Mental Health Services for Teens
Teen mental health has hit a crisis level in recent years. 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, a global pandemic, and potential 24/7 exposure to bullying, has taken teenage “angst” to a level where schools are adding teen counseling services to their in-school programs.
Under OhioGuidestone’s School Services, counselors are meeting an ever-increasing need for teenage mental health therapy. Teen counseling requests have exploded to the point where some of our mental health specialists dedicate regularly scheduled hours helping youth in several school districts.
The good news is that teenagers requesting mental health treatment and care has become more acceptable than it used to be, when families would ignore or deny the need for guidance with mental health issues. The topic of mental health used to be considered taboo and was seldom talked about openly regardless of the circumstances. Thankfully, the stigma is lessening, and society is seeing the importance of treating our children early.
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.
Sadly, sometimes that shared experience comes in the aftermath of tragedy that impacts an entire community.
OhioGuidestone provides emergency counseling within school services. We are often brought in after a tragedy like a school shooting, or the death of a student or teacher.
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 shooting, creates its own form of stress by reminding students that violence can happen at any time.
When a tragic incident happens in Ohio, and you hear on the news that “counselors have been brought into the school,” it is likely the counselors are from OhioGuidestone. In some of the schools our counselors are already there. OhioGuidestone therapists have regularly scheduled hours in schools, where there is a substantial risk of behavioral health problems.
With suicides rates among teenagers on the rise, death by suicide creates another increased need for OhioGuidestone’s school counseling services. Our counselors have provided emotional support for students and teachers in the aftermath of losing a classmate to suicide. Our mission is to prevent suicide by being there to treat the illness that precedes it.
Teenage well-being and mental health support is the foundation behind multiple OhioGuidestone programs. Uncertainty about the future or feelings of worthlessness can be addressed through learning skills and finding jobs that come with a purpose and a future.
Jane Wood, our retired Director of Community Counseling at OhioGuidestone oversaw job initiatives within OhioGuidestone School Services. She says, “It is the power of relationships and nurturing, working together that affords OhioGuidestone the ability to strengthen and support individuals and build healthy communities.”
Some of those initiatives include:
- Workforce 360° connects school districts, and other educational institutions with employers create opportunities for teenagers 14-19 to learn skills that will take them into 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 Extension Ohio State University (OSU) 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 also provides onsite mental health services in a unique clinic, which is part of 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.
In school districts without a physical mental health clinic, OhioGuidestone reaches students who request or otherwise indicate a need for mental health counseling. But one of the best outcomes of OhioGuidestone school services is that via the student, we are often able to help the whole family. Many of our family and parent counseling begins with a student receiving counseling in school.
OhioGuidestone has services that begin as early as pregnancy and continue through all ages. We offer education, prevention, and treatment of nearly all mental health issues, especially issues related to family life and the well-being of everyone involved.
Beyond prevention in cases of addiction and substance abuse, OhioGuidestone’s counseling services are especially beneficial for anyone seeking help for treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
Substance Abuse Prevention Programs
Getting kids to say no to drugs and alcohol takes work, and at OhioGuidestone, we take prevention programs seriously.
We are committed to educating young people about the dangers of substance abuse. Prevention is key. That’s why our drug and alcohol prevention programs conducted by Certified Prevention Specialists reach thousands of students throughout Ohio each year. We are on a mission to reduce substance abuse numbers for this generation of kids and future ones.
What does that 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).
Our prevention programs are evidence based and evidence informed and examine the root causes of substance abuse. Some of our programs are youth-led with the guidance of our certified specialists. We are here and ready to serve your school or group.
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.