Rosecrance refreshes school staff on drug trends

Staff at Crystal Lake Central High School learned about teenage drug trends and how to recognize behavioral health issues during the first of several Rosecrance trainings this year.

Training specialist Melissa “MJ” Jendusa presented the information, which was delivered during three 45-minute sessions to groups that included teachers, guidance counselors and group leaders. The talk highlighted statistics about teenage drug use, common drugs of abuse such as cannabinoids and prescription pills, and signs and symptoms of use.

One of Jendusa’s main points was a suggestion for staff to say something if they see something.

Training specialist Melissa “MJ” Jendusa presented at Crystal Lake Central High School on teen drug trends.

“You have a great team approach here. You have an SAP, you have guidance counselors, you have administration,” she said. “You need to make sure everybody is on the same page and you need to keep checking back in. That’s the critical thing for adolescents. If you keep checking back in, you show them that you care, and that opens up that avenue of them letting you know what’s going on.”

Rosecrance has a longstanding relationship with McHenry County schools – there are several Student Assistance Program (SAP) counselors who work within the different districts. SAP Counselors Marqueeta Harrington and Katie Riechers attended the February 15 training, as did Deb Smith, Rosecrance’s clinical coordinator in McHenry County, and Community Relations Coordinator Maureen Collins.

Lisa Rydberg, a social worker at Crystal Lake Central, was familiar with many of the themes discussed, but she still found the presentation helpful. She said staff wants to support kids who have questions about behavioral health issues.

“Just to have a constant working relationship where you can pick up the phone and say, ‘I’m seeing this’ or ‘I’m hearing this,’ is helpful,” Rydberg said of Rosecrance. “There’s a lot of education coordination so we’re doing what’s best for the kids.”

Rosecrance has several other trainings scheduled for District 155 schools. Call 815-387-5607 for more information or if you’re interested in substance use education for your organization.