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Central East PTTC Webinar Resources Page

Developing Effective Substance Use Prevention Messaging
Emily Patton & Olivia Stuart
July 11, 2024

This webinar was provided by the Central East PTTC. The Central East ATTC, MHTTC, and PTTC are programs managed by the Danya Institute.

Certificate of Attendance: Certificates of attendance must be requested within 7 days of the live event. Please allow up to 30 days for certificate requests to be processed. To be eligible for the certificate of attendance, you must have attended the live webinar on Zoom

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The Dialogue eNewsletter July 2024

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Championing Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention: Honoring National BIPOC Mental Health Month

On this occasion, we are acknowledging Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness about the unique mental health challenges experienced by BIPOC communities in the United States, as well as emphasizing the crucial connection between mental health and substance use prevention. This month serves to highlight the necessity for culturally responsive and culturally sensitive care and aims to diminish the stigma around accessing mental health services.

BIPOC Mental Health Month is incredibly important because it:

  1. Addresses Disparities: BIPOC individuals often face significant obstacles in accessing mental health care, including stigma, a lack of culturally competent and responsive providers and socio-economic challenges. This month brings attention to these issues and advocates for systemic changes.
  2. Promotes Awareness and Education: By focusing on the specific mental health needs of BIPOC communities, we can build greater understanding, reduce stigma and encourage individuals with mental health challenges to seek support and resources.
  3. Highlights the Intersection with Substance Use Prevention: Mental health and substance use are closely linked. Many individuals with mental health conditions also struggle with substance use disorders, making integrated approaches to prevention and treatment essential.

The Intersection of Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention

Mental health challenges and substance use disorders frequently co-occur, especially within marginalized communities. Factors such as stress from discrimination, economic disparities, and historical trauma contribute to higher rates of both mental health challenges and substance use1. Addressing these issues necessitates a comprehensive approach that acknowledges and tackles these interconnected challenges.

What Can Prevention Professionals Do?

As prevention professionals, we play a crucial role in bridging the gap between mental health and substance use prevention for BIPOC communities. Below are some key actions that we can take to support BIPOC communities and create healthy spaces:

Resources for Further Learning:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) TIP 59: Improving Cultural Competence guide helps professional care providers and administrators understand the role of culture in the delivery of mental health and substance use services. Additionally, you can visit our Products and Resources page to learn more about the unique needs of diverse populations and how to improve health outcomes for marginalized groups.

As we observe BIPOC Mental Health Month, let’s reaffirm our commitment to supporting the mental health and well-being of all individuals, particularly those from marginalized communities. By recognizing the unique challenges faced by BIPOC individuals and taking concerted action, we can make a meaningful difference in both mental health and substance use prevention.


  1. Gameon, J. & Skewes, M. (2021). Historical Trauma and Substance Use Among American Indian People with Current Substance Use Problems. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084991/
  2. Mental Health America. (2023). BIPOC Mental Health Month. https://www.mhanational.org/bipoc/mental-health-month
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2024). BIPOC Mental Health. https://www.samhsa.gov/resource/dbhis/bipoc-mental-health
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Closing the Treatment Gap. https://www.samhsa.gov/blog/minority-mental-health-awareness-month-closing-treatment-gap

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Lab Series: LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Risk Reduction

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Celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with a Focus on Substance Use Prevention

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) Pride Month is a time to honor the diversity, resilience, and contributions of the LGBTQ community. Observed every June, this month commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ rights. It is a period dedicated to celebrating the progress toward equality, raising awareness of ongoing struggles, and fostering a sense of community and solidarity. It is also a critical moment to address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals, particularly about substance use and misuse. Understanding these challenges and implementing effective prevention strategies is essential for promoting health and well-being within the LGBTQ community.

Why Focus on Substance Use Prevention During Pride Month?

During Pride Month, substance use prevention takes on heightened importance because LGBTQ individuals are disproportionately affected by substance use and misuse as they often face unique challenges such as discrimination, social stigma, and higher rates of mental health issues, all of which can contribute to an increased risk of substance use disorder. Addressing these challenges through targeted prevention efforts not only promotes the well-being and mental health of LGBTQ individuals but also strengthens the community as a whole. By focusing on substance use prevention during Pride Month, we can empower LGBTQ individuals with the resources and support they need to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Key Statistics and Insights

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020), LGBTQ+ individuals are more than twice as likely to use illicit drugs, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2023), reports that:

What Can Prevention Professionals Do?

Prevention professionals are uniquely positioned to address these challenges through targeted strategies and inclusive practices. Key actions that can make a significant difference include:

  1. Inclusive Prevention Programs:
    • Ensure that prevention programs are inclusive and affirming of LGBTQ identities.
    • Collaborate with LGBTQ organizations to tailor programs that address the unique needs of the community.
  2. Advocacy and Education:
    • Develop and disseminate educational materials that highlight the specific substance use risks faced by LGBTQ individuals.
    • Conduct workshops and seminars to inform community members and allies about prevention strategies and available resources.
  3. Supportive Policies:
    • Advocate for policies that promote equality and reduce discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
    • Support legislation that provides funding for LGBTQ-specific substance use prevention programs.
  4. Creation of Safe Spaces:
    • Foster safe, supportive environments where LGBTQ individuals can access prevention services without fear of discrimination or stigma.
    • Encourage the development of peer support groups that provide a sense of community and mutual support.
  5. Utilizing Data-Driven Approaches:
    • Collect and analyze data on substance use within the LGBTQ community to identify trends and target prevention efforts effectively.
    • Use evidence-based strategies to design and implement prevention programs.

As we celebrate Pride Month, let us commit to supporting the LGBTQ community by addressing the critical issue of substance use prevention. Visit the Products and Resources Catalogue section of the Central East Prevention Technology Transfer Center’s website for more information on substance use prevention and resources for the LGBTQ community. Together, we can create a healthier, more inclusive future for all.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Substance Use and SUDs in the LGBTQ+ Populations. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/substance-use-suds-in-lgbtq-populations

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2023). SAMHSA Releases New Data on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Behavioral Health. https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/20230613/samhsa-releases-new-data-lesbian-gay-bisexual-behavioral-health

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