A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Non-Discriminatory Substance Use Prevention Visual Imagery
Behavioral health and linguistic experts have long recognized that words matter. Words are powerful - they can shape culture, create understanding, and play a role in how individuals and groups receive the world (Shashkevich, 2019). Words can also perpetuate discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes, and negative views associated with substance use disorders (SUDs) and have been found to negatively impact public perception, access to treatment, recovery, and re-integration (Agate et al., 2021).
A recent qualitative study: Stigmatizing Imagery for Substance Use Disorders: A Qualitative Exploration goes beyond words to include the use of pictures and visual images as important elements in portraying substance use disorders in compassionate, healing, and non-discriminatory ways (Hulsey et al., 2023). The study’s primary goal was to provide practical guidance on the depiction of SUDs in various formats to reduce stigma. The study concluded that stigmatizing imagery could reinforce negative attitudes and beliefs which create barriers to care for individuals with SUDs (Hulsey et al., 2023).
In July 2020, the research team worked with key individuals to provide recommendations on the use of SUD-related imagery in communications about SUD to the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN). A qualitative study was conducted with people with lived experience with SUD to explore participants’ responses to SUD-related images as stigmatizing or non-stigmatizing.
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Finding Power in Prevention Storytelling
Webinar Announcement: Thursday, February 15 at 3 p.m. ET
On behalf of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network (PTTC) and National Prevention Week are excited to host the upcoming webinar, Finding Power in Prevention Storytelling.
On the heels of SAMHSA’s 20th Annual Prevention Day, PTTC and National Prevention Week are partnering to gear up for National Prevention Week 2024, featuring new events, activities, resources, and more as we broaden our new year-round approach to prevention. We’ll also be showcasing real-world, innovative initiatives in communities across the United States and learn about what motivates “preventioneers” to do such amazing work.
Tune in on Thursday, February 15 at 3 p.m. ET to get inspired by empowering stories from organizations and individuals as they use storytelling as a pathway to prevention.
We Think TwiceTM (Men)tal Health Listicle
Equipping Young Men with Healthy Habits
Youth say that we need to talk more about men's mental health. Experts agree that young people struggle to know when to ask for help, and men ask for help less frequently than other genders.
Even for those young men who do seek help, there are not many places online where they can find expert-informed tips, practices, and resources. To address this need,
We Think Twice™ introduces the (Men)tal Health Listicle. This web page can help you start and sustain conversations about mental health with your program participants. Help the young men you serve:
- understand that mental health challenges are normal and not a sign of weakness;
- recognize when they may need to seek help;
- develop strategies for managing their own mental health; and
- find resources on related topics like challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth, unhealthy substance use, disordered eating, and more.
Improving Healthcare by Advancing Equity
Resources to Celebrate Black History Month
February is Black History Month and the PTTC Network has curated a list of resources to support you as you work with Black and African American communities.
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