April 24, 2019
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May is Mental Health Month
Help Spread Awareness During Mental Health Month
 
Each May in the U.S., we observe Mental Health Month (MHM) to help raise awareness, reduce stigma, provide support, and advocate for policies to help the 60 million Americans that live with mental illness. This year marks the 70th year MHM has been observed by Mental Health America (MHA), a community-based nonprofit founded in 1909 and one of the leading organizations dedicated to addressing mental health in the U.S.
 
For 2019, MHA is expanding upon last year's MHM theme of #4Mind4Body and exploring the topics of animal companionship (including pets and support animals ), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness. By downloading this year's toolkit , you can help members of your campus community:
  • understand how lifestyle factors impact the health of the body and the mind;
  • learn to assess their own mental health through the use of MHA's screening tools; and
  • share their own strategies for maintaining both physical and mental health by using the #4Mind4Body hashtag in social media posts.  
The toolkit contains key messages, materials to use in print and digital media publications, social media messaging and graphics as well as website images, fact sheets, posters, and more.
 
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S., continues its awareness campaign, WhyCare? The WhyCare? campaign seeks to share the importance of mental health treatment, support, and services as well as address broken systems and attitudes that present barriers to treatment and recovery. For educators in both K-12 and higher education, mental health conditions are ever present in their daily work with students. According to NAMI's Mental Health by the Numbers , half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, and early intervention programs can help. However, despite effective treatment, there are long delays, sometimes decades, between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help. Further, over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­-21 and older who are served by special education drop out, the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
 
Campus public safety departments can also get involved with NAMI in multiple ways. NAMI has developed crisis intervention team (CIT) programs as a result of the lack of mental health crisis services across the U.S. and the pressure that has been put on law enforcement to serve as first responders to crises. NAMI provides information on building a CIT program, finding a CIT program near you and how to get in touch with them, and the ability to share your story with others. In addition, NAMI understands the on-the-job stress faced by law enforcement officers  and the impact this has on their physical and mental health. Compared to the general population, law enforcement report much higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout, and other anxiety related mental health conditions. NAMI also partnered with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in 2016 to develop a guide,  Preparing for the Unimaginable: A Report on Officer Mental Health (PDF), designed to help police chiefs support officer wellness, resiliency, and more.
 
NAMI, MHA, and other founding partners created OK2TALK , a community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health conditions can find a safe place to talk about what they're experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle, or hope. OK2TALK works in partnership with MentalHealth.gov to help provide suicide prevention and other mental health resources.
 
For additional resources on mental health, please visit our library and use the search tag "mental health."

SAMHSA Communities Talk
2019 Communities Talk Stipends for Institutions of Higher Education
 
In addition to increasing awareness and understanding of alcohol addiction, Alcohol Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the efforts of campuses and communities across the country who are working together to prevent underage alcohol use. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's)  National Survey on Drug Use and Health , there has been a dramatic decrease over the past 15 years in the percentage of 12- to 20-year-olds who report any lifetime alcohol use from 56.2 percent in 2002 down to 41.0 percent in 2017.
 
SAMHSA's 2019 Communities Talk initiative can help sustain the momentum to prevent underage and high-risk drinking through community engagement. SAMHSA is distributing a limited number of $750 planning stipends to community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and statewide or state-based organizations on a first-come, first-served basis. If awarded the stipend, your campus can host a Communities Talk event at any time between now and December 31, 2019. To request an invitation, please send an e-mail to info@stopalcoholabuse.net with the subject "Communities Talk invitation request" and provide your contact name, affiliation, and e-mail address. Looking ahead, fall is an opportune time to host a Communities Talk event to welcome new and returning students and reinforce health and safety norms for the upcoming academic year.
 
For more information, visit the Communities Talk  website, view the archived webinar Leveraging Partnerships in Planning/Hosting a Communities Talk Event , and subscribe to Communities Talk e-Alerts for up-to-date information and resources about stipends and event planning. The e-Alerts are also archived and provide information to help organizers plan, host, and evaluate events aimed at mobilizing a community around evidence-based prevention of underage drinking.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Exploring Hazing Prevention: Building Campus Readiness and Capacity
Organizations: Clery Center and StopHazing
Date: May 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Registration fee

Title: Mental Illness 101: Anxiety Disorders
Organization: The Partnership Center
Date: May 9, 2019 at 12:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
 
Title: Survive & Thrive: Protecting You and Your Fellow Officers
Organization: VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program
Dates and Locations:
  • June 3-4, 2019 in Solvang, CA - Register
  • June 19-20, 2019 in San Marcos, TX - Register
  • July 16-17, 2019 in Lexington, SC - Register
Fee: Free

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

Virtual Professional Development
Through our Virtual Professional Development initiative, you can access free, online educational opportunities.
Campus Public Safety Online
Learn about our free webinar series, register for upcoming webinars, and view archived recordings on demand.
Emerging Issues Forum Reports
Download, print, and share findings from critical issues forums of campus public safety leaders, subject matter experts, and practitioners.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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