OBMS School Counseling Programs
7th grade S.O.S. Program
In order to proactively address this issue, Olentangy Berkshire Middle School is offering depression and suicide prevention training as part of the S.O.S. Signs of Suicide® Prevention program. The program is provided by Mental Health America of Summit County in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Mental Health. The S.O.S. program has been used by several OLSD schools. It has proven successful at increasing help-seeking by students concerned about themselves or a friend, and is the only school-based suicide prevention selected by SAMHSA for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. In a randomized control study, the SOS Program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40% (BMC Public Health, July 2007).
Our goals participating in this program are straightforward:
- To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness, and help them assess whether or not they may have symptoms consistent with depression.
- To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression.
- To provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend.
- To impress upon teens that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns.
Our 8th grade students explore career pathways and choices by participating in two programs called Ohio Means Jobs and Real Money, Real World. Each of these programs is run by the guidance department. Students first complete an interest inventory through the Ohio Means Jobs website. Once they have completed this inventory, they are directed toward a career and field of study based off of their answers. The 8th grade students then participate in a simulation called Real Money, Real World. This simulation provides students with a career and salary. Based off of this information, students are able to learn how to budget money and pay bills and taxes.
Outstanding Sentinel Recognition
We like to recognize our students throughout the year for their hard-work and dedication. Each school year, we will be recognizing our Outstanding Sentinels who demonstrate the character traits of: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Leadership, Diligence, Perseverance, Trustworthiness, and Integrity. Teachers and teams nominate students based on their performance and the character traits each month. If your student has been selected by their teachers, you will receive an invitation to our Outstanding Sentinel breakfast where students will be congratulated for their hard work and will receive a recognition letter.
Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE), is a district-driven initiative to support students and their mental health. Students will participate in the COPE program during one week of their 6th grade Health class. Berkshire’s School Counselors, will be in these classrooms to deliver the lessons and teach students about:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- How thinking, feeling, and behaving are connected
- What causes it, and what its impact on an individual can be
- Healthy Ways to manage and overcome stress/anxiety
As part of the COPE program, students will receive a workbook, which will provide students with a reference book to use when faced with challenges. We encourage you to discuss the lessons, activities, and homework with your student during the week the lessons are delivered in order to reinforce the information they’ve learned, and to connect the lessons to their personal life beyond the walls of Berkshire. Information will be sent home with your student prior to them participating in the lessons.
Sentinel Salute is a school-wide effort to model and to encourage positive behavior in our school, classrooms, and fields. Teachers and staff are welcome to nominate any OBMS student who they observe strongly displaying positive behavior. The student will receive a reward, along with the paragraph describing their actions, in support of their positive behavior.
Second Step Curriculum
Second Step is a research-based Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum that provides students with the resources and skills to be successful at school and beyond. Students will work with the Second Step program in their 7th grade Physical Education & Wellbeing course (required of all 7th graders).
Topics covered include:
- Mindsets & Goals
- Values & Friendships
- Thoughts, Emotions, & Decisions
- Conflict Resolution
This will be our first year working with the SS program, so not all lessons will be covered (especially due to the hybrid attendance model), but we look forward to engaging with the students around the topic of SEL.
Too Good for Drugs
Too Good for Drugs is a social-emotional learning program that helps students develop the skills (pre)adolescents can use in making healthy choices and achieve success. This research-based program was developed by the Mendez Foundation, a leader in K-12 educational programs, and will be presented during Extended Learning periods by a trained Prevention Educator from the Recovery Prevention Resources of Delaware and Morrow Counties. These lessons will be delivered for all grades.
The goal of the Too Good for Drugs program is to build children’s social-emotional skills and empower them to be strong learners, make healthy choices, and be more resistant to peer pressure and peer influence. Children who learn and use the skills taught in this program are more likely to have a positive attitude, make good decisions, get along with their peers, succeed in school, and ultimately, “Flourish Here”.