COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that his initiatives to increase Ohio students’ access to services that help prevent or intervene in emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders have hit a new milestone with the release of the 2020-2021 Prevention Services Data Report. The report shows that 95% of Ohio schools offered prevention-focused programs and supports, while more than 81% of schools offered prevention-focused curricula.
“Providing students with the tools they need to better cope with life stressors in healthy, safe, supportive ways helps individuals build resiliency and reduces risk factors,” said DeWine. “Prevention services are part of educating the whole child, meeting their wellness, as well as their academic needs. This approach sets them up for success throughout their lives.”
“This report shows how Ohio schools are supporting student wellness work through an outstanding increase of prevention programming and supports,” Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Stephanie Siddens said. “Prevention education helps students build the resiliency skills needed to overcome life’s obstacles and fully engage in learning.”
Other takeaways from the report include:
• Nearly 90% of schools reported partnering with community coalitions, organizations, or other external agencies to provide prevention services and resources to families. This 50% increase from the previous academic year likely is related to additional state funding that was used to build community partnerships with the ultimate goal of providing evidence-informed prevention services for every child, in every grade, in every school.
• Almost 90% of schools reported efforts to engage parents and families in prevention-focused services.
• More than 93% of schools reported offering some type of prevention-focused professional development and training for school personnel, and 72% of schools reported participating in some type of prevention-focused professional and peer learning during the 2020-2021 school year.
DeWine established the Student Wellness and Success program, which has dedicated $1.2 billion in funding for schools to provide mental, behavioral, and physical health programs to their students since 2019. The Student Wellness and Success program now is part of the current funding formula. In addition, DeWine secured $20 million in funding in the 2020-2021 budget for prevention education and professional development.