Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center Newsletter
Issue: # 2October, 2012 

Welcome to the Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center Newsletter. 
Every Child Safe, Healthy and Connected
The Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center builds the capacity of Wisconsin School Districts to implement programs that effectively prevent and intervene in alcohol and other drug abuse and violent behaviors among students in order to reduce these barriers to learning.
Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools 

Prescription Drugs; "High" of Our Time

1 in 4 teens report that they have taken a prescription medication that was not prescribed for them by a doctor, for the purpose of getting high or for any other reason. (The Partnership at DrugFree.org and Met Life Foundation 2011). In Wisconsin 18.1% of high school teens report that they have taken a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription at least one time, and 10.4% have taken an over-the-counter drug to get high.


Vicodin - a medication prescribed to relieve pain. When taken as prescribed it can be very effective, helping people recover from surgery for example. But it is from the same class of drugs as Heroin and can be dangerous if used to get high. In 2008, pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin were involved in more overdose deaths than Heroin and Cocaine combined!!

Prescription and Over the Counter (OTC) drugs are important and beneficial products that every year improve and save countless lives. They are effective, and they are safe-but only if used as medically intended.


People are more aware and have more access to prescription pharmaceuticals and OTC medicines. Products come to market; their images are advertised in newspapers, magazines, and on television and the Internet, with educational programs to tell us how they work and what conditions they treat. This bombardment of ads makes it sound as though the medicines are so helpful that they surely cannot be harmful. If they are prescribed, they cannot harm me...but prescription and OTC drugs have side effects that range from the unpleasant to the dangerous for the teen using recreationally. These effects and dangers are intensified when the drugs are combined with each other, with alcohol, or with illegal street drugs. Even when used at the recommended doses to treat medical conditions, combining multiple medications can be dangerous.


There are many resources to help educate you, adults and teens about the danger of using prescription and OTC. Drug Free website is the Partnership for a Drug Free-America. They have many resources for parents as well as teachers to use to educate.


The Smart Moves Smart Choices tool kit is available from the National Association of School Nurses


One teen resource is on the NIDA for teens' site - Share a Dose of Reality: Prescription Drug Abuse IS Drug Abuse Prescription Drug Abuse is Abuse This site is designed by youth for youth. It also has a teacher section outlining how you, as an important adult can teach the science of prescription drugs.


It is important to educate yourself, check your own medicine cabinet, and to be aware. Educators are in the perfect position to educate and to be aware since students are in school every day. You may notice changes before parents do. You can: 1.Be aware of changes in students; 2. Implement awareness programs and; 3. Get parents involved.

 In January 2012 Wisconsin released a research paper of 52 pages titled: "Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Abuse: A Call to Action" The Controlled Substances Workgroup (CSW) was committed to producing a report that represents the full breadth and scope of the prescription drug abuse epidemic. To that end, CSW consulted with a broad range of individuals and organizations representing key stakeholders impacted by this issue.



DPI Updates from the Student Services Wellness and Prevention Deparment

Web-based Suicide Prevention Training for All School Staff


Research has shown that brief training for adults is effective at increasing their capacity to identify, support, and refer at-risk youth. Many people know how to perform CPR for heart attacks. Adults in schools should also know how to identify suicide warning signs and how to respond to a student who may be contemplating suicide. This type of workshop is often referred to as "Gatekeeper Training," because people who get trained are able to work with students to get through a gateway to getting help. Through training, staff members understand that they do not need to be mental health professionals to help a student in crisis. Nor do they increase the risk of suicide by asking if students have thought about hurting themselves. Once they know the simple steps, they reduce the likelihood of suicides in their students. This training is appropriate for all school staff, administrators, and volunteers. There are numerous ways to obtain training such as this. You can use the webcast, or contact other trainers in Wisconsin who can come to your school to meet directly with your staff.  


Join us to hear the latest findings from Dr. Dorothy Espelage and Dr. Justin Patchin, two leading researchers in the field of bullying prevention, on what works in reducing bullying and improving conditions for learning in schools. Dr. Espelage and Dr. Patchin regularly present nationally and internationally, providing practical strategies and solutions to addressing bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment. During registration for the full conference, attendees have the option of registering for the pre-conference as well. There is no separate registration for the pre-conference.


Scholarships are available on a first-come first-served basis. The scholarship covers the $100 conference fee. Attendees must pay for their own lodging and travel expenses. One per district. Districts with an AODA or Safe and Supportive Schools grant are not eligible to apply. To apply, use

this form only. Please contact Elizabeth Pease at 608-267-9240 or elizabeth.pease@dpi.wi.gov with any questions.



Mental health is a strong predictor of school success. Educators have daily opportunities to positively impact the mental health of children. To do so, one must understand the clues that a child's behavior gives about their current mental state, the impact of mental illness or trauma on a child within the context of their culture and what elements of teaching are essential to supporting mental well-being and learning. This six-eight hour in-service uses film case studies from real classrooms and stories from personnel. Participants are given ample time to explore topics in a safe and engaging environment.


Unmasking Bullying and Covert Aggression (workshop)


Each day, in the U.S. alone, 160,000 children miss school for fear of being tormented by their peers. No child should have to endure name-calling, rumors, gossip, exclusion or bullying from their peers. Participants in this workshop will leave with a better understanding of the roles bystanders play in bullying situations and practical strategies and activities to empower the

bystanders to safely intervene and help create safe social climates for all.Research shows that bystanders intervene in bullying situations only 15% of the time; however, they can improve the social climate 80% of the time. It truly takes just one voice, one act, to make a world of difference.


Help for Educators and Teachers When Dealing With Mental Illness (workshop)


Counselors are being asked to deal with ever increasing challenges each day. A most recent challenge for educators has been assisting parents and schools with the large number of children and adolescents who have a mental illness. There are ever increasing number of children who are being diagnosed with depression and Bi-polar Disorder (BPD). This course is designed for teachers, support staff and school counselors. Both disorders are frequently misdiagnosed because of its mental health disorders. Participants will learn about the diagnostic characteristics of the various types of mood disorders and the other types of mental health disorders that mimic the symptoms of each. It is also common for clients with this disorder to experience academic and behavioral struggles. Participants will learn methods to prevent and/or reduce behavioral issues and power struggles as well as gain strategies to assist their students academically. The role of medications will be discussed as well as the current methods of treatment.

Community Action Tool Kit (bully prevention)

 The Community Action Toolkit includes materials to create a community event using the research, ideas and bullying prevention and response strategies that you learned about in the Training Module. Using this Toolkit will help you plan, execute and assess your community event to prevent and stop bullying.

Suicide Prevention
Teen Connection (call in talk show)

The November Teen Connection will be focusing on "Suicide". This is a show with a panel made up of experts and teens who have had life experience on the topic. There is a talk show call in line for questions and discussion.
We continue to add more workshops to our calendar. Our website is under construction. We hope you find this newsletter a valuable resource.
Tracy Herlitzke-Director
Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center

The Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center is a collaborative project between the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the CESA Statewide Network (CSN).

In This Issue
Prescription Drug Abuse
DPI Conferences and Web-training
Mental Health and Bully Prevention Workshops
A Community Anti-Bullying Kit
A Talk Show; topic Suicide
Quick Links
click on "myquickreg"

The Faces of Wisconsin Safe and Healthy School Center
 Director:  Tracy Herlitzke
 Phone:  608-786-4838 
North (CESA 5, 9, 12)
Coordinator: Lynn Verage
West (CESA 4, 10, 11)
Coordinator: Carol Zabel
Central (CESA 2, 3, 6)
Coordinator: Jackie Schoening
East (CESA 1, 7, 8)
Coordinator: Christine Kleiman