Download January 2023 SAP News Letter
Prepared by: PA Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS)
PNSAS INTERAGENCY UPDATE
Click here to view the SAP Teams
Click here to view the SAP Liaison Infographic.
Contest Timeline: Contest submissions were due on December 14, 2022. Each
year submissions are reviewed internally and then put out for public voting.
Private voting will occur 01/16/2023 – 01/23/2023,
Voting 01/30/2023-02/20/2023, and Public voting 02/06/2023 – 02/20/2023.
Winners are to be announced in early March 2023. Check the Prevent Suicide PA website for links when the voting
SAP BACK TO BASICS
Liaisons: Their Role and Assistance with SAP Teams
It’s a fabulous fact that the Pennsylvania
Student Assistant Program (SAP) began in 1984, with implementation in four
school districts and is still going strong across the state today.The
dedication of caring individuals across the state, and the support of local and
state agencies, combine to ensure the success of SAP in PA. Liaisons are vital
to the process.
responsibilities are determined by the county agency as well as the needs and
requests of local schools. These responsibilities often include attending team meetings,
providing consultation services as requested (e.g., meetings with parents and
school officials), facilitating and supporting the school-based aftercare plans
for students who are returning to school from treatment, and facilitating or
co-facilitating school-based support groups to name a few.
trained liaisons provide consultation to teams and families regarding community
and/or school-based services and other services for drug and alcohol and/or
mental health related concerns.
letter of agreement (LOA) is drafted and signed each school year by both the
chief administrator and liaison agency.
These letters of agreements include: a designated contact person for the
school and agency, the frequency of attendance for liaisons at SAP team
meetings and their role of the liaisons in the school SAP process. The LOA
outlines the liaison’s scope of practice. For an example of a letter of
agreement, see the sample on the PNSAS
Pennsylvania, the SAP liaison is one of the single most used components that
make PA’s SAP program different than other states. The Cambridge dictionary
defines liaison as: 1. Communication between people or groups who work with each
other; and 2. Someone who helps groups to work effectively with each other.
It is this second definition, “someone who helps groups to work
effectively with each other”, that I think of each time I have contact with SAP
liaisons across PA. They work with so many different SAP teams, screen or do
assessments on so many students and continue to provide support not only to
students and their families but to SAP teams and their individual members.
The role of the SAP liaison includes helping to educate and
connect teams to local resources, assist in postvention services, provide
interventions for students, help teams develop and implement a continuum of
support services to assist students. They also assist in the identification of
risk and protective factors for students and teams and help teams to add in
school supports and interventions that will help develop these protective
factors in students. All of which continue to be a vital part of the
implementation of SAP in PA.
For additional information on the role and responsibilities of the
SAP liaisons in PA, see the following resources:
- Best Practice Guidelines for Drug
& Alcohol/Mental Health Liaison Services (read more)SAP liaisons
- Frequently Asked
Questions and Best Practice Responses (read more)
- SAP Liaison
Handbook (read more)
RESOURCES AND NEWS
988 Suicide lifeline: If you or someone
you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or
chat 988lifeline.org. 988 FAQ Update: a new
FAQ about specialized services for LGBTQI+ youth who reach out to 988. The FAQ
is the last FAQ under FAQS about 988 Basics.
JED Foundation releases PSA: The newSeize
the Awkward PSA, "We Can Talk About It,”
features a powerful message for all youth- but especially Black and
Hispanic/Latino youth that we all have the power to change the culture around
mental health and be the person who listens when the rest of the world doesn’t.
Check out the PSA here.
Teaching Time Management Skills: With a better understanding of time, students can
plan and prioritize their work in ways that support academic success. Read more.
How to Avoid Being Overwhelmed by Technology Options: To reduce
confusion for teachers and students, school leaders can adopt digital tools
that work together within a learning management system.Read more.
Getting Back to Basics: As the pandemic wanes, teachers can
prioritize attending to three essentials in the classroom: feedback,
engagement, and well-being. Read more.
6 Simple, Low-Cost Ways to Promote Student
Self-Care: From communal coloring to collaborative
puzzles, these accessible activities offer moments in the school day for kids
to pause and focus on their own well-being.
How to Make Students Feel Welcome Every
Day. Read how High school
teachers can use these strategies to keep students engaged in learning
throughout the year. Read
Wellbeing in the Workplace: Self-care
in a professional setting gives an employee permission to feel good about
the work they do.Empower your
staff by fostering a culture of holistic wellness that attracts, retains, and
supports top talent. Browse episodes of the life support Podcasts.
Gratitude: As we start a new year practicing gratitude can have positive effects on both your
physical and mental health, such as stress reduction and a boosted immune
system. Check out these suggestions for ways to practice gratitude:
- Start a daily or weekly gratitude journal to document the things
you’re grateful for, whether big or small.
- Strive to expand the list of things you’re thankful for every day.
- Recognize the common themes or items that appear in your journal.
- Relish in the moment when you realize you’re grateful for
- Share your gratitude with those who are important to you or “pay
it forward” by showing kindness to someone you don’t know.
Gratitude is a simple concept with far-reaching positive effects.
Practice gratitude throughout the year. Source:
Tips for a positive
social media experience: social media puts direct digital connections
to others at our fingertips. According to Pew Research Center, seventy percent
of people are active on social media. While there are benefits, such as finding
supportive communities and connecting with family, there are also negatives,
such as cyberbullying. So how do we take advantage of social media in a healthy
way? Follow these tips for a positive social media experience:
- Block out the “noise” –
if there are certain social media accounts that leave you feeling down, overwhelmed
or inadequate, block them.
- Curate your connections –
avoid connecting with “just anybody,” instead seek out social media content and
connections related to your interests and passions.
- Think about what you share –
is the content hurtful toward others? Is the article or news story from a
- Manage your time –
social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram have built-in features to help
you monitor and control the amount of time you spend on their platforms.
- Step away – a complete break from
social media might sound daunting, but it could be just what you need. Focus
this time on hobbies, sports or in-person interactions with friends and family.
SAP Trainings are available both
in person and virtually in certain locations throughout the state. These
trainings are delivered by PA Approved SAP Training Providers. For a complete listing click here to access the training calendar.
Trauma Training: The Offices of Children, Youth and Families,
and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services have partnered with PA Care
Partnership to provide any child welfare professionals in Pennsylvania FREE
Trauma Training provided by Lakeside Global until September 30, 2023, or while
funding is available. For individuals looking for
Trauma Training, there are multiple cohorts for courses and workshops scheduled
on specific dates and times available through https://lakesidelink.com/training/course-registration-2023/Training
available includes the following: Enhancing Trauma Awareness, Deepening
Trauma Awareness, Applying Trauma Principals,
Train the Trainers, and Trauma 101 through 109 Workshops.
PaTTAN Training: Proactive
Approaches to School Discipline Using Alternatives to Suspension and Expulsion. (Asynchronous from January 9, 2023–
February 13, 2023, via Schoology online course).
This course will focus on using alternatives to
suspensions and expulsions as well as the benefits of considering equitable
disciplinary practice via a SW-PBIS framework. Learners will discuss the key
responsibility areas for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for
behavior with a specific focus on culturally sustaining practices. Registration
Information: You may register online by clicking on the name of the event
on the Training Events Calendar at: https://www.pattan.net/events/
CADCA’S 33rd Annual
National Leadership Forum & SAMHSA’S 19th Annual Prevention Day
(January 30- February 2,
2023) For additional information and registration click here.
PA Parent and Family
Upcoming and archived webinars, tip sheets, and resources are located on their website.
The Pennsylvania Care
offers trainings and webinars throughout the year are listed on their website. Three upcoming
January 12, 2023, 2:30 to 4 pm- Belonging, the Flip Side of Adversity.
Returning speaker Dr. Veirdre Jackson. Register here.
January 24, 2023, 12:00 to 2 pm -The State of Black and Brown Mental Health.
What’s working: Potential Solutions. Register here.
January 26, 2023, 2:30 to 4 pm - Intentionality and Vulnerability. Returning speaker Dr. Esther Hio-Tong Castillo. Register here.
2022-2023 Equity Speaker Series: Click
here for courses and registration
the speakers series is funded by PDE Statewide Systems of Support.Topics of upcoming trainings include:
- 1/10/2023: Students with Specific Learning Disabilities
- 2/14/2023: Religious Diversity
- 3/14/2023: Black/African American
- 4/18/2023: Hispanic/ Latino
- 5/16/2023 Students with
PASAP Conference: February 26 - 28, 2023. In person at the Penn
Stater Hotel and Conference Center, State College, Pa. Click
here for Registration.
PA School Grants
The PA Department of Education administers several
grants each year, including Safe Schools Targeted Grants and others. Keep checking to see if there are any new
opportunities available. Click here for more information.
United States government offers several grants.
Go to Grants.gov to check on availability. Click here for more