Each of Wisconsin’s LEAs: Racine, Menominee and Beloit, convened a SS/HS Core Management Team (CMT) to collaboratively lead, plan, and implement local SS/HS strategies to address the needs of students, families, and community. Needs assessment data confirmed that substance use was a serious concern leading to the implementation of alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) screenings, prevention, and intervention services to prevent behavioral health problems.
Wisconsin LEA’s implemented training and processes to conduct Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) screenings in middle and high schools, an effort that is expected to go statewide as the budget permits. SBIRT screenings revealed substance use treatment needs were exceeding the school and community’s AODA service capacity. Consequently, SS/HS schools, county, and community providers collaborated on how to address AODA related system gaps. In Menominee Indian School District (MISD), a county AODA counselor was hired to work at the Student Health Center. Racine established a cost sharing agreement for staff training with a local AODA trainer. Racine also contracts with an AODA prevention agency to provide services to students and families with classes held after hours on the school campus that are well attended by diverse families. In addition to SBIRT, Beloit also implemented Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals (DITEP) and Sources of Strength.
“I feel proud of being a role model for my younger siblings and also for adults. I want to break the cycle of substance abuse in my own family.”
Y2Y Beloit Student Advocate (Feb. 2017)
Another highly effective youth guided effort in Beloit actively involves students as leaders and advocates against substance abuse in their schools and in their homes. SS/HS partnered with Youth 2 Youth for Change (Y2Y). Rock County Y2Y is a coalition of diverse youth and adults with a mission “to reduce substance abuse among youth and adults through social positive change.” Members are trained on research based drug prevention programs and present trainings to students during the school day. Y2Y taps into student’s strengths and gives them key roles as leaders and advocates in the prevention of AODA. Y2Y advocates are committed and passionate about educating their peers and adults about the dangers of marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs. In 2015-2016, Youth 2 Youth for Change provided peer education and advocacy through Good Drugs Gone Bad and Too Good for Drugs. 90 Y2Y youth provided presentations to 1,949 Beloit students. A Teen Advocates group was formed at the alternative high school where they educated 75 youth in 3 awareness campaigns and they attended a state legislative meeting where they spoke with 3 legislators about substance abuse prevention.