When a child or adolescent is troubled, it is often revealed at school. Therapists in the Student Assistance Program (SAP) work with schoolteachers, counselors, and administrators to identify students who may be having emotional or psychological problems. SAP staff members may consult with school personnel on approaches to helping such students, provide on-site mental health assessments or provide assistance to students for accessing services from other agencies as arranged through the SAP.
Clinical assessments of students are performed at the school. Parents and other service providers are contacted and made part of the assessment and recommendation process.
The SAP staff members consult with school administrators, teachers, and other social services agencies. The focus of the consultation is on students who may need to be assessed, or who are in need of services. Consultation with staff members on how to handle particular problems is also provided.
Educational programs are provided to PTAs and students on a variety of mental health and family life topics. Specialized training courses are also offered to schoolteachers and guidance counselors on such topics as teen suicide, eating disorders, and behavior management.
A key component of the SAP is the school-based “Core Team.” The Core Team is comprised of teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors who have received special training in mental health and substance abuse issues. As “ad-hoc” members of each Core Team, HSC staff members provide consultation on cases that are discussed. The overall aim of the Core Team and the Student Assistance Program is to provide help in a timely manner to those students who may be exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with an emotional or substance abuse problem.
The staff is comprised of professionals in behavioral health care. The coordinator of the program is a licensed M.S.W. with more than 40 years of experience in the mental health field. A board-certified child psychiatrist provides consultation to the SAP staff on a regular basis.
Referrals to the SAP Program occur through School Guidance Counselors or Human Services Center.
For further information, please contact:
Maria Lynn Perrotta, PhD, MEd, MA
Director of Assessment and Outpatient Therapy
Fax: (724) 658-6765