According to the National Association of School Psychologists, gun violence poses a serious threat to America’s children and youth. Existing data clearly point to the need for improved strategies for keeping guns out of the hands of children and youth and those who would harm them. Gun violence in schools is extremely rare, as are violent crimes committed by people with mental illness. However, the majority of youth murdered are killed with a firearm and nearly half of youth suicide deaths involve the use of a gun. Efforts to end youth gun violence must focus on accessibility and prevention.
HELENA – A new program in East Helena Public Schools is hoping to prevent youth suicide by starting education much sooner. The program is called the Good Behavior Game by Paxis Institute and was made possible by grants from American Chemet and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana totaling $15,000.
International research has shown the Good Behavior Game to be an efficient method for reducing off-task behaviors in the classroom, as well as increasing prosocial skills, while long-term follow-ups have indicated positive effects on a wide range of health issues.
As Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School third graders worked on math problem, teacher Kourtney Fjelland watched not only how well they were handling fractions, but also how well they were behaving. Most were concentrating, cooperating, focusing on their work and staying in their seats. In other words, they were exhibiting the good behaviors students themselves suggested and agreed upon earlier in the year, also as part of the PAX Good Behavior Game.
Medication-assisted treatment and recovery services work, but in order for the U.S. population to reach its full health potential, behavioral health and addiction treatment providers need to go on the offensive, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, told attendees at the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference on Tuesday in Seattle.