Indiana Prevention Resource Center efforts helped screen 78,000 Hoosiers for risks associated with alcohol and substance use

Five years ago, the Indiana Prevention Resource Center and the Indiana State Division of Mental Health and Addiction received an $8.3 million grant to integrate screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment — an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce and prevent problematic alcohol and drug use — into primary health care centers across the state.

ruth gassman

Ruth Gassman

Because of that grant, the center, working with 22 Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers and Community Health Centers, was able to conduct 118,886 pre-screenings, representing 78,364 unique patients who were screened for alcohol and substance use at their primary care appointments.

“The project has been extraordinary for the number of lives that have been favorably impacted by incorporating screening, brief intervention, and when necessary, referral services for alcohol and other drug use into primary care clinics,” said Ruth Gassman, executive director of Indiana Prevention Resource Center. “These relatively simple and low cost practices have been seamlessly embedded within health care visits. These services have resulted in thousands of referrals to treatment, but even more frequently to helping patients nip small problems in the bud.”

Over the summer, the center also took part in a statewide campaign for behavioral health and medical professional and health care organizations called “Summer of SBIRT,” in an effort to raise awareness about the trainings. Resources related to SBIRT — an acronym for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment — were distributed to professionals.

Read more…

Flu shot clinics available on IU Bloomington campus

Fall is here, a time when people begin thinking about cooler weather, fall leaves, pumpkin spiced everything and the annual flu shot.

Flu shot clinics on the IU Bloomington campus begin Sept. 28 and are available to students, faculty and staff.

flu shot

Flu shot clinics on the IU Bloomington campus begin Sept. 28.

“The most important thing to know about the flu shot is to get one,” said Nancy Macklin, director of nursing at the IU Health Center. “Flu viruses are constantly changing, so it is important to get a flu shot every year. Everyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot unless they have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a flu shot or one of its components.”

Flu shots are available at on-campus flu clinics and at the IU Health Center. The Health Center Flu Shot Clinic takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 11 to 14. Shots will be given in the first-floor lobby, and free parking is available. You may schedule your appointment online or by phone at 812-855-7688, option 1. Walk ins also are welcome.

The IU Bloomington Flu Shot clinic schedule:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 28, Service Building, (Range Road) Davis Conference Room.
  • 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 4, Maurer School of Law, ground-floor student lounge, Room 001.
  • 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 5, School of Education Atrium.
  • 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 5, Poplars Room 185.
  • 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 18, the Cyberinfrastructure lobby (10th and the Bypass).
  • 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 25 and 26, Business/SPEA lobby, North Entrance.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 27, School of Optometry, Room 108.
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 10, the IU Health Fair at the Indiana Memorial Union, Alumni Hall Solarium.

More information about IU Bloomington’s flu shot clinics, including cost, is available online.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only injectable flu shots are recommended this season, and flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. This year, the IU Health Center will be providing quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Influenza is highly contagious, said Diana Ebling, medical director of the IU Health Center. It can spread rapidly in close living arrangements, social gatherings and classrooms, all of which are common situations at IU.

In addition to receiving the vaccine, Ebling recommends everyone wash their hands frequently, avoid those who are sick and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising and reducing stress. If you do become sick, stay home to avoid spreading it to others.

Community invited to take part in School of Public Health’s Campus and Community Celebration

school of public health-bloomington

The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

The Indiana University and Bloomington communities are invited to celebrate health and wellness during the upcoming Campus and Community Celebration.

Hosted by the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, the celebration will take place Sept. 23 and will feature the annual Ruth Clifford Engs Lecture, delivered this year by retired Lt. General Mark Hertling, and an ice cream social.

“We’re honored to have Lt. General Hertling joining us as part of the school’s Dean’s Public Health Lecture Series, and look forward to celebrating IU School of Public Health Day with our IU and Bloomington community,” says Mohammad Torabi, founding dean and chancellor’s professor at the School of Public Health-Bloomington.

The lecture, titled “Growing Public Health Leaders: Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom,” takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the School of Public Health’s Mobley Auditorium. Hertling, a School of Public Health-Bloomington alumnus, served almost four decades in the U.S. Army. He was commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and was appointed in 2013 by President Barack Obama as one of 25 members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

During the lecture, Hertling will discuss what it means to become a public health leader and will share his tools for improving personal, professional and organizational health.

Following the lecture, an ice cream social will take place from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on the lawn near the tennis courts by the School of Public Health building. City of Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton will read a proclamation declaring the day IU School of Public Health Day.

The School of Public Health-Bloomington has nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 140 faculty members in five departments. In 2015, the school received full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.

In the past four years, under Torabi’s leadership, the school transitioned from the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation to the School of Public Health; created the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; expanded its master’s degree programs; added bachelor’s degrees in environmental health and epidemiology; and launched a living-learning center in Briscoe Residence Center.

The school also has more than 2,400 community members participating in school partnerships, offers monthly webinars on a variety of public health topics, and has more than 1,500 people taking courses through its free, online workforce developmental portal “Public Health & You.”

“As a school of public health, we’re dedicated to improving the health and wellness of communities locally, in Indiana, and across the globe,” says Torabi “Each fall, we like to take a moment with our campus and community friends to stop and celebrate all that the faculty and staff at the school do to better public health today and into the future.”

IU experts offer tips for better sleep in anticipation of this year’s Sleep Walk

Sleep. We all need it, we all want it, and most of us don’t get enough of it.

But how much sleep do you actually get? Some people might be surprised.

Photo of someone sleeping

Sleep is critical for learning, managing stress, regulating mood and promoting a healthy immune system.

“People often complain of being tired but do not pause to examine their sleep habits,” said Shalini Manchanda, program director of the IU School of Medicine’s Fellowship in Sleep Medicine Program. “When asked about their sleep schedule, they are often surprised by how little sleep they actually get. Just trying to get 30 minutes extra of sleep on either end of their current sleep routine can make a big difference.”

Sleep plays an important role in a person’s overall health. Sleep is critical for learning, problem-solving, managing stress, regulating mood and promoting a healthy immune system. Sleep also plays a part in preventing chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Although experts differ on the exact amount needed, adults typically should get seven to nine hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. That number increases to 8.5 to 9.5 hours for teens and continues to increase the younger the child.

On Sept. 27, Healthy IU, the university’s workplace wellness program, is hosting the first Sleep Walk on all campuses to raise awareness about sleep health. The walks will take place at noon. Registration is available online, along with campus routes.

Read more…

IU Counseling and Psychological Services expanding services to cultural centers and SPEA

After partnering last year with the IU Jacobs School of Music, The Indiana University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychological Services is again expanding its services with new counselors in campus cultural centers, the Office of International Services and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Let's Talk

Let’s Talk provides counseling services to students in four cultural centers and the Office of International Services.

Starting this week, the center is offering a two-part program — Let’s Talk Now and Let’s Keep Talking – which will offer both informal and formal counseling services to students at the Asian Culture Center, First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, La Casa, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the Office of International Services.

IU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Support Services Office will continue similar service it has been providing through the School of Education.

Let’s Talk Now will serve as a pre-counseling service, providing a free, confidential and informal opportunity to students who want to speak with a consultant about any concerns or issues they are having and to connect with campus resources.

Students in need of a more formal conversation can take part in Let’s Keep Talking, which will provide professional counselors who can address more complex issues. Both take place within the cultural centers and the Office of International Services.

“Let’s Talk lowers barriers to counseling, especially for multicultural students who might be hesitant to seek it elsewhere,” said Nancy Stockton, director of Counseling and Psychological Services. “This two-part program gives students an alternative to going to the Health Center itself, directing them to more convenient locations to chat informally — and possibly formally — about problems the students experience.”

Read more…

The Center for Sexual Health Promotion celebrating 10th anniversary with a visit from Dr. Ruth

Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion is celebrating its 10th anniversary with special guest Dr. Ruth.

dr. ruth

Dr. Ruth

Ruth Westheimer, better known as “Dr. Ruth,” will visit the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Sept. 14 to discuss a life spent in sex education as part of the Bloomington Sex Salon, a monthly community-based speaker series on the topic of sex research, education and advocacy.

The lecture will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Center for Sexual Health Promotion, based in the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Public Health-Bloomington. The center is a collaborative of sexual health scholars from across the university and partner academic institutions who work toward advancing the field of sexual health through research, education and training initiatives.

“Dr. Ruth, for many people, has been an important figure in how the world views talking comfortably about sexual education,” said Debby Herbenick, host of the Bloomington Sex Salon and director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. “She’s dedicated half her life to talking about sex and educating people about it. We are excited about the opportunity to have her here and to celebrate the anniversary of the center.”

The center was founded by Herbenick and Michael Reece, a professor in the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Public Health-Bloomington, as a way to bridge the focus between sex research and public health research, and to shift the focus of public health research from focusing solely on the potential negative effects of sexual behavior, such as HIV or unintended pregnancy, to being more inclusive of the role sexuality plays in the human experience and the positive contributions sexuality makes to quality of life.

“We never believed you should be studying outcomes of sexual behavior without trying to understand the sexual experience more holistically,” Reece said. “We wanted to try to change the landscape of work in our field by focusing on these more comprehensive understandings of sexual behavior, not just its negative outcomes.”

Read more…

Actress Glenn Close visits IU to help unveil the new U Bring Change 2 Mind bus campaign

glenn close

Glenn Close poses with IU students in front of the U Bring Change 2 Mind bus in Bloomington. Photo by April Toler.

Indiana University Bloomington welcomed a special visitor Tuesday when acclaimed actress Glenn Close stopped by campus to unveil the new U Bring Change 2 Mind College Toolbox Project bus campaign.

The lime-green bus features the U Bring Change 2 Mind logo along with a scenario about the effects of stigmatizing someone dealing with a mental health issue. The bus is meant to spread the message of U Bring Change 2 Mind, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

“Our vision with U Bring Change 2 Mind College Toolbox Project is to track students’ attitudes around mental illness and stigma, because stigma is the core problem with people getting help and being able to talk openly about what they are living with and how they are dealing with it,” Close said. “Stigma promotes shame, it promotes isolation, it promotes fear, and a lot of it comes from misunderstanding. It’s still incredibly toxic.”

Read more…

IU experts and public safety officer give their takeaway on the Pokémon Go phenomenon


Players dip their toes in the Showalter Fountain as they play Pokémon Go. Photo by Thom Atkinson.

Although you might not know exactly what a Pokémon is, by now most people have heard of the wildly popular Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that exploded on the scene early this month.

Throughout the country, people of all ages are hitting the streets, cellphones in hand, attempting to catch virtual creatures known as Pokémon. With the game’s popularity has come a number of stories (some true, some internet tales) highlighting both the instantaneous success of the game and how far people are willing to go to catch a Pikachu or Clefairy.

Health and Vitality reached out to a few Indiana University Bloomington experts and public safety officer for their takeaway, and tips, on the world’s latest mobile phenomenon.

Read more…

Debby Herbenick elected president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists

Debby Herbenick, director of IU’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion and associate professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, has been elected president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

debby herbenick

Debby Herbenick

Herbenick, who will start her tenure July 1, is the first person from IU to hold this position in the almost 50 years the organization has existed.

“Being elected to serve as AASECT’s next president is an enormous honor,” Herbenick said. “The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists is the certifying body for these professionals in the United States. We have more than 900 certified members. It’s particularly exciting because 2017 marks AASECT’s 50th anniversary.”

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists was founded in 1967 by Pat Schiller. Its mission is to promote sexual health through advancements in the fields of sexual therapy, counseling and education.

Herbenick first became involved with AASECT more than 10 years ago when she attended one of its conferences. Feeling inspired, Herbenick became an AASECT-certified sexuality educator before eventually being named president-elect and now president.

Read more…

New survey looks at attitudes, behaviors and challenges of LGBTQ singles

A new survey by and Justin Garcia, a Ruth Halls assistant professor of gender studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and research scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, looks at the evolving attitudes, behaviors and challenges of the single LGBTQ population.

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia, research scientist at the Kinsey Institute at IU

The new LGBTQ in America study is an expansion of Match’s annual Singles in America study, which is also co-authored by Garcia. Topics include when gay men or lesbians “come out” and tell others about their sexual orientation; when transgender people “come out”; marriage and having children; dating; and identity and labels.

“Today’s society is full of rich gender and sexual diversity, yet relatively little is known about the dating experiences of LGBTQ people,” said Garcia, who serves as scientific advisor to Match. “Nearly half of the LGBTQ population in America identifies as single, and a vast majority of these singles, some 80 percent, are seeking a committed relationship.

“By expanding our annual Singles in America study to include more people of diverse identities, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, we are beginning to address these knowledge gaps to better understand singles today.”

Read more…