Michelle N. Issadore, M.Ed.
Too often, solid and impactful areas of research are written off as fads or flashes in the pan due to a lack of understanding or a failure to grasp foundational concepts. Bystander intervention is an effective tool, but we have been too quick to tell students to intervene without helping them to learn how to intervene. One of my goals for SCOPE is to build upon what has been learned about bystander intervention by working with prevention scientists to disseminate a bystander intervention skills training curriculum. Coaching students to intervene in low-risk situations or at the start of patterns of dangerous behavior is a form of primary prevention that could reduce the frequency with which more extreme forms of intervention are necessary.
Bystander intervention is another element of prevention which cuts across topical areas. It has been applied successfully in sexual assault, alcohol abuse and hazing prevention, but has enormous implications for mental health, diversity and other areas of prevention need.