OhioGuidestone is the state’s largest provider of school behavioral health services. We are proud to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and at the university level. OhioGuidestone works in over 327 schools throughout the state and that number is growing. Of those 327 schools, we are proud to be in 166 elementary schools, available for our youngest students.
Our counselors and therapists are meeting an ever-increasing need for school behavioral health services available for students who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other behavior disorders. Behavioral health in youth has hit a crisis level. Teenagers have always been prone to the anxiety that comes with transitioning emotionally and physically from childhood to adulthood, but the addition of social media and a global pandemic has taken teenage “angst” to a level where schools need our expertise more than ever.
Three Tier Model – Prevention, Consultation, and Treatment for Students in Ohio
At OhioGuidestone we use a 3-tier model, that the state identifies as best practices for behavioral health in our school programs.
Working on these three focus areas are designed to increase students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and set them on a path to lifelong success. Our school services include behavioral health programs for the school district, the students, their families, and school staff.
Tier 1 – PREVENTION for Behavioral Health Problems in Children and Teens
Prevention is the first tier. OhioGuidestone’s behavioral health professionals are trained to provide evidence-based prevention programs for schools. This includes substance use prevention, violence prevention, and suicide prevention, along with a social-emotional learning curriculum that teaches resiliency and skill building.
Substance Use Prevention
We are committed to educating young people about the dangers of substance use. Prevention is key. That’s why our drug and alcohol prevention programs reach thousands of students throughout Ohio each year. We are on a mission to reduce substance use numbers for this generation and generations to come.
What does that substance use prevention look like? Depending on the time of year, the programs can be held in schools or at a community location. While the core elements are the same, each program is customized to the audience, based on the community. Specialists take into consideration where the students live, their shared experiences, accessibility and access to drugs and alcohol and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
School Violence Prevention
Sadly, violence in schools has become a reality. School shootings are not as rare an incident as in decades past, and the addition of lockdown drills to prevent a mass shooting, creates its own form of stress by reminding students that violence can happen at any time.
Death by suicide is on the rise among teenagers and creates another increasing need for OhioGuidestone’s school counseling services. Our counselors provided emotional support for students and teachers after losing a classmate to suicide. Our mission is to prevent suicide by being there to treat the illness that precedes it. Behavioral health support is the foundation behind multiple OhioGuidestone programs. Learning how to strengthen and nurture relationships can prevent feelings of isolation, while feelings of worthlessness, and uncertainty about the future can be addressed through learning skills and finding jobs that come with a purpose and a future.
All our prevention programs are evidence-based or evidence-informed and examine the root causes of substance use, violence, and suicide. Some of our programs are youth-led under the guidance of our certified specialists
Tier 2 Behavioral Health CONSULTATION for Children and Teens
OhioGuidestone’s consultation services allow for early identification and intervention leading to a more positive outcome. Our consultation services, the second tier of our three-tiered approach, include individual students, classroom observation, teacher consultation and crisis intervention services. Individual Student Consultation Services are provided to students identified by school counseling staff who may benefit from individual support from a behavioral health professional. During individual consultation meetings, the student and behavioral health professional identify and work through areas of concern that can be addressed briefly (4-6 sessions) or through a referral to ongoing treatment services.
Classroom Observation and Teacher Consultation Services are provided by a behavioral health professional who observes a particular student or the dynamics of the whole class. The behavioral health professional then meets with the teacher to discuss findings and strategize targeted interventions to address individual behavioral issues and classroom management strategies.
Tier 3 Behavioral Health TREATMENT for Children and Teens
Treatment is the third tier of our approach. OhioGuidestone’s treatment services include therapy and behavioral health support services for those students that need additional services beyond prevention and consultation.
Teen Support Groups
Shared grief, anxiety, or depression can be the first step to healing, especially when addressed within a peer group. OhioGuidestone offers group counseling for teens to share their stress and anxiety about obstacles and issues many of them face daily, or the shared grief after the death of a student or teacher.
Crisis Intervention Services
OhioGuidestone provides supportive crisis intervention services when a community crisis occurs, such as the death of a school student or faculty, a threat to the school or other situations affecting the extended school community.
These services are in school districts without a physical behavioral health clinic, OhioGuidestone reaches students who request or otherwise indicate a need for counseling.
In Central Ohio, we provide mental health services in a unique clinic outside of a school campus. It is close to a FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) within the Whitehall City School District in Franklin County. Through the clinic, OhioGuidestone can provide services to students and community members who carry private insurance, broadening the agency’s reach and impact. This partnership exemplifies the kind of access to care that can be achieved through collaboration, trust, and planning.
One of the best outcomes of OhioGuidestone’s school services is that via the student, we are often able to help the whole family. Much of our family and parent counseling begins with a student receiving counseling in school. From kindergarten through college, we can address an entire school district, a particular grade level (assembly style), a classroom, or just students who are identified as at-risk, and students with developing behavioral health concerns.
Additional Support Programs for Youth Outside of School Services
We offer education, prevention, and support outside of school treatment services. These programs focus on the well-being of everyone involved.
- Workforce 360° connects school districts, and other educational institutions with employers creates opportunities to learn skills that will lead to a productive adult life.
- Bridges Out of Poverty is a collaboration among educators and community resource agencies to study generational poverty, and how to intervene via mental health services
- R Rules is an initiative to support underserved youth who face tremendous barriers from educational and economic achievement.
- PREP (Personal Responsibility Education Program) focuses on educating OhioGuidestone’s foster care youth and juvenile justice youth in sex education and healthy relationships. PREP empowers youth to make positive choices and decisions.
- OSU (Ohio State University) Extension is a non-formal education system where professionals can address the needs of local communities by presenting research and technical information gathered by OSU faculty and staff. Through our partnership with OSU, we participate and help coordinate a youth led initiative for drug education and prevention.
OhioGuidestone can help
Are you in need of our services? Contact us today to learn more about next steps and the kind of care you can expect from OhioGuidestone.