Unsatisfactory Student Safety: A Demand for Sexual Violence Prevention in College

July 21, 2017

endOver the last few years, there has been a surge in news articles about college campus sexual violence. Numerous students have reached out to their educational institutions to voice their concerns and demand action. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (Cantor, Fisher, Chibnall, Townsend, et al., 2015). To make matters worse, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000).

There is currently no federal law that mandates schools to implement an educational sexual violence prevention program. Unfortunately, only 25 states mandate that their public educational institutions present some sort of education around sexual assault (National Public Radio, 2016).

There is hope for students as more politicians are becoming concerned; sexual violence prevention program implementation on campuses is steadily increasing. Just recently, Massachusetts State Senator Michael Moore introduced a bill that would address sexual violence on college campuses in the state (Calabro, 2017). The bill would require all students and staff to receive annual sexual violence prevention and awareness programming. Nonetheless, there is much more work to be done in order to ensure the safety of our nation’s students.

One organization taking this topic seriously is National Health Promotion Associates, which developed the evidence-based Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) programs that are proven to reduce violence and many other risky behaviors. LST is currently developing a program for college campuses that wish to improve their campus safety. The program focuses on:

  • A holistic approach that will help students develop life skills necessary to thrive in school
  • Raising awareness of how substance abuse can be a risk factor for sexual violence
  • Clarifying the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • Educating students on various topics such as what constitutes consent and information on bystander intervention
  • Providing strategies and techniques to help students in risky or uncomfortable situations


Calabro, J. (2017, June 08). News | Moore’s Bill Addressing Campus Sexual Violence Voted Unanimously to Advance. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from http://www.golocalworcester.com/news/moores-bill-addressing-campus-sexual-violence-voted-unanimously-to-advance

Cantor D., Fisher B., Chibnall S., Townsend R, Lee H., Bruce C., Thomas G. (2015). Report on the AAU campus climate survey of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Rockville, MD: Westat.

Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. National Institutes of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

National Public Radio. (2016, August 09). To Prevent Sexual Assault, Schools And  Parents Start Lessons Early. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/2016/08/09/487497208/to-prevent-sexual-assault-schools-and-parents-start-lessons-early


Writer: Gabriela Rodrigues is a graduate of State University of New York College at Oneonta with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Child Development. She will attend Columbia University this fall to pursue her Masters in Psychology.

Weeding Out the Facts: The Implications of Legalizing Marijuana

July 12, 2017

In recent years, the legalization of marijuana use has become a high-profile topic of discussion across the United States. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational usage of marijuana for adults 21 and over. In following years, other states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana usage or decriminalized it, changing usage trends across the country. The long-term impacts of these changing laws are yet to be seen, but what can we learn from the few years that have passed?

Researchers have looked at Colorado and noticed some changes in public health trends since 2012. Two highlights:

  • mjA 2016 report compared previous years’ results from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The report showed a large difference in Colorado youth (ages 12 to 17) marijuana usage compared to the national average. From 2013-2014, the percentage of Colorado youth who had used marijuana in the previous month was 74% higher than the national average.
  • A report published in 2017 showed that Colorado hospital records indicate a marked increase in marijuana-related visits. The study found that among 13-21 year olds, the number of marijuana-related visits to the emergency department (ED) and other urgent care centers rose from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014.

These numbers suggest that not only are adolescents more at risk because of increased access to marijuana, but also more healthcare resources are needed to respond to these risks. As time passes, it will be interesting to see how Colorado and other states respond to the changing public health needs of their communities. In fact, when discussing the findings about changes in marijuana-related ED visits, the study’s lead researcher George Sam Wang stressed that “targeted marijuana education and prevention strategies are necessary to reduce the significant public health impact” of marijuana usage on adolescent populations.

One company heavily involved in prevention is National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA), whose LifeSkills Training programs target the prevention of substance use, prescription drug abuse, and sexual violence for elementary school, middle school, high school, and college students. NHPA has also introduced an online workshop (check our online calendar for current dates) specific to teaching marijuana prevention. Workshops like these are key elements in addressing changes in adolescent mental health related to marijuana usage.

Writer: Genevieve Martin is a rising senior at Boston College studying Psychology. She also works as a Health Coach in the Office of Health Promotion (OHP) where she teaches and coaches students about stress and time management along with other general health and wellness strategies. 






Are you trained to teach evidence-based prevention?

July 11, 2017

Provider Training Workshops (online) teacher-students-smThese workshops prepare teachers, school counselors, prevention specialists, police officers, community youth educators, and other program providers to effectively implement the state-of-the-art prevention education activities and teaching strategies found in the LifeSkills Training program.

  • 7/11  Transitions program
  • 7/12  Elementary program
  • 7/18  Middle School program
  • 7/26  Parent Program Leader Training
  • 8/3    High School program

Click here for full Summer schedule (check back for future dates).


Provider Training Workshops (on-site) Do you have a group that needs to be trained to deliver the LifeSkills Training program? We can send a trainer directly to your site. For a quote, email training@nhpamail.com or call 800-293-4969.



Trainer of Trainers (TOT) This two-day advanced training workshop teaches you how to deliver and conduct LifeSkills Training workshops for your organization.  Eligibility limited to those who complete Provider Training workshop and implement the LST program for at least one full cycle.

Greater New York City area: 
July 13 – 14, 2017 (only one spot left!)
or November 2 – 3, 2017

Interact For Health Offering Grants for LifeSkills to Prevent Tobacco Use

July 6, 2017

Interact for Health announced today in honor of the local foundation’s 20th Anniversary, it is seeking grant applications from each of the 20-counties in the Greater Cincinnati region.  Organizations in each county will be awarded up to $20,000 to help advance Interact’s targeted goal of reducing use of tobacco in low-income communities. The term tobacco use includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, vaping, hookah, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco.


More 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking, which equals $170 billion in direct medical costs every year. The smoking rates in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana are all higher than the national average, and the rates are significantly higher for low-income and minority populations. Despite declining universal smoking rates great health disparities still exist. Individuals with less than a high school education, below the Federal Poverty Level, and who live in rural locations are using tobacco at significantly higher rates than the national average.

“Historically, tobacco prevention efforts have not focused on our poorest communities, which has left huge disparities,” said Owens. “To move towards the goal of having the healthiest region in the country, we need to reduce tobacco use in every community and in every county.”

An organization in each of the 20-county service region will be awarded one grant. Each grant award will provide $20,000 to an organization to reduce tobacco use. Grant awards will be announced during Interact for Heath’s 20th Anniversary celebration this fall.  Examples of tobacco prevention as well as tobacco-free environment projects that could be funded under this RFA are:

  • planning and implementation of policies,
  • developing coalitions, advocacy strategies and social marketing campaigns.
  • implementing school/community prevention programs (e.g. LifeSkills, CoreLife, etc.),
  • implementing or developing innovative program ideas, or
  • developing strategies to engage hard-to-reach portions of the community.

Application Process

Complete and submit the request for application (RFA) form to proposals@interactforhealth.org by 5PM on August 2, 2017. An informational workshop will be held on July 18th from 1PM to 3PM at Interact for Health, 3805 Edwards Rd, Suite 500, Cincinnati, OH 45209. This event will also be available via live stream.

Applicants must be a non-profit community agency, school or a governmental entity located in or serving one of the 20 counties of Interact’s service area. Some projects involving unincorporated or for-profit entities may be feasible in collaboration with a qualified non-profit fiscal sponsor.  For complete details and to download the application, visit www.interactforhealth.org.

Application deadline is 8/2/17

Do you want to learn why LifeSkills Training is the most effective prevention program in schools?

July 5, 2017

Join us on this free webinar to learn more about the highly effective Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program and how it can positively impact the lives of youth in elementary, middle, and high school. Explore the LST structure and learn how it can be an effective, enjoyable, and easy-to-teach program!picture1

Botvin LifeSkills Training:   A Proven Program for Drug-free Youth

School districts, individual schools, and their partner agencies are challenged now more than ever with a number of social, emotional, and environmental needs that impact the lives of the youth they serve. Time and resources are at a premium which demands an approach that is not only diverse in it reach, but delivers multiple outcomes, meaningful change, and results.

In fact, the Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training (LST) as one of the most effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18.*  The LST program is research validated, has universal appeal, is age and developmentally appropriate, will change the lives of the youth you serve for the better.

Join us to learn how the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST)  has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug abuse. In addition, research on LST demonstrated reductions in violence, delinquency, and most recently, prescription and opioid misuse among middle school aged-youth.

*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Space is limited! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.

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