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Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

IU center receives $3 million grant to continue services for addictive behaviors and mental health

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University's School of Public Health-Bloomington has been awarded a two-year, $3,045,375 grant by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction to help further develop programs in Indiana communities for substance abuse and problem gambling.

"The IPRC has worked with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction for 27 years to provide prevention services," said Ruth Gassman, IPRC executive director. "But this is the first time the IPRC has been called upon to pilot integrated services including mental health promotion programs in communities across the state."

The grant calls on the IPRC to conduct activities beyond its traditional prevention focus, placing more of an emphasis on mental health promotion. Specifically, the IPRC will develop an integrated pilot project by researching and recommending evidence-based mental health promotion programs and strategies to be implemented in select Indiana communities.

"We'll be helping communities assess their strengths and weaknesses," said Barbara Seitz De Martinez, IPRC deputy director. "We will hold workshops, train people to increase their readiness to carry out successful evidence-based programs and help them to implement those programs with fidelity."

The terms of the contract reflect changes in emphasis in the addiction field, calling for integration of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion efforts, which include expanded focus on substance abuse and mental illness prevention and reduction of suicide attempts and deaths among high-risk populations.

For example, this initiative has already led the IPRC to host a free local Mental Health First Aid course for public education that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses. Additionally, the IPRC will partner with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction over the next two years to develop a plan to pilot mental health promotion programs and activities in select Indiana communities.

Despite the changes, this contract allows the IPRC to continue creating opportunities for individuals, families, communities, schools and health systems to work together to combat behavioral health problems. Strategies and programs include the Problem Gambling Treatment and Outreach Resource Network, which provides technical assistance for prevention, treatment and awareness of gambling addiction; the Indiana Youth Survey, a yearly data collection concerning the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, as well as prevalence of associated risk and protective factors in Indiana's student population; training and technical assistance that provides evidence-based recommendations and practices to address substance abuse and mental health issues; and evaluation services for substance abuse and mental health programs.

The IPRC also provides a home for the Tobacco Enforcement Program, the Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment project and the State Adolescent Treatment Enhancement and Dissemination project. It is affiliated with the Indiana Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior.

The funds for the grant originate from the Indiana Problem Gamblers' Assistance Fund and the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.