Interested in having SAP in your school? Visit our contact page or call us at ....
student assistance program
In 2011, NCF began supporting the Student Assistance Program (SAP) in the Whitefish School District, while continuing to support the school-based mental health counseling program. The SAP broadens our efforts, as it can reach a broader audience of students with services that address many of the underlying issues that contribute to suicidal behavior.
The SAP is designed to provide the opportunity for any student to receive support for issues they may be experiencing. Students 7th through 12th grade self-refer, while students in 1st through 6th grades are referred by teachers, counselors, parents or administrators. Students take part in the support groups for eight weeks. Group topics include: friendship, general sharing, substance abuse, divorce, helping students impacted by parental alcoholism and drug use, and grief and loss. Each group is facilitated by two trained facilitators, who work with a topic and age appropriate curriculum. Facilitator training involves three intensive days addressing topics including; depression, dysfunctional families and abuse, substance abuse, suicide, and other pertinent issues. Students are referred to mental health professionals as needed.
NCF organizes and funds training for teachers, administrators and students as facilitators for the Student Assistance Program annually. We also provide funding for stipends for the teachers and administrators who spend their personal time to facilitate this important and effective program.
Student evaluations of the SAP program continue to be overwhelmingly positive. According to one of the school district counselors, this program is changing the culture of the school. In recent years, the SAP program has expanded. NCF is currently supporting SAP in schools in Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Bigfork, Lakeside, West Valley and Whitefish. We are eager to explore opportunities to bring this program to interested school districts in other Western Montana communities.
At NCF, we are excited about the possible outcomes of the SAP Program. Young people that are exposed to the skills presented in this program will have the tools needed to make positive life decisions in the future.