In Bedford and Somerset Counties, every school has a Student Assistance Program (SAP) that is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of SAP is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance.
The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community mental health and drug and alcohol agencies. SAP team members are trained to identify problems and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. The SAP team will assist the parent and student to access services within the community as needed.
The SAP team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.
The SAP Process
Referral – Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior — any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member or the student themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. The SAP team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the SAP process.
Team Planning – Using information gathered from school personnel, parents and the student the SAP team develops a plan that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success to include in-school and/or community-based services and activities.
Intervention and Recommendations – The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community based services and activities. The team might recommend a mental health or drug and alcohol assessment.
Support and Follow-Up – The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and their family. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.
Specific Mental Health Liaison Services Provided
School-based Mental Health Assessments
Attendance at SAP Team Meetings in each School
Classroom and In-Service Presentations
Suicide Prevention and Postvention Services