An End to Bullying: SAMHSA Expands 15+ Program
Parents who spend 15 minutes or more a day with their children
can have a positive effect on their children's behavior and the
family as a unit. This evidence-based knowledge is the core principle
of SAMHSA's bullying prevention campaign, 15+ Make Time to Listen,
Take Time to Talk . . . About Bullying, to be launched in 2004.
Created to address the widespread problem of bullying among America's
youth, the campaign will have three main goals, to raise public
awareness of bullying, recommend a call to action, and create opportunities
to handle and prevent bullying behavior.
The campaign expands the first in a series of campaigns called,
15+ Make Time to Listen, Take Time to Talk, launched in
Louise Peloquin, Ph.D., of the Special Programs Development Branch
within SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) explains,
"15+ is our brand, with the idea that every few years we add something
The first campaign supports the Safe Schools/Healthy Students
Initiative, a grant program created to respond to youth violence
in schools. Supported by SAMHSA within the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) and by the U.S. Departments of Justice
and Education, this campaign provides parents and caregivers with
practical guidelines for improving communication with their children
and promoting healthy behaviors.
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Three Core Products
SAMHSA's bullying prevention campaign includes three core products
for parents and caregivers:
- 15+ Make Time to Listen, Take Time to Talk . . . About Bullying
is an easy-to-read brochure that helps parents understand the
range of feelings children may experience about bullying and bullying
prevention and provides guidelines for listening and talking to
- Bullying is NOT a Fact of Life: A Guide for Parents/Teachers
provides greater insight into how parents, teachers, or school
personnel can target their conversations about bullying.
- Conversation starter cards promote behaviors that protect
against bullying or the potential for becoming a bully. In playing
card format, these cards provide specific questions about bullying
that a parent or teacher can discuss with children or youth.
products from other organizations within HHS will be added when
appropriate. In addition, SAMHSA has planned four public service
announcements with local ABC affiliate ABC-7 (WJLA-TV) to be aired
during the school year. Parents and other adults are the primary
target audience. All public service announcements will include a
toll-free number for callers to request copies of print materials.
campaign products will be available on the Internet in an easily
downloadable format. Internet users will have the option to customize
products by printing local contact information on the flipside.
SAMHSA's campaign will begin as a 6- to 9-month pilot in the Washington,
DC, metropolitan area and later will be extended throughout the
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Additional Bullying Prevention Activities
As an additional bullying prevention activity, SAMHSA is collaborating
with Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus, Ph.D., and his American colleagues,
who will provide training in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Model.
This scientifically developed model is the basis for SAMHSA's campaign.
SAMHSA is also collaborating with the Health Resources and Services
Administration on its national bullying prevention campaign, which
is targeted to children age 9 to 13.
For more information on SAMHSA's bullying prevention campaign,
contact SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center at P.O.
Box 42490, Washington, DC 20015. Telephone: 1 (800) 789-2647
or 1 (866) 889-2647 (TTY). For program information, contact
Louise Peloquin, Ph.D., of
the CMHS Special Programs Development Branch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by telephone at (301) 443-7790.
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