Starting Point has a unique collaboration with local public and private schools to reach kids who are having trouble right where they are – in school. Starting Point currently works with several schools: Fernandina Beach Middle School, Yulee Middle School, Callahan Middle School, Hilliard Middle Senior High School, Faith Christian Academy and Sonshine Christian Academy. Counselors come to the schools a few days each week to provide individual counseling to children who are having behavioral problems.
The program incorporates a software program called Ripple Effects that helps children work through their issues by helping them understand underlying risk factors and learn new behaviors. The prevention counselor customizes the program for the child based on his or her specific needs and the goals they are working toward. Studies have shown that using Ripple Effects can strengthen social-emotional skills such as increasing problem-solving skills and showing more empathy for others.
Botvin LifeSKills Training Program
In partnership with the Nassau County School Board, Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare is currently implementing an eight-session Botvin LifeSkills Training Program to all 3rd grade students in Nassau County. This comprehensive substance abuse and violence prevention program is evidence-based and proven to be highly effective in increasing self-esteem, developing healthy attitudes, and improving knowledge of essential life skills. Students develop skills that enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills, help them reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger. Additionally, skills are gained to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence. Students are also given the tools to build effective defenses against pressures to use substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Our capable Prevention Coordinators deliver the material in a developmentally appropriate and dynamic way through lessons on Self-Esteem, Decision-Making, Smoking and Vaping Information, Advertising, Dealing with Stress, Communication Skills, Social Skills, and Assertiveness. Students are provided with workbooks in order to complete activities in each section taught.
Schools included in this implementation are Bryceville Elementary, Hilliard Elementary, Callahan Intermediate, Wildlight Elementary, Yulee Elementary and Emma Love Elementary.
Prevention Activities in the Community
Prevention activities work to educate and support individuals and communities to prevent the use and misuse of drugs and the development of substance use disorders. Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare has a team of Prevention Coordinators working closely with community partners and stakeholders to educate and offer individuals and the community support for the prevention of underage drinking, drug use, nicotine use and other substances.
Our Prevention Coordinators partner and play a role with Tobacco Free Nassau, Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, Poly Drug Task Force, Behavioral Health Consortium, Community Coalition Alliance and numerous other stakeholders.
Prevention Coordinators are trained to implement, and evaluate effective, data-driven programs and practices that reduce disparities and improve wellness for the whole community through outreach.
The Starting Point Prevention Team has developed a Vaping Education Program for teens, parents, educators and the community to give information on the dangers associated with Vaping which is now considered an epidemic.
Prevention Coordinators participate in outreach activities aimed at educating the public regarding issues specific to our community using local data and evidenced-based programming.