Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Indiana Prevention Resource Center celebrates 25 years with bullying prevention events

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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."

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:

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:

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.

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