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Dear AFSPA Member,
Spring is officially around the corner, and we are kicking off the beginning of the new season with our AFSPA Annual Member Meeting on Friday, March 3 at 11:00 am ET. All AFSPA members are welcome to attend this hybrid event. A live webinar of the meeting will be available, so you can join us from wherever you are. If you haven’t already, there is still time to register for the Annual Meeting. We look forward to seeing you there as we go over AFSPA’s 2023 initiatives.
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
As we carry on with our theme of “Physical Health Leads to Better Mental Wellness – A Link to a Healthier You,” we think about a healthy diet and keeping an active lifestyle. While these behaviors are crucial to our overall wellness, let’s not forget about another important element, our sleep. Poor sleep quality can have a negative impact in different areas related to our physical and mental health. During Sleep Awareness Week (March 12-18), let’s try to make a few lifestyle changes to improve our sleeping patterns like putting our phones away while in bed! If you are looking for help in sleep management, the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) has wellness programs that offer coaches and resources. Learn about these programs here.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (March 20-26)
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is held in March each year and is a national health awareness week that offers teenagers and young adults clinically researched facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction. Concerns about adolescent mental health and substance use have increased, particularly as a result of the COVID pandemic and the mass shootings happening at our schools.
Studies show that depression among teenagers and young adults has gotten more common over the past decade. Results from the CDC’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey show startling trends. Nearly three in five teen girls (57%) said they felt “persistently sad or hopeless.” That’s the highest rate in a decade. And 30% said they have seriously considered dying by suicide — a percentage that’s risen by nearly 60% over the past 10 years.
Here’s a helpful resource to help you start a conversation with your teen about drugs and mental health. I also encourage you to please explore FSBP’s various programs to help manage depression, emotional concerns, stress, anxiety, and more. One program I would like to highlight is FSBP’s Brightline program* which brings extraordinary behavioral health care for kids and teens, and support for parents and caregivers in the form of psychologists, psychiatrists, speech therapists, and more. *This program is available to FSBP members living in the U.S.
AFSPA’s Financial Wellness Program
If something happened to you tomorrow, would your loved ones be in a tough spot without your income? Do you worry about financial debt? Do you need guidance planning for retirement? As a valued member of AFSPA, you have access to a wide variety of financial tools and educational resources that can help you achieve your financial wellness goals, whatever that may be. These tools and resources are all available to you at no cost. You can also participate in our monthly financial wellness webinars and financial wellness checkups, where you can speak with a dedicated Prudential Financial professional to review your current financial situation and navigate any challenges. Register for a financial webinar or check up here.
Finally, please continue to connect with us to learn more about how you can maximize your benefits and coverage through our blogs, weekly podcast, social media platforms, and our free educational webinars. Look out for your 2023 AFSPA in Action Spring Newsletter coming soon to your mailbox next month. You can also read past issues of our newsletters on our website.
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy spring season ahead. Thank you for your continued trust and for allowing us the opportunity to serve you and your family.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
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