October: National Mental Health & National Medicine Abuse Month

October is a month that raises awareness two important issues: mental health and medicine abuse. It can be tough to start a conversation on such serious issues with your loved ones. Compass Mark can help: our Student Skills for Life program empowers participants to navigate their emotions, which can help improve mental health and avoid poor coping methods such as medicine abuse.

Student Skills for Life  provides youth with a judgement-free and confidential classroom environment that allows them to open up and share more about why they are there and goals moving forward. They are allowed to speak freely about their personal experiences that may be weighing heavily on them like substance abuse or emotional issues.

Problem Areas Addressed:

  • Substance use and abuse
  • Other risky behaviors
  • Poor coping skills

Skills Built:

  • Abstinence or reduced substance use
  • Communication and decision making
  • Resiliency and goal setting

Two Groups:

  • Ages 13 to 17
  • Ages 18 to 25


  • Small-group lessons during the school day or after school


  • Intervention: 12 hours of evening classes; three or four hours each
  • Prevention in Schools: a series of twelve 1-hour sessions

Documented Evidence of Effectiveness:

  • Fewer arrests due to underage drinking and driving under the influence
  • Stopped or reduced substance use
  • Increased knowledge of substance use, abuse and addiction
  • Improved decision-making skills

The statistics below illustrate just how prevalent mental health and medicine abuse issues are.

National Mental Health Month

  • 20% of youth ages 13 – 18 live with a mental health condition.
  • 50% of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 – 24.
  • 37% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school – the highest dropout rate of any disability group.

National Medicine Abuse Month

  • Teens who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs.
  • ER data indicates a 30% rise in medication abuse-related incidents.
  • Rx painkillers have resulted in more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.
  • More than ½ of those who abuse prescription medications get medicine from family or friends, not drug dealers.

Go to our Student Skills for Life page to help put your loved one on the path for a positive future.