Private: News

“He’s Not Marrying my Daughter”: Stigma against People in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

Austin McNeill Brown


  • We are generally unwilling to accept people who are recovering from substance use disorders into our social and professional circles.
  • People in recovery, regardless of the label used to describe them, may experience social distancing from others as the intimacy of the relationship increases.
  • In an experimental study, vignettes that described substance use recovery in any form prompted a greater desire for social distance. In contrast, the control group vignette that did not mention substance use or recovery at all elicited no desire for social distance under any context.

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Lerner Center Awarded Grant to Train Healthcare Providers on Plans of Safe Care for Babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

The Lerner Center was awarded a grant by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for their project: “Implementing and Evaluating the Efficacy of a New Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Plan of Safe Care.” The project aims to increase health provider education surrounding the successful development of Plans of Safe Care (POSC) for mothers with addiction and babies who were exposed to opioids prior to birth. Continue Reading

Lerner Center announces its Request for Proposal for the 2020 Faculty Fellows Program

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is proud to announce its 2020 Lerner Center Faculty Fellows Grant Program. The Faculty Fellows Grant Program intends to fund at least two research/evaluation awards in the areas of population health and/or health promotion. Awards will be funded up to a maximum of $25,000 for 24 months. Click here for more details on how to apply.

Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health is Better in States that Mandate More School Mental Health Policies

Stephanie Spera and Shannon Monnat

Key findings:

  • States with more mandated mental health policies in public schools have significantly lower adolescent suicide and substance abuse rates.
  • States that mandate school-based mental health centers, professional development in suicide prevention, and social-emotional curriculums have significantly lower adolescent suicide and substance abuse rates.
  • Mandated anti-bullying and family engagement policies are also associated with significantly lower adolescent suicide rates.

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Results from Lerner Center campus-wide survey featured in SU Faculty and Staff Newsletter

In Spring 2019, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion developed and disseminated a campus-wide survey on health and wellness goals. The survey explored how health and wellness goals differed among race/ethnicity, sex, and role at Syracuse University (faculty, staff, undergraduate or graduate student). Results were very insightful and will inform future Healthy Monday programming. The article, New Ways to Make Monday a Fresh Start, dives into the survey results and their implications, along with how Healthy Monday programming can be used to spark healthy behaviors across campus.

DeRuyter Monday Mile Team Wins the “Power of Rural Award” for Dedication to Improving Community Health

In celebration of National Rural Health Day, the Madison County Rural Health Council recognizes Madison County residents who have shown a deep passion and commitment to bettering the health and wellness of their community. This year, the Rural Health Council awarded the DeRuyter Monday Mile Team for creating their own  Monday Mile Day and organizing several Monday Mile walks to encourage physical activity and wellness among their community.

The Monday Mile initiative launched in Madison County in 2016 with the creation of the Live Well Committee, comprised of the SU Lerner Center staff, Rural Health Council staff, and various stakeholders in Madison County. Since then, 11 Monday Mile routes have been established, with two currently in the works. The success of the Monday Mile in Madison County has been largely attributed to the enthusiasm and leadership of community residents, like the DeRuyter Monday Mile Team.

For more information on Madison County Monday Miles, check this Lerner Center Issue Brief on the Monday Mile.

We Need to Change the Language we use to Describe Individuals with Substance Use Issues

Austin McNeill Brown


  • Terms like “Substance Abuser,” “Alcoholic and “Addict” stigmatize people with substance use issues.
  • Health care professionals, individuals with addictions, individuals in recovery, and the general public all associate negative bias with terms like “addict” and “abuser”.
  • Person-first language such as “person with a substance use disorder” should be used by professionals to describe populations with substance use issues.
  • Health care professional should also use caution with terms like “Relapse” and “Medication Assisted Treatment” as those terms are associated with negative bias.

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Results from the SU Health & Wellness Goal Survey

Shannon Monnat, Mary Kate Lee, Ashley Van Slyke, and Alexandra Punch


  • Increasing physical activity is the top-ranked health and wellness goal at SU.
  • Improving diet and nutrition and better managing stress were also highly prioritized.
  • Graduate students were more likely than other groups to report having goals to be kinder to themselves and to improve their mood.
  • Females were more likely than males to report having goals to improve their diet and nutrition and better manage stress.
  • Males were more likely than females to report having goals to improve family relationships, improve relationships with others, and reduce alcohol consumption.

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There are Costs from Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

Sean Withington and Alexandra Punch

In 2006, Facebook marked the beginning of a new era in social media by making itself universally available. Since then, membership on social media platforms has exploded. Ninety percent of young adults in the U.S. are now on social media, and the majority visit these sites at least once per day.1 Nearly half of all social media users in the U.S. visit sites a minimum of 31 times per week. Social media has benefits, including the ability to share important information, communicate with friends, and expand one’s social circle by being connected to a diverse group of people. Excessive social media use also has costs, including addiction, loneliness, depression, reduced self-esteem, and reduced ability to develop meaningful relationships.1 Continue Reading

People with Developmental Disabilities Have Much more Life to Live

Dalton Stevens

• Adults with any type of development disability (DD) die an average of 23.5 years earlier than adults without developmental disability.
• The early death disadvantage is largest for those with cerebral palsy, other rare developmental disabilities, or co-occurring developmental disabilities, who die up to 34 years earlier than adults without DD.
• Individuals with intellectual disability die an average of 12.7 years earlier than those without DD.
• Adults with DD die at extremely higher rates between ages 18-39 compared to those without DD. 52% of adults with cerebral palsy and other rare DD died between ages 18-39, whereas only 4% of adults without DD died at these ages. Continue Reading

Having a disability increases the likelihood of food insecurity despite federal programs to prevent this hardship

Colleen Heflin, Claire Altman, and Laura Rodriguez


  • Disabilities are associated with food insecurity through multiple pathways.
  • Work-limiting disabilities, cognitive limitations, trouble hearing, and certain physical limitations are related to increased likelihood of food insecurity for prime-age adults (age 19-59).
  • The high prevalence of food insecurity among the disabled population represents a policy failure at the national level.

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