Dear Parent or Guardian:
West Clermont Middle School is partnering with Child Focus, Inc., with funding from the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board Levy, to bring a mental health education and screening program to our students.
The purpose of the program is to try to find the best way to help the students in this school who may be experiencing symptoms of depression or even having suicidal thoughts. Often, young people don’t like to ask for help because they are embarrassed or don’t know whom to ask. This prevention program is designed to make it easier for young people to find help for any emotional or behavioral health concerns that trouble them. Identifying these issues early will allow us to provide the appropriate support in the most efficient and beneficial manner possible.
To proactively address this issue, we are offering depression screening and suicide prevention training as part of the SOS: Signs of Suicide Prevention Program. This program has been used by thousands of schools over the past ten years. It has proven successful at increasing help seeking by students concerned about themselves or a friend and is the only school-based suicide prevention program to show a reduction in suicide attempts in a randomized, controlled study (American Journal of Public Health, March, 2004). Our 8th grade students will be participating in this program on December 5, 7, 12 and 14.
Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:
- To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness, and help them assess whether or not they may have symptoms consistent with depression,
- To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression,
- To provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in a friend, and,
- To impress upon students that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns.
How will my child’s information be protected?
- Protecting student information is a primary concern.
- The screening process will take place during school hours; however, no information will be entered into student school records, and will not be shared with anyone except the parent/guardian, your child, your counselor, and trained professionals from Child Focus, Inc. and/or the Clermont County Crisis Response Team.
If, in the judgment of the Child Focus, Inc. and/or Crisis Response Team staff, your child is in immediate risk of injuring himself/herself or others, we will inform you immediately. If you are not available, we will take the appropriate measures to protect your child and inform you as soon as possible. Guardians of every child who participates in an individual assessment will be notified by phone.
If you do not want your child to participate, please complete the form sent home with your student on November 28, 2017 which is also available in schoology.
If you have any questions regarding the program, you may contact Student Services at 513-947-7419.
The West Clermont Middle School Student Services Departmen