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March 2024

2024 Ohio START Family Peer Mentor of the Year Award

Angela Mueller has been selected to receive the 2024 Ohio START Family Peer Mentor of the Year Award! The award will be officially announced and presented to her at the Ohio START Annual Summit on May 2 in Columbus.


The local team hosted their own announcement and celebration for Angie last week! Around sixty colleagues, friends, other mentors, and directors showed up to celebrate her. Congratulations, Angie!



Angie is a Coleman Health Services Family Peer Mentor for Ohio's START Program at Allen County Children Services, funded by the MHRSB. She has been a Peer Mentor for six years with three years as a START Family Peer Mentor in Allen County.


Ohio Sobriety Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) is a children-services-led initiative that stabilizes families harmed by parental drug use, so both children and their parents can recover and move forward with abuse-free and addiction-free lives. 


​Peer Mentors play a crucial role in recovery. Angie is an ally for families dealing with substance use disorder. The local team nominated Angie by saying, "Angie is dedicated to taking people under her wing and showing them first-hand the enjoyment that life can offer as a sober person."


"Angie attends court hearings, family team meetings, and many other appointments with her families showing them what recovery can be for them and what life can look like upon achieving sobriety." - Sara Newland, Executive Director of Allen County Children Services


"Angie is making a difference in the community by her advocacy on behalf of the families and children and has worked hard to reduce stigma related to families affected by SUD. She wants success for those that she serves." - Margaret Lawrence, Chief Officer of Coleman Health Services




 

The MHRSB in Local Schools

The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties is currently in 33 school districts. Our partnership with local schools helps connect children and teens to the services they need. The Board also funds many prevention efforts in these districts.


The MHRSB might be more involved with your local school than you realize. The Board funds programs used in classes like health or life skills. We help schools host small groups and specific trainings on special topics like "how to regular your emotions," and fund mental health education. We also provide teachers and administrators with the necessary tools to support their students' well-being. 


One of the Board's most extensive school services is School Navigation. Over the years, we've expanded that service to many local schools.

School Navigation is a service with behavioral health professionals in a school district or school who follow the evidence-based Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model. This means they can efficiently and effectively address behavioral health problems that a student may show. The Board uses the term “navigator” because these professionals help students, school administration, and families navigate the many resources available to them.


Learn more about School Navigation in this video about Kenton City Schools with School Counselor Susie Thrush and School Navigator Hayden Wiseman.



The PAX Good Behavior Game is a proven prevention and protection tool that improves children's lifetime outcomes. It uses evidence-based practices and trauma-informed prevention strategies.


PAX helps teachers and schools achieve their most important objectives in the classroom. It reduces teachers' stress and student problem behaviors while developing skills in students to help them be attentive and engaged in learning. The MHRSB funds and hosts PAX trainings for local teachers. Learn more about PAX at wecarepeople.org/pax.


Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a volunteer team of public safety and affiliate professionals serving fire, EMS, law enforcement, industry, education, and other organizations involved in any type of critical incident. This team provides crisis responses to our schools.


The CISM School Response Team works closely with schools to respond to a significant event such as the death of a student or teacher, a high-profile event that receives extreme attention from news or social media, or another event that stresses a large number of students and/or staff. The team is specifically trained to respond to a school crisis at the superintendent's request. The goal is to lessen the impact of the event and support the recovery process. Learn more at wecarepeople.org/cism.


Learn more about CISM responding to schools in this video about Wapakoneta City Schools Middle School with Director of Student Achievement Carrie Knoch.



I Mind is a voluntary one-day, 4-hour program that gives adolescents tools to avoid substance use. It can also help students return to school or after-school programs as quickly as possible after discipline measures. Youth need prevention programming to turn from potential substance use disorders.


The school makes referrals to I Mind, but parents can also refer their child to the program if they suspect their child is using substances. Classes are available for grades 7-8 and 9-12 in all three counties. The current class schedule and registration forms are available at wecarepeople.org/imindprogram.


The Gatekeepers are a student-led, prevention-based group in many schools. They are facilitated by Prevention Awareness Support Services (PASS) alongside school staff members. The student group is focused on raising mental health awareness and suicide prevention.


The students host mental health discussions and events, participate in suicide prevention strategies training, develop leadership skills, participate in fun team-building activities, have a direct voice in prevention efforts in their school, and hold educational workshops. You can follow what local Gatekeepers are doing on Facebook @Gatekeepers of AAH.


Learn more about the Board's relationship with local schools in this video about West Central Learning Academy with Superintendent Mindy Schulz and School Navigator Jessica Martin.



The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board is committed to serving our youth in and out of their school. Check with your local school on what is offered in your district. You can also find local youth services for you or your children by calling 211 or visiting allen211.org.


If you or your child are in crisis or need to talk to someone, call the local 24/7 HOPEline at 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) or call the national helpline at 988.

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