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Jeannie Alter
Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Courtney Stewart
Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Tracy James
IU Communications

Charles Rondot
School of Public Health-Bloomington

Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Indiana Prevention Resource Center celebrates 25 years with bullying prevention events

March 27, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Prevention Resource Center, part of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of activities designed to raise awareness about bullying and provide educators with more tools to address bullying in their schools.

"Sticks and Stoned: Bullying, Substance Use and Mental Health Policies, Practices and Resources" features four events in April that will give educators and the general public an opportunity to hear from state and national experts about addressing bullying, a problem known to contribute to mental health and substance abuse problems in teens and adolescents.

"It is important to recognize the relationship between bullying and poor mental health outcomes and substance abuse," said Jeanie Alter, project manager with the IPRC. "The better we understand how they influence each other, the better we can prevent problems and be responsive to issues when they arise."

For 25 years, the IPRC has collaborated with community, regional and national agencies as it works to translate current research and data on substance use and addictive behaviors into practice. It does this by reaching out to practitioners in the field -- teachers, counselors, researchers, volunteers, substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and essentially anyone who works with youths.

"The IPRC provides evidence-based services that span the entire continuum of care: promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery," IPRC Executive Director Ruth Gassman said.

The center's work exemplifies the fundamental role of community engagement in the School of Public Health-Bloomington.

"Having such an outstanding resource as the IPRC associated with our school underscores the important relationship between research and practice," said Mohammad Torabi, dean and chancellor's professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "Our school's mission to prevent disease, promote health and improve quality of life is bolstered by the professionalism, expertise and dedication of everyone at the IPRC. Through efforts such as the Bullying Prevention Program, we see real-world solutions provided to our communities to tackle the public health crisis of bullying across the nation."

bullying image

The effects of bullying can be more than physical.

The IPRC's annual surveys and other work have focused on substance abuse prevention among youths. Research in recent years has found an association between victimization, in the form of mental and physical bullying, and the use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and inhalants among middle school students.

The agency received a grant from Mental Health America, Indiana, to promote Children's Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place in May. The four activities, funded by the grant and held in April to accomodate school schedules, are designed to increase awareness of bullying, support educators and administrators with strategies for prevention of bullying, and highlight effective bullying policies for implementation in schools.

The events are free and open to the public:

  • Introductory webinar, 2 to 3:30 p.m. April 8. This will introduce the topic of bullying prevalence in Monroe County and the surrounding area, and the common ground it shares with mental health problems and substance abuse.
  • Film screening, 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 15, Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St, Bloomington. "Bully" is a cinematic documentary that examines the consequences of bullying, shares intimate testimony of bullying and seeks to inspire change in the way parents, teachers, youths and society deal with the issue.
  • Strategies workshop, 4 to 6 p.m. April 23, Persimmon Room, Indiana Memorial Union. This workshop for educators will provide an opportunity to learn and practice strategies for use in the classroom, hallways and playgrounds; participants will be provided with strategies, resources and tools.
  • Policies panel webinar, 2 to 3:30 p.m. April 30. This webinar will feature a panel discussion about effective school policies related to bullying. Panelists will be Rachel Dowty, an intern at the IPRC; Dave Estell, IU educational psychology associate professor; Becky Rose, director of student services at Monroe County Community School Corp.; and David Emmert, general counsel for the Indiana School Board Association.

Registration is available on the IPRC website.

Alter can be reached at 812-855-4896 or For additional assistance, contact Courtney Stewart at 812-855-5556 or Visit Indiana Prevention Resource Center for more information about its anniversary and the bullying prevention activities.

More about the bullying prevention activities:

  • The following organizations collaborated with the IPRC to bring bullying prevention awareness to the Bloomington community: Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and its Department of Applied Health Science and Office of Global and Community Health Partnerships; the IU School of Education; Monroe County Community School Corp.'s Comprehensive Health Issues Committee; the Indiana School Board Association, and the Family and Social Services Administration.
  • Professional development opportunities are available in the form of Professional Growth Points for educators and Continuing Education Units for addiction counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers and certified health education specialists.
  • Electronic resources from IPRC Library Database: Bullying resources and K-2 Schools/Teachers

About the School of Public Health-Bloomington

With nearly 3,000 students in an array of undergraduate and advanced degree programs, the School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a traditional campus experience enriched by 21st-century innovation. More than 120 faculty in five academic departments -- Department of Kinesiology; Department of Applied Health Science; Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies; Department of Environmental Health; and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics -- conduct major research, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics. Each department offers numerous majors, minors, and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition to its academic departments, the school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual sports opportunities.