"Making A Difference -
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Association of
Student Assistance Professionals 

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  • Monday, December 11, 2017 7:53 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevent Suicide PA and the Pennsylvania Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant are pleased to announce that the Suicide Prevention Online Learning Center is now live!  This site is designed to provide current and evidence-based information to anyone who may come into contact with individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including educators, mental health professionals, medical professionals, and the general community.  

    The Online Learning Center can be accessed by visiting https://preventsuicidepalearning.com/.

    Select featured courses include the following:

    • Suicide Prevention for Educators (an 8-class course that can fulfill Act 71 requirements for schools)
    • Clinical Approaches to Suicide Prevention for School-based Counselors
    • Method Restriction: Primary Care and Public Health Approaches

    When visiting the site for the first time, users must click the “login” tab to register, creating a username and password.  Then, click the “All Courses” tab to view all site content.  Any trainings that users complete will be documented on a transcript that may be downloaded, and some courses will offer printable certificates.

    We hope you find this new training resource useful in supporting your personal and professional suicide prevention efforts!

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 3:22 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania’s Governor signed new truancy legislation, taking effect for the 2016-17 school year, with the express purpose of improving students’ attendance and deterring truancy through a “comprehensive approach to consistently identify and address attendance issues as early as possible through credible interventions.” With the above in mind, schools should use their Student Assistance Program (SAP) building teams to support the efforts of the new truancy law, particularly with early prevention of school absences, well before they become chronic.

    Typically, the initial SAP referral is made by a concerned school staff member as a result of one or a combination of observable behaviors, triggered by a change of a student’s usual pattern of attendance, academic performance, health, and/or general behavior.  In those cases where SAP is already involved with a chronically absent student, participation by a SAP team member greatly augments the School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP) by providing first-hand historic and informational background whenever the SAIP stakeholders meet to discuss a particular student’s case.

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 3:19 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevention partners are once again invited to participate in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This week-long health observance is an opportunity for teens to learn the facts about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction from scientists and other experts.

    Organize and promote an educational event or activity for teens during the week of January 22–28, 2018, and help shatter the myths about drugs and alcohol. It's easy to get involved!

    Register your event and receive support from NIDA staff to plan a successful activity. NIDA staff can help you order free science-based materials to complement your event, brainstorm activity ideas, and partner with other organizations. Get your event nationally recognized by adding it to the official 2018 map of activities for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week. Plan Your Event—5 Steps to Hosting
    Already planning to host an event?  Register your event here.

    Also, check out NIDA's one-stop shop for teachers for information and resources to use with your students.

    Visit teens.drugabuse.gov/teachers to learn more!

    For more information, contact drugfacts@nida.nih.gov.

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 1:32 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevent Suicide PA is happy to announce the 6th Annual PSA Contest for Youth Suicide Prevention! The organization has a new website with a range of suicide prevention resources, along with information about this year’s contest.  Attached is a letter to schools and contest submission guidelines.  Additional details about the contest, including a timeline and FAQs, are available here.  Please be sure to read the letter to schools and full contest rules as they outline some new changes, as well as unique opportunities for those high school students who submit a PSA.

    Any questions about this year’s contest can be directed to Rose Milani at rose.milani@jefferson.edu.



  • Friday, September 15, 2017 3:03 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Dear Colleague:

    Looking for a way to help your students learn about health risks, contribute to the greater good, and earn some recognition too?

    As part of the Allegheny Quits for Life campaign, Tobacco Free Allegheny is hosting a Public Service Announcement video contest for youth in grades 6 through 12. Youth can enter as a team or as an individual and are encouraged to used evidence-based research to make their videos factual and fun for youth their own age

    Entrants can choose from four topics to create a video:

    - e-cigarettes and hookahs and the dangers surrounding them;

    - the Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU), a youth advocacy program run by the American Lung Association (ALA) and why youth should get involved in fighting the tobacco industry;

    - the dangers of tobacco and why Allegheny County residents should quit smoking for life.

    - Tobacco 21

    Entries should be submitted/posted by 11:59pm on October 6th, 2017

    Winning videos will be placed on the Tobacco Free Allegheny, Allegheny County Health Department, and other partner websites, as well as used during the Allegheny Quits for Life Smoking Cessation Awareness Week (November 12-18, 2017). Students can enter submissions as either a team or an individual, divided into two divisions: grades 6-8 (middle school) and grades 9-12 (high school).

    To help get started, students should visit the Center for Disease Control's tobacco page (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm<https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm&sa=D&ust=1505500084150000&usg=AFQjCNHr8AhurafBiwSSa-CTHIthsdRNYQ>). For more information on TRU, visit www.truinpa.org<https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.truinpa.org&sa=D&ust=1505500084150000&usg=AFQjCNHZJvQFD_7bX12ePuBLgO6x8cQTtg>.

    Questions can be emailed to Brittany Huffman (bhuffman@tobaccofreeallegheny.org<mailto:bhuffman@tobaccofreeallegheny.org>)

    The name and photo associated with your Google account will be recorded when you upload files and submit this form. Not susantarasevich@gmail.com? Switch account<https://accounts.google.com/AccountChooser?continue=https://docs.google.com/forms/d/11QpSyS3zhukEYfH44IUSqM8ky6GHGOMUP-oMsR-03XA/viewform?usp%3Ddrive_web%26edit_requested%3Dtrue&service=wise>

     Link to the video contest http://tobaccofreeallegheny.org/psacontest.asp

    * Required

  • Monday, September 11, 2017 4:45 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition (PAOASPC) and the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative (PAYSPI) have merged to form a new organization called Prevent Suicide PA.  Prevent Suicide PA will address suicide prevention across the life span.  The organization’s goal is to prevent suicide in Pennsylvania through education, training, awareness, reducing stigma, and involving those with lived experience (Loss and Attempt Survivors).  Prevent Suicide PA’s new website (www.PreventSuicidePA.org) was launched on September 10, 2017, World Suicide Prevention Day.  Check it out!  https://www.preventsuicidepa.org/

    Prevent Suicide PA will hold it’s first “Suicide Awareness Day” at the State Capitol on Monday, October 16th from 9:00 AM  – 10:30 AM.  Please join Prevent Suicide PA and help to bring suicide prevention and mental wellness into the spotlight.  Speakers will include several legislators, mental health professionals, and attempt and loss Survivors (representing lived experience from all age groups). Display tables will provide organizations with an opportunity to share suicide prevention materials.


    Like us on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/preventsuicidepa

  • Wednesday, September 06, 2017 1:24 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The free SAP K-12 Bridge Training available online offers one of two options for training.
    1)  Are you an elementary or secondary SAP trained team member interested in obtaining a SAP K-12 training certificate?  This integrated SAP K-12 Bridge Training is for those trained in either elementary or secondary SAP before the current SAP K-12 model was initiated in September 2012.  The Bridge Training is hosted by Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16 on Eduplanet. 

    Successful completion of the four training modules and post-tests will provide participants with a SAP K-12 certificate that enables them to serve on elementary through high school SAP teams.  

    Any questions – please contact your Regional Coordinator.  To get started:  email your name, email address, school district-building/agency, and original SAP training certificate to your PNSAS Regional Coordinator.
    2) Do you lead, supervise or oversee staff who serve on a Student Assistance Program team?  If you have not already completed the SAP K-12 team training and will not be sitting on a SAP team, you may want to consider attending SAP Leadership Training.  PNSAS is now providing an online option for completing SAP Leadership Training via the online SAP Bridge Training.  This online training can be accessed by contacting your PNSAS Regional Coordinator.

  • Wednesday, September 06, 2017 1:09 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Follow this link http://www.pasap.org/13-Reasons-Why-Resources/ 

    Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why: Recommendations for Schools and Parents (PowerPoint)

    Provided with permission from the author: Dr. Scott Poland, Co-Director Suicide and Violence Prevention, Nova Southeastern University

    Netflix 13 Reasons Why PowerPoint (Dr. Poland).ppt

    Netflix 13 Reasons Why PowerPoint (Dr. Poland).pdf

  • Wednesday, September 06, 2017 12:10 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Check this SAP Training Calendar for upcoming SAP trainings offered by the Commonwealth Approved Trainers (as of 7/21/17) for the Student Assistance Program.  These trainers have been approved in the SAP K-12 model for Pennsylvania.


  • Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:12 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Shock the County StudentsDuring the 2017 PASAP-PAMLE Conference we were extremely proud to recognize several individuals and groups for their outstanding work in the field of student assistance. A list of the award winners is below.  For more information about each award winner and to view an interview with the award winners, click PASAP Award Winners

    Distinguished SAP Team of the Year Award

    Lafayette Elementary SAP Team
    School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

    Distinguished  Service Award

    John Sushereba
    Stairways Behavioral Health, Erie, PA

    Visionary Award

    Shock the County
    Berks Community Foundation Peer Leadership Program, Reading, PA

    Friend of PASAP Award

    Dr. Robin Felty, Superintendent
    Manheim Township School District, Lancaster, PA

    Dr. Susan Ursprung, Superintendent
    Donegal School District, Mount Joy, PA

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

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