United Way Promotes Healthy Youth Behaviors
In recent years, our Medina County youth have endured a string of tragic events, including suicides, alcohol-related traffic accidents, and heroin overdoses. The most recent county-wide needs assessment revealed that our high school students were indeed facing challenges:
- 17% reported that they had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, a statistic that was higher than both the Ohio (14%) and national (16%) averages
- 25% said they were depressed, defined as feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more
- 54% reported being bullied during the previous 12 months
- 13% said they used prescription medications to get high, a number that increased to 21% for those over age 17
To help ensure that Medina County youth have the emotional, behavioral, and social support to succeed in life, we've invested in programs that provide peer-to-peer mentoring, resilience and emotion management training, and suicide prevention and awareness training. When four county school districts requested funding to provide full-time, on-site, high school mental health counselors, United Way stepped up. In addition, United Way plans and presents a biennial E4 Youth Summit, which brings together representatives from all county high schools to be heard, and to learn how to engage in civic projects and community problem-solving.
Our youth engagement goals are:
- Increase access to mental health services
- Educate youth on making safe and healthy choices
- Help youth mature into successful members of our communities
2017 Investments: $244,850
Alternative Paths School-Based One-on-One Counseling--Provides one-on-one counseling for Buckeye and Cloverleaf school systems.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Site-Based Mentoring Program--Provides mentors to youth. Mentors provide support, friendship, and guidance to children, which help improve self-confidence and communication skills that result in better academic success and stronger social skills.
Catholic Charities, Step Strong Program: A prevention program for middle and high school students designed to increase awareness of available support and how to access resources.
Rape Crisis Center Heroes 4 Hope--Strives to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence. Provides interactive presentations to 7th through 12th graders in 10 Medina County Schools.
The Salvation Army - Wadsworth Care Team--Provides opportunities for youth to participate in small group sessions that provoke thought, feeling, and talking. Allows youth to give and receive peer support.
Solutions Behavioral Health Resilience Program--Provides counseling in one-on-one and group settings in the Medina and Wadsworth school districts designed to help participants develop and strengthen positive coping skills, healthy relationships, and community support systems.