Thursday, July 23, 2009

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) (formerly the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR)) is an American non-profit professional organization that advocates on behalf of those with mental retardation. AAMR has members in the United States and 55 other countries.

Founded in 1876, the AAIDD is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals (and others) concerned about mental retardation and related disabilities.

The first meeting of the "Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feebleminded Persons" was held at the Elwyn Training School in Elwyn, Pennsylvania. The organization later changed its name to "American Association on Mental Deficiency" (AAMD) and then to the "American Association on Mental Retardation." In June 2006, members of the association voted to change its name to the "American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mental health laws and involuntary patients

If you are an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Act, you have rights. You should be aware of these rights and know who to contact if you need help.

Your basic rights
You have the right to:

  • Appeal to the Mental Health Review Board
  • A second opinion
  • Legal advice
  • Contact people by letter or telephone
  • Complain about your treatment.
Involuntary patients
If you have been admitted as an involuntary patient to a mental health service, it is because a doctor believes that:
  • You appear to be mentally ill
  • Your mental illness requires immediate treatment
  • It is necessary for your health or safety or for the protection of other people
  • You have refused or are unable to consent to necessary treatment
  • There is no less restrictive way for you to receive adequate treatment.
Within 24 hours of admission, a psychiatrist from the mental health service will examine you to decide if all these reasons apply to you. If they do, you must remain an involuntary patient.

Community treatment orders
Your psychiatrist may decide that you can receive the treatment you need in the community and place you on a community treatment order. However, you are still an involuntary patient.

Mental Health Review Board
The Mental Health Review Board is an independent tribunal that:
  • Hears appeals from patients who want to be discharged.
  • Reviews all patients periodically to decide if they can be discharged.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dance - health benefits

There are many forms of dance, from ballroom to barn and disco to morris. Dance has been a part of human culture, rituals and celebrations forever. Today, most dancing is about recreation and self-expression, although it can also be pursued as a competitive activity. Dancing is an enjoyable way to be more physically active and stay fit.

Health benefits
Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:

  • Improved condition of the heart and lungs
  • Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
  • Increased aerobic fitness
  • Improved muscle tone and strength
  • Weight management
  • Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Better coordination, agility and flexibility
  • Improved balance and spatial awareness
  • Increased physical confidence
  • Improved mental functioning
  • Improved general and psychological wellbeing
  • Greater self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Better social skills.
Getting started
You can dance in a group, with a partner, or on your own. There a lots of different places where you can enjoy dancing, for example at dance schools, social venues, community halls and in your own home. Dancing has become such a popular way to be active and keep fit, that most fitness clubs now offer dance classes in their group exercise programs.

Dancing can be performed both competitively and socially. It can be a great recreational and sporting option, because anyone of any age can take part. It doesn’t matter whether it is cold or raining as dancing is usually done indoors.

The gear you require to dance will depend on the style of dancing you choose. For example, tap dancing will involve purchasing tap shoes, whereas ballet will require ballet slippers and ballet attire. To get started, simply choose a style you enjoy, or would like to try, and join a class.

Types of dance
There are numerous styles of dance to choose from, each with its own attractions. Some popular types of dancing styles include:
  • Ballet – mostly performed to classical music, this dance style focuses on strength, technique and flexibility.
  • Ballroom dancing –: this involves a number of partner dancing styles such as the waltz, swing, fox-trot, rumba and the tango.
  • Belly dancing – originating in the Middle East, this dance style is a fun way to exercise.
  • Hip hop – performed mostly to hip hop music, this urban dance style can involve breaking, popping, locking and free styling.
  • Jazz – a high energy dance style involving kicks, leaps and turns to the beat of the music.
  • Pole dancing – this style of dancing has become increasingly popular as a form of exercise. It involves sensual dancing with a vertical pole, and requires muscle endurance, co-ordination, and upper and lower body strength.
  • Salsa – involving a mixture of Caribbean, Latin American and African influences, salsa is usually a partner dance and emphasises rhythms and sensuality.
  • Square dancing – a type of folk dancing where four couples dance in a square pattern, moving around each other and changing partners
  • Tap dancing – focuses on timing and beats. The name originates from the tapping sounds made by the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch the ground.