Family Support Groups – Namiaz Sat, 01 Oct 2022 07:12:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Family Support Groups – Namiaz 32 32 Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky: Recognizing the continuing importance of nurturing kinship Sat, 01 Oct 2022 04:48:44 +0000

It is important to continue to raise the voices of relatives and fictional relatives to ensure that the children in their care have every opportunity to grow into successful and prosperous Kentucky citizens even as Kinship Care Month draws to a close.

Kinship and fictional family caregivers continue to advocate for children in Kentucky to ensure they remain safely connected to relatives and close family friends when their birth parents are unable to safely care for them. An estimated 59,000 children in Kentucky are raised by relatives, most of whom are grandparents. Kentucky ranks second for the highest rate of children being raised by family caregivers.

What does this mean for our children and families?

Children in the care of relatives may have experienced trauma, parental imprisonment or loss and need support to ensure their success. Caregivers, who often unexpectedly take on responsibility for the children, also need support for a successful transition to their new role.

What supports are available to family members and notional family carers in Kentucky?

The Department for Community Based Services continues to build and improve access to support through available programs and their partnership with the Kentucky Kinship Resource Center at the University of Kentucky.

Last summer, DCBS and the University of Kentucky presented information about the services currently available. A recording of this presentation is available online.

The latest resources from the Kentucky Kinship Resource Center (KKRC) are below. The website contains information about the kinship programs in the KKRC section and can be another way for carers to find program information. Users have access to:

• The KY-KINS peer support program, where family members can register to participate or be referred to the program

• The KIN VIP Support Groups program where family carers can view the current calendar of virtually based support groups and join at any time

• The Kinship Catalog for information on LIVE webinars, online resources and interactive training modules.

Where Advocacy is Still Needed

As a kinship or fictitious kinship carer or supporter, you should consider your role in advocating for kinship children and families.

• Each year, the meeting with the Kentucky General Assembly is an opportunity to advocate for family members and notional family carers, whether it be additional financial assistance needed, ensuring the balance of rights between birth parents and family carers, or ensuring children live in foster care may have access to services similar to those of foster children. Learn more about becoming a lawyer.

• Judges help decide major life changes for family members and notional family members. Learn more about why it’s important for children and families to participate in judicial elections and other electoral advocacy.

• The opioid epidemic is a major reason for children living with relatives and close family friends. Now is the time to raise the voices of family carers to the decision-makers who are deploying investments to fight the epidemic. The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission was established to oversee Kentucky’s share of the opioid abatement funds, which we believe must be dedicated to supporting affected children, and to make upstream efforts to prevent opioid use and alleviate childhood trauma. The commission will hold ward council meetings through November 29 in the following locations: Pikeville, Ashland, Hazard, Covington, Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green and Paducah. Participants will learn more about the Opioid Settlement Funds and have the opportunity to make public comments. Find out more details and schedule a visit to a town hall near you.

Learn more about the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky and other resources at

Kentucky Youth Advocates

AG Derek Schmidt announces grants for organizations in the Wichita area Thu, 29 Sep 2022 00:30:00 +0000

KANSAS, Sept. 28 — TOPEKA — (September 28, 2022) — Nine organizations in the Wichita area have received more than $404,000 in grants to provide services to crime victims, announced Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt , known today.

The grants were awarded in support of the following programs:

  • Sedgwick County CAC$4,000 for operating expenses for children’s advocacy centers.
  • Catholic Charities, Inc., $38,000 to support staff in providing 24-hour housing, support, security and referrals to victims of domestic violence.
  • ICT SOS, $57,480 Provide support, community services and crisis intervention for victims of human trafficking, as well as education within the community.
  • Roots & Wings, Inc., dba CASA of Sedgwick County, $19,000 to train and support volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) who will help child victims stay safe and free from further abuse and neglect, have their rights protected, and have access to quality services.
  • StepStone, Inc., $21,611 to support a community outreach liaison to raise awareness of domestic violence in the workplace and offer supervisors and managers support and resources.
  • Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, Inc., $11,000 to provide sex abuse, assault, and harassment prevention education programs to children and youth in Sedgwick County.
  • Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, Inc., $12,500 to provide support groups and support for sexual assault survivors.
  • Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, Inc., $67,099 to fund administrative support for direct and educational services for sexual violence survivors in Sedgwick County.
  • Wichita Children’s Home, $31,277 to respond to the needs of child victims of human trafficking nationwide through the implementation of anti-trafficking initiatives.
  • Wichita Family Crisis Center, $21,600 to implement comprehensive youth advocacy, raising awareness and increasing protective factors related to domestic violence and dating violence.
  • Wichita Family Crisis Center, $19,480 to provide shelter, education and advocacy for victims of human trafficking.
  • Wichita Family Crisis Center, $50,808 to support ongoing operations of the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center.
  • TFI Family Services, Inc. – Wichita Visitation and Exchange Center, $50,540 for providing safe and quality supervised visiting and exchange services to Wichita and surrounding communities.

“Organizations across Kansas do a great job every day to support victims of crime,” Schmidt said. “We are proud to support these organizations through the Victim Services Grants programs.”

The awards were presented by the Human Trafficking Victims Assistance Fund, Protection from Abuse Fund, State Child Exchange and Visitation Centers Fund, State Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund, State Crime Victims’ Assistance Fund for Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Children’s Advocacy Centers Fund. The Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund is funded by fines, penalties, forfeitures and funds from the State General Fund. The Abuse Protection Fund is funded from State General Fund resources, marriage license fees, county court fees, and municipal court assessments. The State Child Exchange and Visitation Centers Fund is funded by marriage licenses and funds from the State General Fund. The State Crime Victim Relief Fund is funded through the remittance of applicable fines, penalties and forfeitures from District Courts court officials. The State Relief Fund for Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect Crimes is funded by district court expenses, municipal court estimates and resources from the State General Fund. The Children’s Advocacy Centers Fund is funded through the remittance of applicable fines, penalties and forfeitures by District Court officials.

That year, the Attorney General’s Office awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to local and state crime survivor organizations. For more information on the grant programs and the full list of award recipients, visit the Attorney General’s website at

How dealing with unresolved family conflicts can lead to a brighter future Tue, 27 Sep 2022 02:23:19 +0000
Radical or life-changing ones, such as migrating to a distant country, marrying someone from a different culture, or renouncing one’s culture or religion of origin, are not always based on a person’s current desires or considerations. Sometimes such personal decisions are unconsciously influenced by an unresolved family issue or trauma.
According to experts, families are an essential system that interacts, engages and influences its members across generations. Thus, a family’s past plays a fundamental role in the present of the members of that group. Therefore, ignoring or denying trauma from the past is likely to have a profound impact on an individual’s present.
Clinical psychologist Gabriela Salabert gives the example of people who have been adopted or who have not been recognized by one of their parents. If this situation is left unaddressed, the past remains hidden, and family members are excluded, Salabert says there is likely to be a negative impact on those involved, who can feel a great sense of loss.
“Our family systems have some kind of consciousness and everything is known or felt. The adopted child knows that it is adopted. The family conscience knows that a child is adopted. And sooner or later this information will emerge,” says the clinical psychologist.

“The same thing happens with illegitimate children. There are many women who know that men have had children outside of their marriage that they have not acknowledged. And no matter how hard they try to avoid it, get it out of their mind, or justify it, they have no peace. There is no peace in the system, there is no honesty, systems don’t flow that way.”

Unspoken family conflicts can be passed down from generation to generation, according to the specialist, and are sometimes pivotal in someone in the group making a radical or life-changing decision. It is therefore important to close cycles, heal trauma and resolve family conflicts.

Heal the past to enjoy the present

Ms. Salabert specializes in family therapy and finds that these systems have unique dynamics that can impact a group member’s development. A person is greatly shaped by their family interactions, the level of conflict in that group, and the environment in which they live, she explains.

Another example is domestic violence. Although people today can no longer fully rely on their family group for survival, women have more support to escape domestic violence situations, and there is greater social acceptance of family separation, Ms Salabert points out that this will continue to do so even after the Leaving the family is still very important in conflict situations that people who have fled this context also solve the problem on an emotional level.

[Leaving a situation of family violence] doesn’t mean the chapter is emotionally closed.

Ms. Salabert says that when people don’t resolve this issue internally, within themselves, or when children witness the conflict or witness domestic violence or suicide or abandonment at birth and don’t process the experience, then it can shape, affect or affect future generations be transmitted.
“The issues that families don’t usually talk about are actually the heavyweights that weigh on the new family systems.”
These unresolved emotional issues have a major impact on migration and migrant populations. This is particularly true in Australia, a country where almost half the population was either foreign-born or has at least one parent who was foreign.

According to Ms Salabert, there are many second-generation Australians who have various emotional symptoms that they cannot identify simply because they come from family histories that have not been talked about or addressed.

She believes that working through these emotional conflicts as children grow up can help them understand their parents’ attitudes and how they unconsciously carry some of their burdens. However, it is advisable to speak of a real willingness to understand the past of people who have migrated and to avoid “stigma, criticism or guilt”, she says.
“For example, my father came to Australia in the 1970s and never wanted to go back to his country. He’s always avoided meeting members of the community, he doesn’t want to talk about certain topics,” explains Salabert.
“Persons [with those attitudes] must have experienced a traumatic situation in their place of origin and today their adult children can approach the problems from a different angle.”
“Once you understand what’s happening, it can shed light on problems and heal many behaviors that run in the family,” she adds.

Domestic violence can be another trigger for migration to a distant location. And this, like displacement, wars, abandonment and other conflicts, needs to be addressed and discussed with family members staying united to understand many behaviors and move emotionally toward a new family system, says Ms. Salabert.

Rigid family systems could lead to exclusion or alienation

To address a family’s traumatic past, it is important to rely on family therapists, support groups, and psychologists.

According to Salabert, however, nothing works without a flexible family system that recognizes the need for help, allows third parties to participate and accepts the support of specialists in conflict resolution.

If a member in a flexible family system needs help, they can ask for it. Sometimes we can’t do things ourselves. We may need a doctor, a psychologist or a social worker. Flexible, fluid systems allow resources to come and go to help the family.

Ms Salabert points out that rigid systems generate the most suicides, migrations and violence.
According to the expert, in rigid family systems, members of the group tend to alienate or distance themselves if they do not meet the expectations placed on them. Sometimes these have to do with academic studies or with life circumstances or choices.
These people feel pressured by their family system, which requires them to be successful, or achieve certain goals, or act or live a certain way in order to continue to belong, she says.
This lack of flexibility causes this person to self-exclude or sometimes even leave the family system by moving far away and avoiding contact.
“This type of situation leads to the person trying to get out of the system in some way,” she adds.
“In family therapy we talk about these departures, which can happen in different ways: one is suicide, one is migration, and the other is marriage to someone of a different nationality,” explains Ms. Salabert.
On this last point, the clinical psychologist describes that sometimes a person tries to distance themselves from a rigid family system by marrying someone who is completely alien to their culture or social group.

Gradually they begin to give up their language, their customs and the identity of their family of origin. However, the underlying unresolved conflict will remain if not addressed.

How to find psychological help in Australia:

  • is an Australian-led mental health project focused on the mental health of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD), providing access to resources, services and information in a culturally accessible format.
  • More information about others in your language.
  • Contact or the Immediate help hotlines and other supportive resources.
click to listen to the full interview with clinical psychologist Gabriela Salabert in Spanish.
Alexander Joseph Anderson | News, Sports, Jobs Fri, 23 Sep 2022 04:04:19 +0000

COLUMBUS – Alexander Joseph Anderson (aka our Superman hero), aged 34, died on September 1, 2022 of complications from muscular dystrophy and complications caused by contracting COVID 19.

Born on May 25, 1988, Alex has lived most of his life in the East Liverpool and Wellsville areas, where he earned a GED from East Liverpool High School. Alex was a member of the National and State Muscular Dystrophy Associations, a former Ty Beanie Babies collector, and a passionate animal lover. He donated monthly to support animal welfare groups and was a PROUD fur baby father to several rescued animals that he cared for during his lifetime. Alex was an avid football fan and faithfully followed Ohio State University and the Cleveland Browns. He enjoyed watching movies and playing board games with his mother and second father. One of his favorite pastimes was playing video games with his brothers and lots of friends who came with Bruno’s pizza, hot dog shop, L&B glazed donuts or Chinese food.

Alex was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Joe Anderson; his maternal grandparents, Al and Shirley Green; his cousin Ryan Virden and his trusty guard dogs Stormy and Warlock.

His memory is remembered by his devoted mother and lifelong caregiver Abby Green Anderson Miller, second father Kevin Miller and third grandmother Nancy Miller. Other survivors include his father, Joey Anderson; brother, Jacob Anderson and his partner Erynne Hottinger; his brother Lucas Tyler Anderson; his stepmother Vikki Anderson and stepbrother Jeremy Cowan; his maternal grandmother, Edna Steffen Anderson; his best friend Resden Nixon and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins ​​and friends who loved him and share in this devastating loss.

There will be no office hours. In accordance with Alex’s wishes, his body was donated to science in hopes of finding a cure for MD. In lieu of flowers or other remembrance, the family is asking that you make a donation to the National Muscular Dystrophy Association or your local animal shelter.

Family and friends are invited to attend a CELEBRATION of ALEX’ LIFE that will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. at the Red Maple Landing Area of ​​Guilford Lake State Park… From Lisbon, take Rt 172 to Hanna Drive (Kevin’ Korner Drive-Thru), turn right and follow the posted SUPERMAN signs.


Sleep Deprivation or Narcolepsy? UAE doctors say rare diseases go undetected Wed, 21 Sep 2022 06:08:21 +0000

Doctors in the United Arab Emirates say a rare sleep disorder that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times is going undetected in the country as it marks World Narcolepsy Day – an annual day of awareness to bring overlooked life into to take the limelight. Change in neurological condition.

Narcolepsy affects 50 in every 100,000 people worldwide, yet there are few figures to indicate its prevalence in the UAE.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

dr However, Shobhit Sinha, Specialist in Neurology at NMC Royal Hospital – Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, estimates the prevalence in the Emirates to be between 30 and 50 people per 100,000.

“The diagnosis is often missed and/or delayed by more than a decade because it overlaps with symptoms of other conditions such as seizures, psychiatric disorders, insomnia and sleep apnea,” he told Al Arabiya English.

Symptoms include sleep attacks, daytime sleepiness, nightmares, hallucinations, and cataplexy—temporary muscle weakness in response to emotions. It’s often caused by an autoimmune reaction — that’s when antibodies are released by the body, but instead of destroying disease, they attack healthy cells.

“There are five main symptoms of narcolepsy, denoted by the acronym CHESS {cataplexy (is the sudden, generally brief (

“While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all five symptoms.”

In narcolepsy, antibodies attack areas of the brain that produce a sleep-regulating chemical. There is currently no cure, but sometimes the condition can be managed with regular naps, a healthy diet, and exercise.

In some cases, medications such as antidepressants or stimulants can also help.

“Narcolepsy can be treated in a number of ways,” said Dr. sinha

“First, behavioral education for patients, family and friends. Also, sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioral therapy are techniques aimed at behavioral management of narcolepsy symptoms, such as: and treatment of psychosocial effects through self-help groups.”

“There are also specific drugs to treat symptoms of narcolepsy, such as drugs for cataplexy, stimulants for excessive daytime sleepiness, and antidepressants for sleep paralysis and hallucinations.”

Living with narcolepsy can be difficult, the doctor said.

“People with narcolepsy can suffer from mental fog, poor memory, anxiety, phobias and depression. In addition, an increased prevalence of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia has been reported in people with narcolepsy. This can have a further impact on patients’ social and professional lives.”

“However, narcolepsy is a manageable condition, and almost anyone with narcolepsy can lead a fulfilling life. These challenges can be overcome by educating yourself, friends and family; medication compliance; Sleep hygiene and involvement in narcolepsy support networks.”

Emilia Saulle, a consultant neurologist at the Health Bay Clinic in Dubai, told Al Arabiya English that narcolepsy often goes undetected, saying the condition “can affect all aspects of daily life, including education, work, driving and relationships.”

dr Youssry Salah Shafiq Kerolos, a neurology specialist at Saudi German Hospital in Dubai, said the global incidence rate of narcolepsy is highest in a person’s second decade of life, often affecting teenagers and young adults.

“People with narcolepsy may wake up feeling rested, but then feel very sleepy for most of the day and may unintentionally fall asleep even when they’re in the middle of an activity, such as driving, eating, or talking,” he said. “Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, some of the symptoms can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes such as taking short naps, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine before bed, and exercising daily.”

dr Kerolos said that if left undiagnosed or treated, narcolepsy can impair psychological, social and cognitive functioning and development, and interfere with academic, professional and social activities, and patients are more likely to be involved in car accidents.

“Suddenly falling asleep or losing muscle control can turn normally safe actions, like walking down a long flight of stairs, into danger,” he said.

Continue reading:

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One year in prison: We stand by #Xuebing Mon, 19 Sep 2022 06:03:35 +0000

China must protect the rights of imprisoned human rights defenders Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing

ISHR regrets that today marks a year of disappearance and imprisonment for two young Chinese defense lawyers. But we are inspired by their work and the spirit of solidarity among all those behind Xuebing.

“This case is based on nothing more than the Chinese authorities’ fear of an active, participatory society and kind-hearted people working to improve their country,” said Sarah M. Brooks, ISHR program director.

“Being charged with a national security crime based on online speeches and dinner parties? It would be ridiculous if we didn’t talk about a targeted campaign to repress civil society.’

As highlighted in previous campaigns by ISHR to call for the lifting of the RSDL or “residential surveillance in a specific place”, the practice of incommunicado detention – without access to a family or a lawyer of one’s choice – is evident and widespread in China . Whether formally RSDL or not, such practices violate international law and greatly increase the risk of torture and coerced confession.

In this case, too, it is clear that the authorities are deliberately using Xuebing’s detention to intimidate and silence other activists. Nevertheless, they continue to speak out. ISHR supports Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing by human rights defenders from China and Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Uyghur activists, students and human rights groups from around the world.

See the full text of the letter below and in French and Chinese.


For publication: September 19, 2022

China must protect the rights of imprisoned human rights defenders Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing

Today, September 19, 2022, marks a year in prison for two young Chinese human rights defenders: Huang Xueqin, an independent journalist and key player in China’s #MeToo movement, and Wang Jianbing, a labor rights lawyer.[1]

We, the undersigned civil society groups, call on the Chinese authorities to respect and protect their rights in detention, including access to legal counsel, unrestricted communication with family members, their right to health and their right to physical autonomy. We emphasize that their detention is arbitrary and we call for their release and that the authorities allow them to carry out their work and make important contributions to social justice.

Who are you ?

In the 2010s Huang Xueqin worked as a journalist for mainstream media in China. During this time she reported on issues of public interest, women’s rights, corruption scandals, industrial pollution and problems of socially excluded groups. She later supported victims and survivors of sexual harassment and gender-based violence who spoke out as part of the #MeToo movement in China. On October 17, 2019, she was stopped by Guangzhou police and criminally detained in RSDL for three months for posting an article about Hong Kong’s anti-extradition movement online.

Wang Jianbing took a different path, but his story—like Huang’s—shows the commitment of young people in China to give back to their communities. He has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 16 years, dealing with issues such as education, disability, youth and work. Since 2018 he has been helping victims of occupational diseases to increase their visibility and access social services and legal assistance.

Arbitrary incommunicado detention

On September 19, 2021, the two human rights defenders were arrested by police in Guangzhou; After 37 days, they were officially arrested on charges of “inciting to undermine state power”. Under the pretense of COVID-19 prevention measures, they were held in solitary confinement and secretly interrogated for five months under conditions similar to “residential surveillance at a designated location” or RSDL. After months of delays and no guarantees of due process, her case made its way to court for the first time in early August 2022.

We strongly condemn Huang and Wang’s long terms. In a statement to the Chinese government in February 2022, six independent UN experts – including the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) – expressed serious concern about Wang’s disappearance and deprivation of liberty. They claimed that Wang’s activities were protected and legal, and that the Chinese authorities used a broad definition of “threatening national security” that contravened international human rights law.

In May 2022, the WGAD went a step further, formally declaring Wang’s detention “arbitrary” and urging the authorities to ensure his immediate release and access to justice. In light of other similar Chinese cases, the WGAD called on the Chinese authorities to conduct a full independent investigation into the case and take action to hold those responsible for rights violations accountable.

We repeat their appeal: The Chinese authorities should respect this UN finding and release Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing immediately.

Risks of torture and poor health

In addition to the lack of legal basis for their detention, we are also concerned about the detention conditions for Wang and Huang. Wang was held incommunicado under the pretense of “COVID-19 isolation,” and was subjected to physical and mental violence and abuse. His physical health deteriorated in part due to an irregular diet and inadequate nutrition, while he also suffered from physical and mental anguish and depression. UN and legal experts have identified similar risks in other Chinese detention practices – including RSDL – which may amount to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. According to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the “Mandela Rules”), prolonged solitary confinement – solitary confinement of more than 15 days – should be prohibited as it may constitute torture or ill-treatment.

Huang Xueqin’s detention conditions are even more worrying as no one, including a lawyer of her choice, was deprived of her liberty during the year – again without formal access to a lawyer or communication with her family – without notification of her situation. We are deeply concerned for their physical and mental health and reiterate that their incommunicado detention is a grave violation of international law.

Lack of guarantees for a fair trial

Given the circumstances, many brave Chinese lawyers may have stepped up to defend Huang Xueqin. But we are alarmed that Huang has been prevented from appointing a lawyer of her choice. In March 2022, her family stepped in and hired a lawyer on her behalf; she was not allowed to meet her client or see the case file. Despite this, that lawyer — with Huang’s approval, according to authorities — was fired after just two weeks. The right to legal counsel of one’s choice is not only a fundamental international human rights standard, but a right guaranteed by the criminal law of the PRC.

Dissuasive effect on the defense of rights

As is all too often the case in China, the authorities’ “investigation” into the Huang and Wang case had a concrete impact on civil society on a grand scale. Around 70 friends and acquaintances of the two defense attorneys from across the country were summoned by Guangzhou police and/or local authorities. Many of them were interrogated for up to 24 hours – some even several times – and forced to hand in their electronic devices. The police also forced and threatened some people to sign false statements admitting that they had attended training courses aimed at “undermining state power” and that simple social gatherings were in fact political gatherings for criticism to stir up in the government. The Chinese government has been repeatedly warned by UN experts that the introduction of evidence derived from coerced or coerced confessions is a violation of international law and that officials involved in the practice must be sanctioned.

A call to action

A year later, we call on the Chinese authorities to respect human rights standards and their international obligations in the cases of Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing. Until the Chinese authorities implement the UN recommendations and Huang and Wang are released, the relevant officials should:

  • Ensure that Huang and Wang have free access to legal counsel of their choice and protect lawyers’ rights to defend their clients.
  • Remove all obstacles to free communication between Huang and Wang and their families and friends, whether in writing or by phone.
  • Providing Huang and Wang with comprehensive physical and mental health services, including consensual examinations by an independent medical professional, and sharing the results with attorneys and family members or others upon request.
  • Guarantee that Huang and Wang will not be subjected to solitary confinement or other forms of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and that their detention conditions will comply with international human rights standards.
  • End measures aimed at intimidating and silencing members of civil society from taking action to protect rights, and ensure that no evidence from coerced confessions is used in Huang and Wang’s court cases – or anyone else – are permissible.


ACAT France

Amnesty International

Center for Reproductive Rights

Center for Global Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University

Changsha Funeng

China against the death penalty

China Labor Bulletin

CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), within the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Front line defenders

Strangers from Hong Kong

Hong Kong Outlanders in Taiwan

human rights in China

human rights now

Index to Censorship

International Human Rights Service

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders


Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

protect defenders

Taiwan Human Rights Association

Taiwan Labor Front

The law practice

Uyghur human rights project

World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), within the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

[1] Because their cases are closely related, their friends and supporters refer to them as a single case, dubbed the “Xuebing case,” using a portmanteau of their first names.

Photo credit: @freexuebing

Where there is loss there is hope Sat, 17 Sep 2022 13:52:30 +0000

Loss is an inevitable part of life. To be alive means to face both ordinary and extraordinary losses. Sometimes losses are expected. In other cases, the loss comes as an unwelcome surprise.

My own mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 17 years before she died. Over the years, she’d had what she called small bouts of cancer that always seemed treatable. But her family always eagerly awaited the big, bad diagnosis that would inevitably result from one of her many doctor’s appointments.

In the midst of a 17-year battle with cancer, Joyce Dresang holds her first grandson. After her initial diagnosis, she hoped for a cure and then she hoped to live long enough to see her children grow up. Her last hope was to see and hold her first grandchild. courtesy photo

We had time to prepare (as best we could) and contemplate the idea of ​​life without her. But when my perfectly healthy father died in a horrific car accident, he was gone in a flash, and nothing could have adequately prepared our family for such a harrowing and surreal loss.

There are unavoidable losses associated with the death of our spouse or partner, sibling, child, parent, or loved one. However, there are other losses that we all struggle with: loss of a job or career, home, marriage, friendship, beloved pet, health, youth, important relationship, meaning or normalcy, financial Security, independence, or the possibility of an imaginary future.

Rumi, a 13th-century Turko-Persian mystic, poet, and Sufi master said of the loss: “Do not cast away the heart, even if it is full of sorrow. God’s treasures are buried in broken hearts.” Much of Rumi’s poetry celebrates the heartache, sorrow, and heartache that accompany loss. However, his wisdom also suggests that hope and optimism always come with loss. . . that is, when we choose to open ourselves to the possibility that something meaningful and even valuable can come out of brokenness and pain. He tells his readers, “Sadness can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open to everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s quest for love and wisdom… The wound is where the light enters you.”

On the road of a winding 20-year hospice calling, I have witnessed on many occasions how hope can take root and emerge through the cracks of an otherwise hellish landscape of despair and grief. One such opportunity involved a 9-year-old girl named Katie Jones. She was a longtime patient in a pediatric hospice program called Hope’s Friends.

When Katie died after battling severe cerebral palsy for many years, the national limelight was focused on a specific and highly controversial issue surrounding her young life. The girl’s deteriorating health prompted her parents to post a “do not resuscitate” instruction on her wheelchair at school, sparking a very public debate about a very private ordeal.

Katie Jones with her mother Beth just weeks before her death. courtesy photo

That year, Katie’s school district respected her parents’ decision to have DNR orders and complied with the family’s request despite public protests. In the mix of public comments and opinions about her death and her parents’ DNR orders, a local church criticized Hope’s Friends and questioned how a children’s hospice program could include the word hope in its name. Her family’s response was brilliant.

They made it clear that there is always hope in the life of a child with special needs. Katie’s mum explained: “At first we hoped our little girl could have a normal life. Then we hoped for healing. We hoped for better treatments and care that could ease their pain and suffering, and ultimately we hoped for a peaceful death. Now we hope that something worthwhile will come out of this experience and her short life. We also hope for our own survival and growth through this devastating loss. Hope is our friend, always changing but never dying.”

In fact, hope can be a roller coaster ride. With every peak and valley, twist and turn, it can morph into something else. Hope is very future and goal oriented, so it makes sense that hope and post traumatic growth have a relationship because they are both very future oriented. In its purest form, hope is a commitment to move forward.

Understanding that hope and loss are close companions, not adversaries, allows us to be realistic and optimistic at the same time. When my mother was being treated for cancer, part of me believed that the reality of her prognosis needed to be kept in check while there was still hope. In my opinion, these two concepts seemed contradictory.

I now realize that without understanding the adversity we faced, there would have been no reason to invoke hope. I recently spoke to a widow whose husband was cared for by YoloCares. After his death, she said to me, “I knew my husband was going to die, but I hoped it wasn’t true. It was so uncomfortable to think about or even talk about that I chose to avoid the reality of the situation. So in the end, avoidance is the regret I live with, not hope.”

Nothing in this world stands still or escapes the passage of time. All of life continues to change and morph into a different interpretation of itself. Loss and grief are no different. Suffering can be life-giving. Grief can become a source of compassion and grace, and a heart can be broken and open at the same time.

For information about the YoloCares Center for Loss and Hope, contact Chris Erdman at 530-758-5566. A number of self-help groups, coordinated by the center, are open to the community.

— Craig Dresang is the CEO of YoloCares.

Positive newborn genetic screening in Pompe worries mothers Interview study shows insecurity for the future of parents of LOPD children Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:29:53 +0000

In an interview study, mothers of children who test positive for Pompe disease in newborn genetic screening programs—and who have been diagnosed with late-stage type, or LOPD—expressed uncertainty about the age of onset of symptoms in their sons and daughters and concerns about the future of their child.

Researchers say that better understanding these mothers’ experiences can help improve care for both patients and their parents.

“Increased provider education and attention to recognizing and addressing the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty generated by the presymptomatic diagnosis of a child with LOPD could benefit families affected by the diagnosis and patient relationships and improve providers,” the team wrote.

The study’s findings may educate healthcare providers about the psychological implications of a positive newborn genetic screening result and a late-onset Pompe disease diagnosis, the researchers said.

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The team suggested beginning proactive care immediately, noting that all parents surveyed “reported that they Googled Pompe disease, which led to devastation, anxiety and insecurity.”

“I know [the nurse] didn’t tell me about Google and I’m so grateful she told me so, but I had idle hands and an anxious heart and I had to do it,” one participant told Interviews.

The study, “A qualitative study: experiences of mothers with their child’s late-onset Pompe disease diagnosis after newborn screening“, was published in International Journal of Newborn Screening.

Received an LOPD diagnosis

There are three types of pompe: two early-onset forms characterized by low muscle tone, breathing problems, and an enlarged heart, and a late-onset form that can develop anytime after 1 year of age. Late-onset Pompe disease, known as LOPD, is characterized by muscle weakness and difficulty breathing, but has a wide range of disease severity and age of onset.

Because inherited genetic defects cause Pompe disease, newborn screening programs have been established to avoid delays in diagnosis and ensure prompt treatment. This is especially important for babies with the more severe infantile form.

However, most newborns who carry Pomp-related mutations identified through genetic screening programs develop LOPD.

Such early diagnosis of LOPD can improve health outcomes by avoiding diagnostic delays and reducing uncertainty and anxiety for patients and families. Conversely, the disadvantages of an early LOPD diagnosis include the parents’ fear of the course of the disease (prognosis), the possible medicalization of an asymptomatic child, increased health care costs and insurance uncertainties.

The aim of this study, conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, was to describe the experiences of parents and examine the implications when a newborn is diagnosed with LOPD based on early genetic screening.

The team asked eight mothers, ages 29 to 38, about their experiences with their child’s positive genetic screening test, living with the diagnosis, and medical surveillance.

All mothers found out about the positive screening test within a few days to two weeks after the birth of their child. The waiting time of a few days to a few months for the first appointment, additional information and the specific diagnosis were described as sources of stress and anxiety.

“The waiting game is so hard just figuring out if it’s a late start or if it is [infantile]-beginning,” said participant 1 in her interview. “I think this waiting game almost got me. It was very, very difficult.”

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Nexviazyme |  Pompe Disease News |  Main graphic for the column

After a positive newborn gene screening

Participants described trauma from the news, stress that their child has a genetic disease, and fear for the future. Some expressed sadness at being diagnosed with LOPD, but all were relieved that their child was diagnosed with LOPD rather than infantile pompe.

“It was an extremely stressful time when I first found out, especially since you’re extremely hormonal postpartum, and then basically telling me there’s something wrong with my child was a lot,” she told the attendee 5.

Living with the diagnosis created uncertainty regarding symptom onset, the variability of LOPD, future finances, insurance coverage, and opportunities for the child’s future, particularly career potential. These parents also expressed feelings of anticipated sadness and concern, but at the same time expressed gratitude that their child was diagnosed early.

The mothers said they were overly conscious of their child’s health and overanalyzed their behavior, paying particular attention to developmental milestones and fearing any finding could be a Pompe symptom.

“You start to overanalyze everything and that’s what I did to her,” said participant 4. “Every time she chokes, is that the respiratory part of the pompe or is it just that she’s a normal newborn? Her legs kind of twitch every now and then, is that pompe or is she just a normal newborn…”

To cope, many participants focused on their families and their daily lives—specifically, not thinking about their child’s diagnosis until the next clinical visit. The most common support system was a Facebook Pompe parent group alongside family, friends, religion/belief and other communities. Further education, treatment of psychosocial issues and reassurance were also offered by the child’s health care team.

Many families found that as they gained acceptance and gathered more information, they would label their child “normal” and not apply labels based on the diagnosis. Participant 5 said of her son: “He doesn’t have any of the symptoms and we don’t need to do any of the treatments, so to us he’s a normal kid doing normal things.”

One family opted for prenatal testing in a future pregnancy, another decided against having more children because of that first traumatic experience, and one decided the risk of recurrence was low and said they would have more children.

Medical surveillance helped comfort parents and reassure mothers, they said, noting that such surveillance would detect early symptoms and allow them to initiate treatment without delay.

“It kind of alleviates some worries on our part about what happens when we miss something and we don’t know,” said participant 6 of routine clinical visits. “It’s kind of comforting to have these consistent appointments.”

In contrast, participants felt frustrated when disagreements with providers about possible symptoms arose and reported feeling worried, anxious, and insecure between visits. The team reported no obstacles to surveillance in these cases.

Mothers described being proactive in requesting more monitoring from their providers, with one mother (participant 3) switching providers for her three LOPD children. Participants also suggested that providers should listen to their suggestions for changing medical surveillance.

“We really are [our children’s] supporters, so it was not a matter of course that we stand up for children, but a necessary enrichment for us,” said participant 3.

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newborn screening

improve care

Parents said they wanted more education from providers who provide newborn genetic screening results and provide ongoing care.

Participant 6 said, “When something is brought to newborn screening in this condition, you have some kind of training [for providers] in it so that they can help the families.”

The mothers also said that a person with greater experience of Pompe disease should provide the screening results. During the first few visits, providers should be mindful of the parents’ stress and warn them about the types of information they may see on the Internet.

“I so hope she wouldn’t have told me anything to google because the first thing that came up when we googled was that people with this diagnosis don’t live past a year or two,” said participant 1 “It’s just hard to even get through this. It’s not even our reality and it’s still hard for me to talk about.”

Mothers suggested that other families who have received a positive screening test and LOPD diagnosis should proactively monitor and advocate for their child and join support groups such as a Facebook Pompe parent group.

Overall, the study results “should be evaluated by providers so that they can guide parents based on their coping style and provide the resources needed,” the researchers concluded.

“Future research into what families experience, how these children grow up, and how to predict disease outcomes will benefit from how providers make recommendations for follow-up care in pre-symptomatic individuals and personalize their care,” they added.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert Addresses Support for Brittney Griner, New Prioritization Rule, Expansion Sun, 11 Sep 2022 20:51:47 +0000

Ahead of Game 1 of Sunday’s WNBA Finals between the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert addressed the media during their annual Finals press conference. As usual, Engelbert addressed a wide range of topics, including the prioritization rule and the expansion of the league. She also reiterated the league’s support for Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, who remains jailed in Russia.

Here is a summary of some of Engelbert’s key comments:

Reaffirms support for Griner

Brittney Griner was first arrested on drug charges in Russia in February and sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison in August. While the US State Department is working on negotiations for a possible prisoner swap, it’s unclear when or if that will happen. Engelbert confirmed that the League is working with the government and is doing everything in its power to support Griner.

As we prepare to launch this amazing series, it’s important to reiterate that we are always thinking of Brittney Griner and our commitment to bringing her home safely and as quickly as possible. That didn’t waver. We continue to work with the State Department, the US government and administration, and others on this very complex situation. I recently received a handwritten letter from BG and am so inspired by their courage in the face of tremendous odds. We are totally focused on getting her home safely and she remains such an important part of the WNBA family.

Sticking to the prioritization rule

In the coming season, the prioritization rule of the league will apply. In 2023, players must report to their team by opening night or they will be ineligible to play for the entire season. In 2024, players will have to register after training camps. In recent days, some players have expressed frustration with this rule as it could create conflicts with their overseas teams and limit the time they can spend with their families.

However, Engelbert made it clear that the league is not backing down — even if it means some players are choosing to leave the WNBA.

As everyone knows, owners have really stepped up their game on the player compensation side in this bargaining cycle, and I think the quid pro quo for that was prioritization – showing up on time for our season. To be honest, after 36 years in my working world, there hasn’t been a single time that I haven’t had to show up on time. So I think the owners have been very steadfast in their commitment.

We want our veterans to come back and be with the team and build the chemistry it takes to build a championship culture. I think that was something that the owners really pushed forward and really cared about and I support them wholeheartedly. But we understand that players will make the best decisions for themselves and their families, we see that all the time.

But like I said, we chop away; We’ve nearly doubled the prize pool for WNBA Finals winners. The total pool now equals the Commissioner’s Cup pool of half a million dollars in playoff bonuses. There’s a variety of other things, like we’re going to spend almost $1.5 million on player marketing deals with players this year. So try to give players a reason to stay home and a reason to prioritize the WNBA. But I understand and our eyes are wide open that there are some players who might not choose to do that.

No major updates to the extension

The WNBA will expand in the near future, but the when and where is still unclear. Noting that the league narrowed the list of potential cities to about 10, Engelbert confirmed that Oakland/the Bay Area is on the list but did not offer any significant updates. She’s still hoping to make an official announcement before the end of the calendar year, but hasn’t made a firm commitment to it.

“In expansion, we continue to do very hard work on expansion, as I’ve probably mentioned over the past six months or so. We took those hundred cities we looked at based on psychographics, demographics, current WNBA fan base, merch purchases, NCAA viewership, arena availability, engaged ownership groups and we’ve narrowed that down to probably about ten , and we will continue to work hard on it and hopefully be able to announce an expansion in the next few years.

So we’re in no rush like I said and have had two pretty rough COVID years of ownership. We want to ensure that the new ownership group is successfully positioned. So we will announce it when it is right when we have agreements with different ownership groups. But we’re still working hard on it, but it’s been a pretty intense season and we’re going to work even harder in the off-season.

Yes I would say I would like to announce by the end of the year. These are complex situations for building expansions in cities. Again, you need to find the right owners with the right capital. We need to do an expansion blueprint, we need to let our GMs and Head Coaches know in advance what that’s going to be like. We’re working on all of that. We have workstreams around all of that. We have a process and a lot of interest. The great thing is that we have more than ten interested cities and we continue to conduct bidding in those cities with potential owner groups and take potential bidding situations seriously.”

Preseason play comes to Canada as the league seeks to expand global reach

The WNBA is still based entirely in the United States, although there’s a chance that could change with expansion if Toronto is one of the selected cities. In the meantime, the league is looking to expand its global reach, and as part of that process, next season will feature a preseason game in Canada for the first time ever.

Further details such as date, location and teams involved will be announced at a later date. It’s possible that this game could be used to test the viability of an expansion team in Canada, although Engelbert didn’t specifically cite this as a reason for hosting a game there.

Additionally, the league hopes to eventually play more games outside of the country, just like the NBA is doing with its Global Games series.

“I think we’ve been looking at Canada for a while. In fact, before the pandemic, we had plans to play a preseason game in Canada and obviously literally like leaving the CBA in January 2020, talked to Canada and made a visit up there. Women’s sports are very, very popular up there and they were very successful in basketball, soccer and hockey.

We have players from Canada in our league so that helps too. I think the ease of traveling there during what was again an intense training camp period that had made Canada attractive to us and again it’s the damn graphics, the youth and the diversity of the country in some of those cities that’s why we’re going to start there . But we’d love to go to Europe, Asia, an EMEA tour, do an Asian tour sometime in the future while we build the economy of this league and the success of these players’ global brands.”

Chautauqua County Head Start faculty and staff receive family engagement training | News, Sports, Jobs Wed, 07 Sep 2022 05:18:19 +0000

The Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene (CCDMH) had the opportunity to work with Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI), the Child Care Council for Chautauqua County, to host the Park United Methodist Head Start faculty and staff training this fall Church in Sinclairville to perform.

Rachel Ludwig of CCDMH and the Tapestry Resilience Initiative shared family engagement strategies for faculty and staff. Ludwig’s presentation included content from ZeroToThree’s Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, Breathe For Change Social Emotional Facilitation, and the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning Curricula.

According to its website, Head Start puts children at the center of meaningful engagement. The training presented supported evidence-based best practices for fostering positive and goal-oriented relationships between children, families, caregivers and program staff. Participants received references, workbooks and local resources on the topics covered.

“Some of the resources and discussions focused on the importance of self-care,” said Louis. “It might seem absurd to do this as part of family commitment – but really – being confident, creative and reflective is part of the common goal of supporting children and families.” It all relates directly to the family commitment.”

COI’s Sue Marker, Beth Faulkner and Rebecca Reed assisted with Ludwig’s presentation. The Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is a resource center for families, child care providers and communities. CCR&Rs improve access to quality, affordable childcare by providing a wide range of services, from training like today to helping families find childcare; providing support, education and resources for childcare workers; to collect research on child care needs and trends to inform community members and policy makers.

The goal of the Tapestry Resilience Initiative is to provide safe and responsive trauma-informed services to prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders; identify and address concerns as early as possible; and to strengthen existing collaboration between community groups and create effective coordination to provide the necessary support and services to children, youth and their families. This collaboration with COI is an excellent example of this coordination.

To learn more about the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene or the Tapestry Resilience Initiative, visit To learn more about Head Start and other local child care services, visit or call 716-366-3333.

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