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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
September/October 2008, Volume 16, Number 5 

photo of two kids pointing and laughing at a boy leaning against a wall

Bullying: Starting the Conversation

On the subject of bullying, parents, relatives, teachers, counselors, and school administrators sometimes find themselves needing to ask children difficult but necessary questions.

One of those questions might be “Are you scared to go to school because you are afraid of being bullied?” Trying to start a dialogue with a “loaded” question like that, however, often fails to encourage a child to talk about his or her actual experiences in the schoolyard.

To help, SAMHSA recently updated Conversation Starter Cards, a set of more than 50 laminated 3.5- by 4.5-inch cards that offer many ways to begin a dialogue. The purpose of this tool is to help decrease bullying and increase a child's mental well-being.

The cards are part of SAMHSA's 15+ Make Time to Listen ... Take Time to Talk—About Bullying program. The campaign encourages parents to take a minimum of 15 minutes per day to spend quality time talking and listening to their children.

. . . Not a Fact of Life

A companion booklet, Bullying is Not a Fact of Life, helps continue the conversation. The booklet helps dispel myths about schoolyard behavior, and continues the goals of the ongoing Safe Schools/Healthy Students campaign.

The booklet’s prevention program outlines four essential points for concerned adults:

  • Identify the problem. An anonymous survey called the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire helps gather concrete information about bullying in the individual school.
  • Create a plan. Parents and teachers use this information to design interventions, including improved supervision of break times and individual work with students who have been identified as bullies and victims.
  • Set rules. Teachers and students work together to establish and reinforce a set of rules about bullying, thereby creating a positive, anti-bullying climate.
  • Provide supports. Finally, parents and teachers must cooperate to provide effective protection to victims of bullying.


Grant Awards Announced

SAMHSA recently announced grant awards for programs related to children's mental health, suicide, drug-free communities, and others.

Grant Awards Update

  National Survey on Drug Use  
  and Health  

Youth Substance Use Declines

From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, new national data show a drop in illicit drug use among youth and an increase in adult prescription drug misuse.

image of part of a bar chart

Drugs and Youth: Chart Shows 2002 to 2007 Data

Marijuana, cocaine—changes in use of selected illicit drugs among youth, 2002 versus 2007.

logo for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Recovery Month Testimonials

Two people relate their personal stories of addiction, recovery, and hope.

  Mental Health  
photo of a hand holding a pen to paper

Making Mental Health Services Accessible

Can primary care doctors help with mental health problems? New strategies to overcome barriers associated with reimbursement.

the letter i depicted as an icon representing a friend to lean on

Pros and Cons of Self-Disclosure

What are the risks and benefits of revealing a mental health problem to friends or coworkers?

photo of a boy pointing and a girl laughing

Bullying: Starting the Conversation

Bullies are out there—SAMHSA resources can help parents and educators address the problem.

  Substance Abuse  
photo of people sitting in a circle

Mutual Support Groups: Fact Sheet for Providers

What do you know about mutual support groups? Providers can help connect clients with groups that help people achieve recovery.

photo of a sign reading “Repeated Admissions Start Line Here”

First-Time Versus Repeat Admissions

New SAMHSA data reveal characteristics of first-time and repeat admissions to substance abuse treatment.

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Registry Posts 100th Evidence-Based Practice

NREPP reaches a milestone—find out how the Registry can link communities to interventions specific to their needs.

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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road - Rockville, MD 20857
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