July 10, 2019

Minority Mental Health Month
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, an observance that was announced by the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2008 and officially named for Bebe Moore Campbell, an author, advocate, co-founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles, and national spokesperson who passed away in November 2006 from cancer. She received NAMI's 2003 Outstanding Media Award for Literature and advocated for mental health education and support among individuals of diverse communities.
Background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Mental Health America (MHA), a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting overall mental health, is focused on expanding the term "minority" to include not only racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities but also individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and underserved communities, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health notes the following statistics on their website:
  • Over 70 percent of Black/African-American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition. 
  • Almost 25 percent of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino. 
  • Asian-American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups. 
  • In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide. 
  • In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among African Americans 15 to 24 years old, according to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Untreated mental illness can also make African American men more vulnerable to substance abuse, homelessness, incarceration, and homicide. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the NIMHD have launched Brother, You're on My Mind: Changing the National Dialogue Regarding Mental Health Among African American Men This initiative has two major goals:

  • To collaborate on efforts to educate Omega members, their families, and related communities on the effects of depression and stress.
  • To communicate the importance of seeking help for mental health problems and to encourage affected individuals to get information from their health care providers and others in order to obtain appropriate treatment.

You can download the Brother, You're on My Mind toolkit from the NIMHD website. It includes educational materials, community partnership information, event planning documents, social media messaging and graphics, and an after-action report.
Campus communities can also download the 2019 Minority Mental Health Awareness Month #DepthOfMyIdentity toolkit from the MHA website.

Free webinar
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Just in Time: Clery Act Tips Before Fall 2019
Now is the time to fine-tune your Annual Security Report (ASR) and Annual Fire Safety Report (AFSR) before the October 1, 2019 release date! On Tuesday, July 23 rd , Campus Public Safety Online welcomes Clery Act experts  Laura Egan - senior director of programs for the Clery Center, Steven Healy - ch ief executive officer of Margolis Healy, and James Moore - Clery Act senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Education Compliance and Campus Safety Operations to present  Just in Time: Clery Act Tips Before Fall 2019 .
Laura, Steven, and James will share their experiences and perspectives regarding the most critical issues in Clery Act compliance, with particular focus on those requirements related directly to the ASR/AFSR. Presenters will cover areas such as the policy and procedure requirements, distribution processes and notices, and challenges related to collecting and classifying crimes. There will be plenty of time for Q&A breaks during this special 90-minute webinar.
For more information and to register, please visit our website .

Photo Credit: Gregg O'Connell
Alcohol Policies on Campus 

If a college or university receives federal funds, they are required by law to have alcohol policies posted on their websites and distributed to students and employees. A recent review by researchers from the Maryland Collaborative sought to answer some important questions about alcohol policies at institutions of higher education (IHEs), including 1) are they easy to find, 2) can students understand them, and 3) are they effective at curbing or eliminating underage and binge drinking?
The Maryland Collaborative is a growing network of 15 colleges and universities across Maryland whose presidents have agreed to work together with community partners to reduce alcohol use on their campuses and create environments, policies, and practices using data-driven approaches. Four researchers undertook the study, " Assessing Campus Alcohol Policies: Measuring Accessibility, Clarity, and Effectiveness ," which was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in March 2019. 
The authors noted that on-campus alcohol policies have received far less attention than research on prevention policies in the communities surrounding campuses. Their study was focused on retrieving the official campus alcohol policies (CAPs) from the websites of the 15 member IHEs. The CAPs were assessed for accessibility, clarity, and effectiveness. The policy effectiveness was measured against two panels drawing on alcohol policy researchers and on-campus and community practitioners, respectively. The panels rated 35 potential policies and 13 possible sanctions; lists of policies and sanctions were compiled primarily from what was already in existence at one or more member schools.

At most of the 15 IHEs, CAPs could be located on their websites within 30 seconds, but tended to be located across multiple webpages. The language used in the policies was often complex and above the reading level of someone with a high school education. In addition, at least half of the IHEs had less than half of the possible policies rated most or somewhat effective by the two efficacy panels and ineffective sanctions were not uncommon.
According to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education , Molly Mitchell, a senior alcohol-policy program manager at the Bloomberg School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University and one of the study's authors, notes that the findings for Maryland are "roughly average for the nation." According to researchers, the most effective strategies include:
  • prohibiting alcohol in public places on campuses (including sports arenas)
  • prohibiting alcohol at all student-organization recruitment events
  • banning tailgating, drinking games, and alcohol delivery to campuses
Outlining clear consequences for each infraction is also a key component to reducing alcohol consumption. Penalties that appear to work best have a "strong, population-wide deterrent effect."
Keg registration has proven ineffective and prohibiting kegs and hard liquor on campuses or in dorm rooms is less effective since it typically leads to beverage switching by students (i.e., shifting from hard liquor to beer or beer to hard liquor).
For additional resources developed by the Maryland Collaborative, including a separate website for parents of college students, an option to subscribe to their mailing list, and fact sheets, please visit their website and check the Resources and Initiatives sections.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Defuse and Manage Difficult Situations in K-12 and Higher Education: School and Police Tactics that Work
Organization: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Date: August 5, 2019 
Location: Portsmouth, VA 
Fee: Free
Title: Suicide Prevention and Intervention for Public Safety Personnel
Organization: Justice Clearinghouse 
Dates: September 3, 2019
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Title IX, Clery Act, & Equity: Finding Solutions for a Shifting Landscape 
Organization: Grand River Solutions 
Date: October 21-24, 2019  
Location: Universal City, CA  
Fee: Registration fee

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

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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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