started with Lyra today.
Hannah Proctor is Vanderbilt’s reproductive health and parenting resource coordinator for the university community. A certified nurse-midwife, she serves as the first point of contact for any individual seeking information, support, referrals and education around all stages of reproductive health, which includes pregnancy and parenting. Proctor works with individuals in need of assistance and collaborates with the Student Care Network, Student Health Center and employee wellness programs. You can learn more about Proctor’s role, various resources and drop-in and Zoom office hours on the Health and Wellness website.
Additional resources on campus include the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, Project Safe, the Vanderbilt Child and Family Center, Title IX and the Employee Affinity Group page.