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Mental Health Resources

Working Together to Ensure Safer Schools
Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep all kids safe.  Our staff has been trained for a crisis situation, and we have conducted safety drills at all buildings.  In addition, we have school resources officers that work daily in our schools.  We will have an increased security presence for the foreseeable future.

But we cannot do it alone. Please talk with your children  about how important it is for them to immediately report anything they see or hear that may be a potential threat to our school to an adult. Students and adults can also call or text the safety tip line at 844-SAFER-OH (844-723-3764).  Our students are the first and best line of defense in preventing school tragedies.

Also, I suggest if you have a weapon in your home, please verify that it is secure and that your child can not access it. Lastly, if your child is experiencing any trauma or other concerns, please let your school counselor or administrator know. Together, we can work to ensure that our students are in a safe and secure learning environment. Thank you.

Superintendent Kevin Tobin 

Zero Tolerance for Social Media Threats 
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office is making it known to the community that there is a  zero tolerance policy for individuals who issue or repost threatening messages using social media.  It is dedicated to investigating any individual who utilizes social media in a way to create fear or alarm to others, and will hold them accountable.

“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior,” explained Sheriff Maier.  “We will be swift and sure with our investigations.  There will be no leniency for individuals who indicate they may cause harm to another person.  We take these threats very seriously, and individuals who make the threats or share them can and will face criminal charges."

Those who come across these messages are encouraged to notify law enforcement and/or school administrators and not to continue to share the message through social media. 

Suicide Prevention Coalition 
Counselors are available 24 hours/7 days a week/365 days a year. If you or someone you know are in crisis, please immediately contact us.

Youth Suicide Prevention 
There is no single cause of suicide. No one cause or event makes a person suicidal. Suicide is a result of multiple stressors that make an individual feel out of control, trapped or unable to change what is happening. 

Parent Resources:
If you’re worried your child may need help or might try to hurt themselves, trust your instinct. 

Student Resources:
If one of your classmates seems sad, lonely or depressed, or if you’re generally concerned the emotional health of yourself or another young person, we can help. 

Care Network  
Stark County residents can access behavioral health services regardless of their ability to pay through the Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) Care Network. StarkMHAR funded service providers accept various insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Stark residents that are not covered by one of those options can receive services. Their ability to pay for those services will be determined by their income and could be fully subsidized by StarkMHAR. 

Support Groups 
Children of parents who who talk to their teens about drugs are up to 50% less likely to use. A majority of substance-free adolescents credit their parents for the decision not to use illegal substances.

Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. 

Happening at Lake

SAFE Home Complements DARE in Lake Schools

If you read the paper or listen to the news, you know the state of Ohio has a drug abuse problem.

Following are statistics from a Sept. 13, 2016 article that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch:

“The number of fatal overdoses in Ohio that involves heroin has soared from 87 in 2003 to 1,424 last year (2015).  It was a factor in 47 percent of all fatal overdoses, higher than any other drug.”

“In 2014, Ohio reported more drug overdose deaths than any state except California, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.”

And like countless other Ohio school districts, our school district is pursuing ways to educate and inform students about drug prevention, and alternate ways to cope with life’s challenges and stresses.

“Lake was one of the first districts locally to act on the problem,” said Claudia Khourey-Bowers, a retired Kent State Stark professor and middle school science teacher, who is now completing her second year as a curriculum writer/developer for the Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Agency in Canton. 

She has been working with staff at Lake for the past two years to introduce SAFE Home, a new drug prevention program she developed.  It complements the drug prevention message provided through Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) led by School Resource Officers Dave McKay and Laura Blackstock.  While DARE is directed to grades K-3, 5, and 7, and brings a law enforcement approach to drug prevention, Safe Home is being taught to Lake students in grades 4, 8, and 10, and relies on social, family, and community norms to help students avoid drugs. 

While both programs share some similarities such as the importance of positive self esteem, SAFE Home builds on research to help teens stay drug free.  “SAFE Home is based on research that identified the best ways to help teens avoid the use/misuse of heroin and opioids.  This program also embodies guidelines that suggest how we can approach teens to keep them from experimenting, and to discourage their friends from doing it,” said Mrs. Khourey-Bowers.

Key points of the SAFE Home curriculum include:

         - reinforcing a strong self identity so teens can see themselves as a good, strong person

         - providing ways for students to meaningfully talk with their parents

         - including  role playing scenarios for older students 

Research has shown that if teens can communicate better with parents, adults will be more supportive and protective of them, so kids are less likely to turn to drugs.

“This offers tangible ways for teens to engage with parents.  It shows them how to talk with parents in a more conversational way about “now vs. then,” the social norms associated with drugs, and ways that our culture is changing,” added Mrs. Khourey-Bowers. 

SAFE Home sets a positive tone in fourth grade by helping students to be kind, get along, and build a sense of community.  Families are also asked to work together to build good home practices of storing medicine, properly disposing of expired medicine, and labeling/organizing it.  “Together families learn what they can do to improve the quality of life at home,” the curriculum developer continued.

In eighth grade, the focus turns to peer pressure, what opioids are, why they are prescribed, misuse vs. abuse of drugs, and refusal skills.  Kids also learn to talk with/ interview their parents to find out how they coped with drug pressures by asking ‘how did you deal with it?,’ and discuss the influence of movies, music, and cultural norms. 

By tenth grade, students can role play to express concerns and fears.  Videos with discussion points on peer pressure, misuse, and relating to parents, featuring local college students, are also used and have been well received.

So how is SAFE Home being received by Lake students?  “Last year we collected data, and we saw a big improvement.  Students felt they were being supported.  There was a great increase in the number of students who talked with parents about prescription drugs,” began Mrs. Khourey-Bowers.  “Lake’s teachers offered excellent criticism of the program after the first year, and we’ve made changes based on their comments.”

She is optimistic that SAFE Home will continue to have a positive impact on the current drug epidemic.  “It helps parents and students to trust each other, know they can say things, and still have a loving relationship.  Drug abuse is a huge problem for all of us.  As a community we need to look to stop it from harming our children, one child at a time.” 

Teacher Trained to Assist Students 
Within the past year, 98 Lake staff members (bus drivers, administrators, teachers, aides, secretaries, etc.) have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. This training was made possible through a grant that Stark County received to train more than 1200 school-based staff in our county by 2019.  

This program teaches adults who regularly interact with adolescents (ages 12-18) on ways to assist young adults  experiencing mental health or addiction issues, or those in crisis.  It introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, identifies risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, and offers a five-step action plan to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Other topics covered during the training included depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, substance use disorders, and suicide.  Mental Health First Aid encourages recovery and resiliency - the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and can use their strengths to stay well.  

There is no single cause of suicide. No one cause or event makes a person suicidal. Suicide is a result of multiple stressors that make an individual feel out of control, trapped or unable to change what is happening.

  1. Talk with your family, friends about suicide. Contrary to myth, talking about suicide does not give someone the idea.
  2. Spread the word. Help is available. No one needs to feel they are alone.

There is no single cause of suicide. No one cause or event makes a person suicidal. Suicide is a result of multiple stressors that make an individual feel out of control, trapped or unable to change what is happening.

  1. Talk with your family, friends about suicide. Contrary to myth, talking about suicide does not give someone the idea.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has opened a hotline for emotional support to help residents affected by pandemic stress. Ohioans can call 1-800-720-9616 any time to speak with counselors. All calls are free and confidential.