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October Is National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to bring attention to and raise awareness about bullying and its potentially deadly consequences. Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes, including underage alcohol use, impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Stop Bullying.gov website has tools for parents, educators, and youth to help learn how to help when they are in or come across bullying situations. More

SAMHSA Releases KnowBullying Mobile Application
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) new KnowBullying mobile application promotes bullying prevention conversations and, more specifically:

  • Bullying prevention conversation starters for parents and their children;
  • Other bullying prevention tips;
  • Warning signs to detect bullying;
  • Reminders about when best to talk to children about bullying;
  • Useful social media tactics and advice about bullying prevention; and
  • Methods to prevent bullying in the classroom.

Visit Stop Bullying.gov for more information about bullying prevention. More

SAMHSA Announces Its Strategic Plan for 2015–2018
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation, which outlines how SAMHSA will increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders, promote emotional health and wellness, and address prevention during the next 4 years. Developed by SAMHSA’s Executive Leadership Team and staff, and in partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders, the 2.0 plan addresses the evolving needs of the field. As SAMHSA achieves its goals and objectives, it may add new initiatives to the plan to accommodate and support emergencies and future behavioral health needs.

Strategic Initiative 1 is the “Prevention of substance abuse and mental illness,” and Goal 1.2 is to “Prevent and reduce underage drinking and young adult problem drinking. The metric for measuring progress is to “decrease the percentage of youth aged 12–20 engaged in underage drinking, and reporting alcohol use or binge drinking in the past 30 days.”

This strategic plan will focus on several populations of high risk, including college students and transition-age youth; American Indian/Alaska Natives; ethnic minorities experiencing health and behavioral health disparities; service members, veterans, and their families; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals. More