Than’s Courage

Hillsboro Highschool, STARS Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, DHH, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, stories of courage

Than Win and his family came to America when he was 14-years old as refugees from Burma. Than spent the first fourteen years of his life alone and isolated. For fourteen years, Than wasn’t able to communicate or speak with anyone, not even his family. Than Win was born deaf. Unfortunately, neither Than’s family nor anyone in the community knew sign language. Growing up in a community where learning how to sign wasn’t an option meant Than could not attend school. This meant he did not have … [Read more...]

The Stigma about Alcoholism – Alcohol Awareness Month

Rodger Dinwiddie, quotes, Alcoholism

It’s been three decades since I attended a training offered by Operation Community Awareness Nashville (CAN). That training and one shortly thereafter provided by STARS, (an organization that I only had heard about at the time), changed my life. So much so that I began my own recovery from the impact of addiction, and have been working in the field of prevention, intervention, and now treatment, for the last 30 years. Three decades later with the all the medical advances and knowledge about … [Read more...]

Tips for Child Disclosures: Dos & Don’ts

Child Abuse Prevention Month, STARS, Kids on the Block, sexual abuse,

Over 800,000 children are confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect each year in the United States. Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, followed by physical abuse. Perpetrators are often family members, friends, and acquaintances. In fact, 95% of all victims know their perpetrators. Since 1981, our Kids on the Block program has been serving Middle Tennessee with the mission to educate children, as well as adults, about health and social issues that affect people every … [Read more...]

Project Prevent: STARS partnership with MNPS

MNPS, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Project Prevent, restorative practices

The last time we talked about Restorative Practices we addressed how it can be used as an alternative to harsh school disciplinary policies. Today, we show one of the ways STARS is using restorative practices to help decrease school-based violence and identify emotional, mental, or behavioral disorders related to school violence. The Issue: School-based Violence & Gap in Services Currently, Nashville, TN has the Nation’s 18th worst violent crime rate for cities over 100,000. To help … [Read more...]

The only time I saw white people…

I’m a native of Nashville. In fact, there aren’t many folks as Nashville as I am.  And, I live in the house near Tennessee State University in which I was raised. When I was a little girl, the only place I saw white people was down town, except for the insurance man who came to the house to collect the payments. Going downtown to shop for Easter was one of the highlights of the year.  My mother and I would go to Cain Sloan, at 5th and Church near what we now know as the Main Public … [Read more...]

Tips to Help Kids Respect and Accept Diversity

KOB, Kids on the Block, STARS, puppets

Tips To Help Kids Respect and Accept Diversity Teaching kids to respect and accept diversity can be a challenge. Our Kids on the Block program has made it one of our top priorities and we have become experts at it! Through the art of puppetry, our educational specialists are able to connect with audiences about important, and sometimes difficult, topics. We understand that not everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from our program, which is why Salimah is here with some helpful … [Read more...]

Importance of Art for our Youth

YODA, art therapy, youth overcoming drug abuse

Importance of Art for Our Youth Let’s face it. Three hours of talk therapy is a long haul for anybody. And teens…well, you get the picture. If it had one, the motto for YODA Intensive Outpatient counselors would be, “Meet them where they’re at.” Therefor if a youth doesn’t particularly respond to a certain treatment modality, we find one he or she does respond to. Like art therapy. Through a partnership with OASIS, led by the talented and patient Abby Whisenhunt, the YODA clients have … [Read more...]

Distinguishing Between Bullying and Discriminatory Harassment

McGrath Training, McGrath, STARS, Rodger Dinwiddie, civil rights

In 1999, there were exactly 0 (zero) state laws in the United States dealing with bullying. Post Columbine, state legislatures began to develop laws and school districts began to implement polices to address the issue of bullying that was now on the public’s radar screen. Now, 16 years later, there are 49 states with laws; all but Montana have anti-bullying laws. More than half of these laws also address cyberbullying. For the last 7 years the Tennessee Department of Education through the … [Read more...]

Why Do I Think Art Is Important

Andee Rudloff

Why do I think art is important in the lives of our youth? I truly believe art creates points of connection. I’m talking about creative choices leading to experiences and relationships. As a kid, you have the ability to absorb so much in the right environment. As you grow, your mind wanders to so many other things but if you have developed your creative side, that part of your brain will always comfort you. Colors, textures, mark-making and molding shapes help to communicate your senses in … [Read more...]

What We Can Do – Eating Disorders Awareness

eating disorders awareness, eating disorders

By age 6, the majority of girls start to express concerns about their weight or shape. Between forty and sixty percent of elementary girls are concerned about their weight or becoming too fat. This anxiety carries into their adult lives, and can manifest into an eating disorder (NEDA). What We Know About Eating Disorders The potential cause of eating disorders is complex, and occur for a variety of reasons and conditions. Once started, they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and … [Read more...]


STARS welcomes and will serve individuals with both mental health and substance use disorders. We believe that every door is the right door to gain access to appropriate services in the integrated system of care.

STARS does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, creed, color, sex or national origin. No one shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any of STARS programs or activities. STARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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