inspiring hope and healthy living
by providing behavioral health and wellness services one person at a time.

A Closer Look: Student Assistance Program

A Closer Look: Student Assistance Program (SAP)

Did you know TrueNorth Wellness Services has 13 locations and offers services in nine counties? We service over 24,000 client interactions each year, working with individuals, schools, emergency services, and other community organizations. With so many services offered, we thought it would be a good idea to take some time each month the highlight one of our programs. This month, we talked with our Student Assistance Program (SAP) Manager to give us an overview of the department.

If you would like to support SAP during the month of August, please visit our giving page.

What is SAP?

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a state program designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. Every school in Pennsylvania is mandated to have or work with a SAP team. TrueNorth Wellness Services works with schools in the Central PA area to provide these services. Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol liaisons from our agency work with students, families and schools to provide assessments, education and consultation.

Why is this program an important part of our community?

TrueNorth has provided SAP liaison services to schools in York and Adams counties for over 30 years. Our liaisons assess and refer students to the most appropriate services in the schools, but also act as a bridge in connecting students to community resources, which can include our school-based outpatient therapy and family services. When there are no openings through community agencies, our Liaisons are in the schools, providing much needed mental health and substance use services.

What are some recent highlights from your team and what are you currently working on?

We made it through one of the most difficult school years. With students returning to the classroom after more than a year of virtual learning and hybrid schedules, we have seen the effects of the Pandemic through an increase in anxiety in the schools. A lot of students are having difficulty adjusting.

What are the biggest challenges facing your department?

Funding. Over the past few years we have seen a steep increase in student referrals, but a decrease in program funding. We truly believe in the benefits this program provides to our children, youth and community, which is why we aim to make our services accessible for schools and the budgets they are allocated. Support from our donors is extremely important in our ability to provide these services to our schools.

For more information about SAP, please contact our Customer Engagement Department at 717-632-4900 option 2.

If you would like to support this program during the month of August, please visit our giving page.