As a youth serving professional, it’s hard seeing your students struggle. This is especially true when it comes to issues like addiction. While many young people are focused on getting into their dream college, the football game on Fridays, or passing a big test, other students are struggling to make it through class without thinking about their addictions. At EnvisionEdPlus we want EACH young person to achieve their full potential, but addictions can get in their way. So, when we discover awesome training options, we want to share. We get even more excited when those trainings are FREE…
One trend that is running rampant in high schools across America are electronic cigarettes. According to the CDC, 43.6% of high school students reported using an ‘e-cig’ on more than 20 of the last 30 days. This isn’t just a high school problem either. The same study states that 17.2% of middle school students also used an e-cigarette 20 of the 30 last days. This is alarming due to little research we have on the long term effects of electronic cigarettes. Fighting with addictions at a young age also causes youth to struggle in school and can cause disruptions in your brain’s pathways for memory and learning (Cumberlandheights.org).
Our friends from Prevention Action Alliance help students develop the skills they need to live happy, healthy and productive lives. Earlier this month I had the privilege of meeting with Melissa Cole, Prevention Coordinator, to learn more about the services they offer. Prevention Action Alliance focuses on promoting mental health wellness as a way of preventing addiction, not just simply ‘putting a band-aid on it’. In fact, I was shocked to hear that they never speak directly about addiction. Instead, they focus on teaching self-regulation and positive behaviors which ultimately give young people the knowledge, strength, and confidence to avoid harmful substances. They provide evidence-based prevention education training sessions for youth serving professionals as well as evidence-based trauma informed prevention strategies.
Prevention Action Alliance has a partnership with PAXIS Institute which works to find science and strategies for supporting happy and healthy communities. Through their partnership, they offer 5 levels of their PAX sessions. PAX is the “single most proven classroom based universal preventive intervention” (Paxis.org). During these sessions participants learn evidence based strategies that can support Social Emotional Learning and can be implemented into their work. Also, you can receive a $200 stipend for participating in a PAXIS Saturday session!
Another service Prevention Action Alliance offers is DBT training. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy helps young people gain the skills needed to manage and understand their emotions during difficult situations and deal with stress. All of which can lead to smarter decision making.
Thanks to funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, these sessions are free for those that live in Ohio and work with Ohio youth and/or families and that meet the session’s target audience description. Together we can work to provide equitable access to prevention support and help young people stay healthy!