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  • Monday, September 03, 2018 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    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

    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 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

    Please visit the PSA site for full information about the contest. Any questions can be sent to

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    Jana Marie Foundation:

    Garrett Lee Smith “Suicide Prevention in PA Schools and Colleges Initiative”:

    Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS): 

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

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

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    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 -

  • Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    Plan now to attend the 2019 Social and Emotional Learning Conference presented by the Center for the Promotion of Social and Emotional Learning (CPSEL). The conference will be held May 20-22, 2019 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Md. CPSEL is currently seeking relevant and compelling presentations that support one of the five CASEL core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. To learn more about the conference and apply to be a presenter, go to

  • Saturday, August 04, 2018 6:36 AM | Anonymous

    Below you will find the newly designed joint Best Practice Guidelines for Drug & Alcohol/Mental Health Liaison Services document. 

    Previously there were two documents, one for Mental Health and one for Drug and Alcohol liaisons. The newly designed version has combined the two documents.  No changes were made to the liaison expectations.

    Please contact your Regional SAP coordinator if you have any questions.

    Joint SAP Liasion Best Practice Guidelines 8.1.18.pdf

  • Saturday, August 04, 2018 6:28 AM | Anonymous

    Below is Act 147 information and bulletin received from Shaye Erhard, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. 

    1.     Consent to Mental Health Treatment for Minor Children:  

    ·        The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services released a bulletin that clarifies Act 147 of 2004 (“Act 147”), 35 P.S. §§ 10101.1-10101.2.

    ·        Act 147 addresses who can provide consent to voluntary mental health treatment for minors ages 14 and less than 18 years of age in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

    ·        Act 147 provides that minors can consent to inpatient mental health care for themselves without parental consent. As is the case under the MHPA, the consent must be in writing and obtained only after the minor receives an explanation of the treatment and his or her rights and demonstrates that he or she substantially understands the nature of the treatment.

    OMHSAS 08-01 Act 147 Bulletin.pdf 

  • Thursday, June 14, 2018 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    House Bill 2493, would require public schools to have an assessment team tasked with identifying threats before they happen. A second measure, House Bill 2492, would require threat assessment committees at public colleges and universities.
    ABC Channel 27, June 13, 2018
    Full story

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

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