MINEOLA, NY (TIP): Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced, October 30, a Drug Abuse Prevention Project to promote awareness of the dangers of substance abuse and risk taking behaviors. High schools and middle schools throughout Nassau County were once again invited to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) as part of National Red Ribbon Awareness Campaign activities. County Executive Mangano stated, “My administration is seeking to partner with local schools to build a drug and alcohol abuse-free Nassau County. I urge all middle and high school officials – principals, health teachers, film teachers, and social workers – to encourage their students to enter the contest.”

Students should demonstrate in a 30- second video how they would express one of the following themes:

1. End the Stigma: Challenge the stereotypes concerning substance abuse and mental illness. After all, these are illnesses like any other physical illness. Encourage classmates to seek help if they feel extremely sad, lonely and/or hopeless. Let them know it’s OK to talk to someone about it; know that you are not alone – someone cares.

2. Promote the New 24/7 Nassau County Confidential Helpline 227- TALK: This information, resource and referral HELPLINE provides Nassau County residents a forum to discuss problems, pose questions, receive guidance concerning challenges related to mental health or substance use concerns and receive assistance with accessing help.

3. Red Ribbon Pledge-Talk to Your Kids-Role Models: Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t. Yet only 25% of teens report having these conversations. Have your parents talked to you about the dangers of drugs?

4. Love Yourself – Be Drug Free – Mindfulness: Healthy behaviors, including positive coping and timemanagement skills can help teenagers navigate through a time in life that can be confusing and filled with uncertainties, stress and risk-taking behaviors. Accepting yourself is an important part of the path to a healthy, drugfree lifestyle.

All PSA submissions must be made by 4:45pm on Friday December 5th, 2014. Each winning entry will receive a prize, countywide recognition, and be awarded the opportunity to have their PSA showcased at Nassau County events. To participate in the PSA contest, please contact Paula Pontrelli at (516) 227-7038 or email

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