A Year in the Life of a School Counselor:
The Month of October 

The Month of October / Life as a School Counselor / Red Ribbon Week

This month is a huge months for me as a school counselor due to Red Ribbon Week. As a past drug addiction case manager in a mental institution I know how important it is to keep students off drugs! Drugs are the worst thing anyone can do to themselves besides suicide.

You will never come back as the same person once you take drugs. School counselors must do everything in their power to stop students from taking drugs. As a middle school counselor years ago I was shocked to learn that the high school and middle school did almost nothing to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

We do so much in elementary school for Red Ribbon Week, then drop the ball in middle school and high school. This is a tradgedy. I complained to the principal and the counselor coordinator in my old county. I am sad to say it didn’t do any good.

Now, I am lucky to be in a county that has elementary, middle, and high school celebrating Red Ribbon Week. Our school social worker is also very much involved. We plan on celebrating the same Red Ribbon Week themes throughout the county to promote anti-drug awareness. If you can keep one student off drugs it is worth it! 

I have started to do my groups. The teachers have requested that I do my Positive Behavior Group. I do my groups for five days in a row. For more ideas on a Positive Behavior Group check out this link:

 For the month of October our word of the month is “Responsible”. I have created the warm fuzzy named “Prize” to promote being responsible (See the link below for the Story of Prize.). Being responsible means taking care of your body and self and staying off drugs!

Below is a sample of the Red Ribbon Week activities we will be hosting in our county.


Sample Red Ribbon Week Activities:

Theme: “Shoot for the Stars, Stay Drug Free”

Students will be making stars in art with our slogan to hang around the school.

We will have daily clothing themes:

Monday: Turn your back on drugs (wear your clothes backwards)

Tuesday: Sock it to drugs (wear crazy socks)

Wednesday: Stay in the game and play drug free (wear your favorite sports team attire)

Thursday: Join the fight against drugs (camouflage)

Friday: Say Boo to drugs (wear black and orange or Halloween themed clothing)

“Shooting for the Stars, Why I’m Drug Free!”

K-2 Poster Contest

3-5 Essay Contest

Each morning a 4th or 5th grader will read the daily announcement addressing substance abuse. A small token that supports the idea of the daily reading will be given out in homeroom.

Day 1: Stay Sharp Without Drugs (RRW Pencil)

Day 2: Don’t be a sucker, Stay away from drugs (Suckers)

Day 3. Smarties don’t do drugs (smarties candies)

Day 4: Don’t let drugs Twist your mind (Pretzels)

Day 5: Life is sweet when it’s drug free (Halloween Candy)


Red Ribbon Week Activities for Counselors
Red Ribbon Week Activity Chart
School Counselor Warm Fuzzy Guidance Lesson on Respect and Responsibility for October
A Year in the Life of a School Counselor: November
The Year in the Life of a School Counselor: September

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Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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