Youth Development News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

August 2016

Promoting Mental Health and Wellness

The Youth Development Department of OCM BOCES/ISS continues to promote the development of social and resiliency skills in all that we do. From ADA-PEP counselors using research based programs to the professional development offerings that provide thought provoking lessons/discussion on how to help students succeed. We know that districts face a lot of challenges when working with students who are coming with more mental health needs and challenging behaviors. We also know that we have a lot of resilient students who rise above their circumstances and function well in the school setting. How do we attend to the universal needs of students while being mindful of the indicated students who need more time and attention?

Here are some resources to assist with understanding Suicide Prevention for Staff, Parents and Students.

We recently convened a group of counselors/social workers/administrators to discuss what they see as the most pressing mental health concerns in districts. Here is some of the information that came from the Focus Group.


As a result of these discussions, the Youth Development department is focusing on improving mental health in districts through:

  1. Professional Development focused on improving Mental Health
  2. Website with many resources to support districts delivering services
  3. Technical Assistance through phone calls and e-mails
  4. On-site staff development

A three tiered approach to promoting Mental Health and Wellness:

Primary Prevention: Tier 1 (Universal)

Here are some opportunities from OCM BOCES that could be used for Tier 1 Interventions:

School Health and Wellness Kits (Refer to CoSer numbers 593.050 Kit and 547.815 Kit Training) have been revamped. In addition to the classroom lessons used to meet the Health Education Standards, the research based program, Second Step is included. The Second Step program is a universal, classroom-based program designed to increase students’ school success and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation. For more information about the Academic Alignment and Second Step refer to this resource.

So, when teachers use the Health and Wellness Kits they have an opportunity to walk through the 22 lessons in Second Step to build a strong foundation for positive mental, social and emotional health. School Counselors can build on these lessons in their practice in order to reinforce learning. This curriculum can be included in the School Counselor District Plan as you explain how skills will be taught in the elementary grades. For more information contact Stacy McNeill,

Responsive Classroom is a research based curriculum that assists teachers in becoming more effective by learning strategies that lead to: Engaging academic instruction, Better classroom management, Positive learning communities and Developmentally appropriate instruction and discipline. Contact Patrick Shaw at for more details. Register for the fall class here

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Education Program (ADA-PEP) counselors also use Second Step on their practice along with Botvin’s Life Skills and Too Good for Drugs in the Elementary and Middle Schools. These research based programs (RBP) build on fostering grit and positive social skills. The High School ADA-PEP counselors use Project Success a RBP that promotes positive decision making and drug refusal skills. For more information contact Kathy A Miller at

Dignity CoSer provides yearly on-line training on the basic tenets of the Dignity for All Students Act, resources to promote classroom discussion with students and staff, and Professional Development opportunities to provide deeper learning for Dignity Act Coordinators and all staff. For more information contact Penny Williams at

Secondary Prevention: Tier 2 (Selected)

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Education Program (ADA-PEP) counselors use RBP’s in their practice with small groups of students that have specific needs. Groups are set up focused on topics such as; changing families, improving social skills and adjusting to a new school. For more information contact Kathy A Miller at

Tertiary Prevention: Tier 3 (Indicated)

CETAS CoSer is a collaborative consultation and support service designed to assist school districts with students who require more specialized academic, behavioral, and technological interventions to promote successful student outcomes. The goal of CETAS is to collaborate with school districts in order to provide supports for students, classrooms, and building wide with positive behavioral supports to enhance the learning environment. CETAS can assist with applying newly learned skills in a “real” classroom situation by providing follow-up, coaching, training, and consultation. Contact Dominique Ricciardelli at for more information.

Professional Development from Youth Development

School Counselors Round Tables and Trainings

(No Cost) Sign up on MLP

  • Counselor Round Table - Wednesday, October 26th/Owasco/Syr/8:30-11:00
    Register here
  • ASCA Training - Thursday, December 15th/Owasco/Syr/8:30-2:30
    Register here
  • Counselor Round Table - Friday, January 6th/Owasco/Syr/8:30-11:00
    Register here
  • Counselor Round Table - Thursday, April 6th/Owasco/Syr/8:30-11:00
    Register here

Dignity Act CoSer Trainings

(sign up on MLP)

DAC Training

Thursday, September 15th/Main Campus/Owasco/Syr/11:15-12:45.

Dignity Act Coordinators will hear about case law regarding the Dignity Act from Subhash Viswanathan, lawyer with BSK. New training opportunities will be examined along with research based programs that assist with positive social and emotional development.
Register here

Mental Health First Aid

Tuesday, October 4th/Main Campus/Owasco/Syr/8:00-4:30. (Limit 30)

This is an 8 hour public education program which teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adults, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder.
Register here

Trauma Informed Care

Wednesday, October 12th/Main Campus/Seneca Large/Syr/8:30-11:30.

Learn about the impact of trauma on children and families and how that changes dynamics in schools.
*Afternoon consultation with Jackie Yusko available to District Teams. Contact Penny Williams for more information and to sign up for a time slot.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Tuesday, January 10th/Main Campus/Owasco/Syr/8:00-4:30 (Limit 30)

This class is an 8 hour public education program which teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder.
Register here

HELPS Trainings

(working with Prevention Network)

Trauma Informed Care

Thursday, November 9th/Prevention Network/Prevention Network/9:00-4:00, COST $60 per person payable to Prevention Network

Science of Addiction
(Kathy A Miller)

Wednesday, January 18th/Canandaigua/Syr/8:30-11:00 – No Cost (MLP pending)

The training provides individuals with a better understanding of addiction and recovery. This workshop will explore: the neuroscience of addiction and recovery, the impact of addiction on the brain and the science behind the entire process.

Drug Trends/Prevention
(Brad Fetes and Elizabeth Toomey)

Thursday, March 9th/Canandaigua/Syr/8:30-11:00 - $25.00 per person payable to Prevention Network

Social Work CEU’s

(Cost $25.00 per credit hour)
MLP/Xenegrade pending
Register here

Trauma Informed Care
(Jackie Yusko)

Thursday, October 13th/Main Campus/Seneca Large/Syr/8:30-3:30

An introduction to the impact of trauma on children and families and the importance of a Trauma Informed Care Treatment Environment will be discussed.

Mindfulness: Awakening Presence through Mindfulness Practice
(Pauline Cecere)

Friday, October 14th/Cayuga Onondaga BOCES/Auburn/9am to Noon

This course will introduce practitioners to the principles and practice of mindfulness as it applies to social work. Since mindfulness is known through experience, an emphasis will be on practice through class exercises. We will explore the interface of personal presence with the helping relationship. We will also discuss mindfulness as prevention of worker burnout and practical uses of mindfulness with clients. Wear comfortable clothing and, if possible, bring a YOGA mat.

Drug Trends & Other Risk Behaviors for Adolescence
(Beth Hurny)

Wednesday, November 2nd/Main Campus/Seneca Large/8:30-3:30

What are adolescents doing to provide the rush of adrenaline that keeps them moving? Find out about adolescent behaviors and drug trends that affect their behaviors/thinking.

Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing &
Regulating Emotions-RULER

(Penny Williams)

Monday, January 30th/Main Campus/Seneca Large/Syr/8:30-3:30

Emotions matter for all of us and especially for children. How we feel affects our learning, the decisions we make, how we treat others, and our personal well-being. Learn about this curriculum that can be adopted to work with adults and children. This research based program comes out of Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Autism Spectrum Disorders, Neurodevelopmental Disorders &
Executive Functioning Deficits

(Dominique Ricciardelli)

Tuesday, February 14th /Main Campus/Seneca Large/Syr/8:30 – 3:30

Participants will learn about the diagnostic criteria for ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Strategies will be given that include academic, social and behavioral supports. Participants will also understand the role of executive functioning in the brain and practical strategies for supporting students with EF deficits.

Suicide Awareness & Prevention
(Maxine Block)

Thursday, March 2nd/Main Campus/Seneca Large/Syr/8:30-3:30

This course will begin with an overview of the topic of suicide, including statistics about the prevalence of suicide, review of data and identified vulnerable populations. This will include a discussion of demographic and environmental factors, and will also address the connection between suicide and self-harming. Most of the session will focus on reviewing the process of suicide risk assessment, including a comprehensive discussion of identifying and responding to overt and suspected suicide risks. Effective strategies for immediate evaluation and response to suicide ideation and behavior will be discussed, including safety and crisis planning and obtaining consultation as needed.

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