Meika Hollender is the co-founder and president of Sustain, a brand of all-natural, vagina-friendly period and sexual wellness products. Meika chats with Femtastic's Katie Breen about what made her want to start what was initially a condom company, how she is motivated by "the orgasm gap" in male vs. female sexual pleasure, and why it's so important that the products we put into the most absorbent parts of our bodies are free of harmful chemicals. She also discusses how activism is central to everything Sustain does (like their part in making New York the first state to mandate ingredient lists for tampons!), and why she believes a sexual and menstrual wellness company can be a beacon for change in the reproductive wellness space.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, Femtastic discusses how trauma can impact lives in the long term.
PTSD used to be thought of as a "soldier's disease," but in 2019 it's finally getting recognition as an ailment that can affect anyone who has been through an extremely stressful life event.
Katie speaks with Karen Stefano, author of the memoir What a Body Remembers: Sexual Assault and its Aftermath. Karen tells the story of the assault she survived while she was in college during the 1980s; the emotional anguish and PTSD she suffered in the days, months, and years after; and how the process of seeking justice was re-traumatizing. She also offers hope - discussing the ongoing ups and downs of her healing journey and offering advice on how to reach out for help and move forward in the wake of trauma.
If you or someone you know is struggling, there are people available to help:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.TALK (8255). Available any time of day or night, 365 days a year, this toll-free helpline AND online chat service has trained volunteers standing by to provide crisis intervention, to offer support for people in distress, and to give information and referrals to people with suicidal thoughts, PTSD, depression and in other mental health crises.
- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673) or online chat will connect you to a local sexual assault service provider in your area. Trained staff can provide confidential support and connect you to local resources.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 crisis intervention, safety planning and information on domestic violence (800-799-7233).