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Safe Schools Healthy Students

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), Bureau for Children and Families has been awarded nearly $9 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to implement the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SSHS) initiative from 2014-2017. The goal is to engage youth, families, schools and community stakeholders in building the local and statewide capacity to mitigate behavioral health problems in youth from preschool through 12th grade.

State and Community Management teams will learn to develop and implement integrated, comprehensive, data-driven strategic plans to prevent, delay the onset or mitigate the seriousness of behavioral health problems locally and across the state. Through this opportunity Ohio intends to strengthen partnerships at the state and local levels, enhance system capacity and provide documented effective community-based models and mentors for communities wishing to adopt plans to prevent youth risk behaviors and provide effective behavioral health services.

During the four-year grant, OhioMHAS will work with the Ohio Department of Education and three of Ohio's local education agencies: Greene County Educational Service Center, Harrison Hills City Schools and Williams County Educational Service Center.

SAMHSA has granted the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services a no cost extension to continue the work of the Safe Schools and Healthy Students initiative for a fifth year. This extension will be from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. This extension will allow the state and our three granted communities to complete their work, obtain data and move forward with sustainability efforts.

Focus Areas

Ohio's Safe Schools/Health Students grant communities promote healthy social/emotional development to build safe and health family, school and community environments by:

Promoting early childhood social emotional learning and development

Developing children's social and emotional skills that will lay the foundation for healthy interpersonal relationships, association with nonviolent peers and improved academic achievement.

Promoting mental, emotional and behavioral health

Enhancing an individual's ability to achieve developmentally appropriate task and a positive sense of self-esteem, mastery, and well-being and to strengthen their ability to cope with adversity through enhanced integration, coordination and resource sharing.

Connecting families, schools and communities

Linking families, schools, and communities together to increase and improve the quality of their engagement in planning and implementing programs and activities that assist students.

Preventing and reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use

Addressing the prevention or reduction of substance use in coordination with broader environmental strategies that address change not only at the individual, classroom and school levels, but also at the family and community levels.

Creating safe and violence-free schools

Identifying and addressing issues, conditions, behaviors and structures that contribute to unsafe school environments and violence in schools.

  • Click here to watch the full State of Ohio SSHS program video (approx. 18 min.).


See below for agency-specific program videos.

Greene County

Greene County Educational Service Center
(approx. 7 mins.)

Williams County

Williams County Educational Service Center (approx. 7 mins.)