Youth & School-Based Programs and Prevention
Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA)
Washington County Behavioral Health Board
tMHFA is an evidence based prevention program for teens ages 15-18 years of age or grades 10-12. It is provided in six (6) 45 minute sessions. The course covers many topics including common signs and symptoms of mental illness, common signs and symptoms of substance use, common signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis (particularly suicide), how to open the conversation about mental illnesses and addiction with friends, the impact of school violence and bullying on mental health, and how to seek the help of a responsible and trusted adult. Five (5) of our Washington County High Schools-Districts have signed on to participate as implementation sites: Warren, Frontier, Fort Frye, Marietta City, and The Career Center.
Trauma Informed Schools
A trauma-informed school is one in which all students and staff feel safe, welcomed and supported and where the impact of trauma on teaching and learning is addressed at the center of the educational mission. Trauma-informed schools create school policies, practices and cultures that are sensitive to the needs of traumatized individuals and ensure that all individuals (students, families and staff) meet their maximum potential.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines trauma as the response to an “event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Trauma can result from a single event (single-episode or acute trauma) or it can result from multiple traumatic events over time (complex trauma). There are a wide range of experiences that can result in trauma.
72 percent of children and youth will experience at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) before the age of 18. As the number of ACE’s increase so does the risk for psychological, behavioral, and social-emotional problems. 70 to 80 percent of the children who do receive those services will access them in school.
Currently, the WCBHB supports counselors in 5 school districts who have a case load of 200+ children.
Tammy Harris, Washington County Behavioral Health Board
The PAX Good Behavior Game® is a powerful evidence-based practice, consisting of proven instructional and behavioral health strategies used daily by teachers and students in the classroom. This universal preventive approach not only improves classroom behavior and academics, but also provides a lifetime of benefits for every child by improving self-regulation and co-regulation with peers. Children, their families, teachers, and society benefit for decades as result. Since 1999, PAX Good Behavior Game has been used in thousands of classrooms, in 38 states, Canada, Ireland, Estonia, Sweden and Australia. PAX GBG is the official Good Behavior Game® used at Johns Hopkins University.
Handle with Care
Cathy Harper, The Right Path
Washington County law enforcement agencies have partnered with The Right Path, Families & Children First Council and the School Districts to put together a program that will alert schools when children have had a traumatic experience so that the youth can be treated sensitively so as not to re-introduce trauma.
The Reach Center
10595 State Route 550
Vincent, OH 45784
Some students in Washington County schools need specialized help and opportunities that teachers in large classrooms can’t provide. A Hopewell Health Centers program, Reach youth treatment centers, has set up a new facility in Barlow to help give those students a better chance at success.
Youth Leadership Summits
Cathy Harper, The Right Path,
Offered twice a year to high school students to promote development of 21st century skills such as leadership, organization and problem-solving.
The Young Women and Men of Promise-Find Your Promise Day was held in May 2019 and over 80 Washington County students in grades 6-8 participated. Students took part in exercises designed to give them more confidence, help them learn to work in teams and develop more resiliency to combat peer and societal pressures. The all-day conference featured nationally recognized youth leadership presenters including Paradigm Shift and Harvey Alston, Be the Best, Inc. The workshop was made possible by grants from the Marietta Community Foundation, Marietta Juvenile Court, Judge Tim Williams, and the Washington County Behavioral Health Board.
Strengthening Families Program
Family & Children First Council
202 Davis Ave
The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for high-risk and general population families. SFP is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly improve parenting skills and family relationships, reduce problem behaviors, delinquency and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social competencies and school performance. Child maltreatment also decreases as parents strengthen bonds with their children and learn more effective parenting skills. The WCBHB supports this program, operated by Family & Children First, in Washington County.