How It Works
What is Prevention?
Prevention promotes the health and safety of individuals and communities by reducing the likelihood of – or delaying the onset of – behavioral health problems, including substance abuse, mental illness, suicides, problem gambling, problem gaming, and screen disorders. Quality prevention programming supports student mental wellness by decreasing risky behaviors like bullying and substance use while promoting healthy behaviors like refusal skills, stress management, and behavioral self-regulation.
Students spend five to six hours a day in school making it the optimal place to promote healthy behaviors and student resilience. (Health Policy Institute of Ohio, 2018). The mission of SEP is to assist schools with implementing best-practice prevention services and strategies in order to create healthy, drug-free environments that promote optimal mental health for students, parents, teachers, and staff in the school community.
The Schools of Excellence in Prevention Process
Many of the programs in Schools of Excellence in Prevention are free, and your school can be connected with subject matter experts along the way to help provide, implement, consult, and support your prevention programming.
We are now accepting applications for the current school year. Simply complete a short form with your school and contact information, and fill out a short survey about your current prevention programming and needs.
Following your application, you will receive a consultation with the Schools of Excellence in Prevention Coordinator. During the consultation process, you will evaluate your current programming and practices, assess your needs, and create a plan that will work for your school.
After creating your plan, the SEP coordinator and subject matter experts will help support you in implementing the plan. This includes providing programming, ongoing support and consultation, and working with you to help develop sustainability and capacity for your prevention programming.
Schools will earn a school rating that is calculated based on implementing strategies and programming across nine different categories including peer-to-peer engagement, parent education, student education, school policy, staff development, community partnerships, building level surveys, individual student risk assessments, and prevention programming strategic planning.
State Needs Assessment
Analyzing available data is the best way for schools to know which prevention programs and strategies are needed. As part of the K12 Prevention Initiative, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has released a tool to help schools analyze their prevention strengths and needs . For schools who want to reach a silver level or above, we ask that you complete building-level the needs assessment if your school has not done so within the last school year (For the SEP program, results of the assessment are good for two years). The assessment only takes about 30 minutes to complete. Our Schools of Excellence in Prevention Coordinator is available for technical assistance in completing the survey, will provide you with a customized survey results summary report to help you determine next steps. Click here to take the survey .
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