Association of
Student Assistance Professionals 

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  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 3:19 PM | Anonymous

    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 to learn more!

    For more information, contact

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    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



  • Friday, September 15, 2017 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    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 (<>). For more information on TRU, visit<>.

    Questions can be emailed to Brittany Huffman (<>)

    The name and photo associated with your Google account will be recorded when you upload files and submit this form. Not Switch account<>

     Link to the video contest

    * Required

  • Monday, September 11, 2017 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    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 ( was launched on September 10, 2017, World Suicide Prevention Day.  Check it out!

    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 -

  • Wednesday, September 06, 2017 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    Follow this link 

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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

  • Friday, March 31, 2017 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    Athletics and Mental Health Physical activity is known to not only improve physical health but mental health as well.  Studies show that the release of endorphins during exercise interact with receptors in the brain that reduce the perception of pain and that they trigger positive feelings in the body. However, this doesn’t mean that student athletes are without mental health struggles.  In fact, quite the contrary when one considers the pressures many of them face in order to compete. “Given the interrelationship between the physical and mental, it might be helpful to think of student-athletes with mental health problems as “injured” — just as you would of a student-athlete who has a physical or medical problem.” (WebMD)       

    Student athletes can suffer from many different mental health or substance abuse issues.  Student athletes can be at risk because pressures to succeed can trigger mental health problems. 
    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has published a handbook entitled, Managing Student-Athlete Mental Health Issues. This tool helps those who work with student athletes be able to identify general signs and symptoms that may indicate a possible mental health concerns.  The handbook contains explanations about the effects on performance and sport participation, a suicide prevention plan and recommendations for individuals at risk.  Coaches should be involved in and trained to identify mental health problems in students.  SAP teams can be proactive in suggesting that their schools provide training for all coaching staff.  
    Substance Abuse and Student Athletes Student athletes are under great pressure to excel on their sport(s) and in school.  It is important for coaching staff as well as school staff to be educated on observable behaviors associated with possible drug and alcohol use and abuse.  This may be especially important if student athletes have had an injury or operation.  Student with injuries are vulnerable to misuse of prescribed medications.  
    According to a study published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse reveals high school athletes are one of the groups most at risk for getting hooked on pain pills (U.S. News and World Report).  The study indicates that teen athletes are more likely to use drugs than their peers.  Teen male athletes are more likely to use and abuse drugs than female athletes.  Also, football players reported more drug and alcohol use than other sports.  Since pain medication can cause euphoria and give the user a temporary escape from stress, teen athletes are particularly susceptible to abuses.  The teenage brain is in a critical stage of development and can make them particularly vulnerable.
    According to an article from the NCAA by Kolodney (2015) the increase in opioid prescribing has been associated with parallel increases in opioid addiction and overdose deaths.  For more information on these statistics click here.    
    SAP Teams should be vigilant to the possibility of a student athlete’s vulnerabilities following injuries and in case of possible head injury make sure appropriate referrals to medical consultations are made.  SAP Teams should make a referral to their local BrainSTEPS program, which provides guidance to schools on how to best assist student with issues following a head injury.   
    SAP Teams need to take special care in looking at the multiple strengths and vulnerabilities associated with student athletes.  Teams may need to branch out to even greater collaborations and referrals, including strong partnerships with their school’s athletic department, coaches, and medical professionals.

  • Monday, February 13, 2017 1:18 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce that Dr. McCormick will be co-presenting with Dr. Garbely on Sunday during Plenary Session 1 &2. The two gentlemen are highly regarded in the addiction world and what an honor it is for them to be coming to PASAP.

    Michael A. McCormick, D.O. received his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s University and then graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his general rotating internship at PCOM/City Avenue Hospital and then finished a five year General Surgery residency at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, PA. Michael then joined Avalon Surgical, P.C. in Sheffield, AL before purchasing his own surgical practice, which he grew for the next seven years, during which time he was Chief of Surgery at Helen Keller Hospital. In 2013 Michael, opened and still runs Express Med of King of Prussia. Michael was always drawn to addiction medicine and he started his fellowship in addiction medicine at Caron in August 2015 and became staff physician in September 2016. Michael is a recipient of the Next Generation Award for fellows in addiction medicine concentrating on adolescents, awarded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the American Board of Addiction Medicine Foundation. As part of his award, his concentration is on teaching SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) to physicians, psychologists, counselors, nurses and other service professionals. Dr. McCormick provides care to Caron’s Healthcare Professionals Unit and  Detox Unit. 

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

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