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Empowering youth by encouraging resiliency

Resiliency is an inner capacity that when nurtured, facilitated, and supported by others empowers children, youth, and families to successfully meet life’s challenges with a sense of self-determination, mastery and hope.
(Resiliency Leadership Ohio, 2008)

Good behavioral health among young people is essential to resisting substance abuse and addiction

It’s important we do more than simply ask our youth to “just say no,” but that we also look at “why.” What makes the difference between the child who passes on pills at a party, and the child who doesn’t? How can we encourage and facilitate the resilience of our young people?

Both national and Ohio research suggests that prevention interventions can have a positive impact on both behavioral health outcomes such as substance abuse and academic outcomes such as school attendance, school discipline and grades. By encouraging increased self-efficacy and self-esteem, good decision making skills, strong mental health and sound strategies to cope with emotions like anger, sadness and stress, we can arm our most vulnerable youth with skills and strategies to put their drug prevention knowledge into practice.

Building Youth Resiliency is an important part of Ohio’s youth drug prevention initiative, “Start Talking: Building a Drug-Free Future.”

Act now to develop collaborative proposals for your community!

The Office of Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and the Departments of Aging, Job and Family Services, and Mental Health and Addiction Services, is seeking to support Ohio’s most vulnerable student populations by funding evidence-based programming that encourages resilience development in a drug prevention education context. This initiative will give communities and schools the tools to develop student’s resiliency so they have the courage to push back against peer pressure.

Selected programming will be funded using federal TANF dollars and must comply with TANF funding regulations and restrictions. Eligible programming locations are limited to Ohio schools where 40 percent or greater of the student population is eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. Programming should be school-based and focus on students in grades 5-9. Applicants can be either 501(c)3 organizations or school districts. All 501(c)3 organizations must provide within their applications proof of partnership and collaboration with designated school district(s).

Programming should encourage the development of resilience-based skills and other competencies that support healthy social and emotional development as defined in 40 Developmental Assets® for Adolescents as developed by the Search Institute®. Prevention interventions selected must be evidenced-based, and a summary of the evidence must be provided. A plan for sustainability of community substance abuse prevention must also be included.

The Request for Application period ended on February 14, 2014, and the selected programs were notified in April. Read about the selected programs below.

Grants for youth drug prevention programming in schools announced

Awardees must be ready to implement programs by Sept. 2014.

To learn more about Resiliency, contact:

Molly Stone
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Phone: (614) 728-6866

Please send correspondence specifically about the RFA to