"Making A Difference -
One Student At A Time"





Association of
Student Assistance Professionals 

Log in


  • Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:24 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Suicides among children under 18 have spiked in recent years, and no patterns have emerged to define why more young people are taking their lives. The increase is forcing schools to get more engaged in detecting anything that could be seen as a sign that a student is planning self-harm.
    Centre Daily Times, Sept. 24, 2018

    Full Story

  • Monday, September 24, 2018 10:21 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    On Sept. 12, 2018, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) introduced a new and improved Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act to provide dedicated funding to states to lower the staffing ratios for school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers. The bill is similar to the former ESSCP that was funded under No Child Left Behind and has been given the same title. The new iteration of the bill is a vast improvement over the previous version. ASCA and the National Association of School Psychologists, the School Social Work Association of American and the American Psychological Association worked with Merkley and Clark's offices to update the previous ESSCP and helped their offices introduce the bill. ASCA is pleased to join NASP, SSWAA and APA as original endorsing organizations of this important legislation.

    The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act would:
    Establish two five-year renewable grant programs to staff elementary and secondary schools with school counselors, psychologists and social workers, effectively by providing federal grants to states to disburse to school districts.

    • Base allotment grants: State educational agencies would receive a grant on a proportional basis based on the number of elementary and secondary school students in each state. No state would receive less than $1 million for this grant.
    • Need-based grants: State educational agencies may apply, on a competitive basis, for additional funds through a need-based grant. States must provide matching funds in an amount equal to not less than one half of the additional grant amount. These grants are based on need for mental health services providers to achieve the recommended student-to-staff ratios for school counselors, psychologists and social workers.

    Funding in the previous program was distributed entirely through competitive grants, and a relatively low number of school districts in a few states received grants each year. The new program would provide funding for all 50 states, and because matching funds are required, states receiving the grants demonstrate a commitment to improving student mental health and wellness.

    The bill requests an initial authorization level of $5 billion the first year. ASCA is coordinating advocacy efforts with Merkley and Clark’s offices. We will keep members up-to-date with the process and will develop an action alert to solicit additional co-sponsors in the near future. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to contact your members of congress.


  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:08 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    PASAP has recently changed its online payment system.  We are no longer using PayPal to process credit card payments.  When you click the Pay online button while applying for or renewing your membership, registering for an event or making a donation you will be directed to a secure payment form within our site to make the payment. We believe that because you will remain on our site to process the transaction you will find it to be less confusing and more efficient process.  Once your payment is processed, you will be returned to the Invoices and payments tab on your member profile, where an invoice will appear, along with the payment entry.

  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018 9:38 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania State Police and Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that troopers will be conducting safety checks of every school in their coverage area at least once per shift in an effort to support safer learning environments.
    Allentown Morning Call, Sept. 18, 2018

    Full Story

  • Friday, September 14, 2018 2:25 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Food and Drug Administration announced a set of major new enforcement actions Wednesday aimed at reducing the sales and marketing of electronic cigarettes to teenagers.
    NPR, Sept. 13, 2018
    Full Story

  • Monday, September 03, 2018 8:36 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The annual Prevent Suicide PA PSA contest is in its 7th year, and Prevent Suicide PA is hoping to receive more entries than ever before. This is a great opportunity to engage students in a dialogue around suicide prevention, the importance of positive messaging, and communicating effectively. Staff who have participated in the past have seen this as a way to teach students on many levels -- academically, socially, and emotionally -- and students have been empowered to use their voices to reach out to their peers.

    This year’s contest will be announced during National Suicide Prevention Week, starting Monday, September 10, 2018 and all submissions are due by Friday, November 16, 2018. Schools may submit one entry in each or any of the following categories: 30 second video, 60 second video, 15 or 30 second audio, and poster. Full contest information including the Rules for Submission, which contains valid resources for messaging, can be found by visiting psa.preventsuicidepa.org/2019psa.

    The PSAs themselves need to be created by a student or group of students. However, Prevent Suicide PA requires there to be a school staff mentor, which can be anyone from the school who is willing to guide the student in this process. A number of teachers have used the contest as part of their curriculum across the academic spectrum, whether in English, Tech Ed, Health, etc.

    Prevent Suicide PA recognizes that students put a lot of themselves in these PSAs and each entry is valued. All entries that are selected as finalists remain on the psa.preventsuicidepa.org website for public use and have been shown during morning school announcements, displayed at various events, printed and distributed to schools and organizations, and developed into promo materials. All of the winners are honored and receive a certificate of recognition. PSA winners are invited to attend one of the Suicide Prevention at the Ballpark events in PA, as well as given the opportunity to participate in Capitol Day at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg. Photos from previous events may be viewed at www.preventsuicidepa.org/glsawareness.

    Please visit the PSA site for full information about the contest. Any questions can be sent to rose.milani@jefferson.edu.

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 4:17 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The week of September 9th-15th is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week, with Monday, September 10th marking World Suicide Prevention Day.  According to a recent CDC report (2018), suicide rates have increased across all age groups over the past two decades in almost every state, including Pennsylvania.  As such, we need to work together to recognize the role each of us play in suicide prevention. It is our collective responsibility to address the stigma about suicide and help-seeking.  We must educate about the warning signs and how to offer support to those that may be struggling.  For our youth in particular, we must recognize that as caring adults, we can be one of the most significant protective factors.  Yet, we must also model self-care and healthy coping during stressful times.

    In Pennsylvania, we want to do our part to help schools and communities recognize the simple steps that can be taken to contribute to these efforts.  Activities and events serve as a way to educate and connect individuals, including those who have been affected by suicide.  A range of suicide prevention and awareness activities are scheduled throughout Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world during the month of September.  A resource document is attached, which includes examples of activities that you can promote or implement in your school and/or community.  A copy of this letter, which may be modified and disseminated within your own school and/or community, is also attached.

    Media plays an important role in communicating messages of hope and in sharing resources for prevention.  Social media campaigns such as Take 5 to Save Lives are a great way to share information within schools and communities, including information about warning signs, reaching out, and self-care.  The #BeThe1To campaign led by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline encourages 5 action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal: ask, keep them safe, be there, help them connect, follow-up.  Consider promoting one of these campaigns or starting your own.  Additional ideas, along with sample social media posts, are included in the attached resource document.

    Thank you for the efforts you are putting forth to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental wellness in your school and/or community not only during the month of September, but every day #AAS365 #stopsuicide.


    Prevent Suicide PA: http://preventsuicidepa.org/

    Jana Marie Foundation: https://www.janamariefoundation.org/

    Garrett Lee Smith “Suicide Prevention in PA Schools and Colleges Initiative”: https://www.preventsuicidepa.org/gls/

    Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS): http://pnsas.org/ 

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:29 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The PA Developmental Disabilities Council is now accepting “Letters of Intent” for Community Grants, our small grants program. Community grants are intended to bring together people, with and without disabilities, in a local community initiative to influence social change and improve the lives of everyone in the community.  You can learn more about this grant opportunity and submitting a Letter of Intent, at the following website:


  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:28 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Family Engagement Awards nominations due 9/3/18; registration due 10/1/18. www.FamilyInvolvementConference.com

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:26 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Head Start Association (PHSA) is interviewing to find a new Associate Executive Director.  This is an excellent opportunity for passionate Head Start advocate.  Please feel free to share this email with potential candidates. 

    Send questions to Blair Hyatt - blair@paheadstart.org.

Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals
PO Box 1254
State College, Pennsylvania 16804 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software