Substance Abuse & Mental Health Wellness
Counseling & Referral Services
WHS Student Assistance Counselor
Alysa Fornarotto-Regenye, MSW, LCADC, SAC, SSW.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (732) 556-2139
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is specifically designed to help students who may be using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs and/or have mental health concerns. The Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) offers support to students, parents and teachers. The SAC provides a systematic approach to Screening, Brief Interventions and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); and, follow-up of students whose behavior indicates patterns that may be related to mental health and/or the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (ATOD).
The role of the SAC supports students in many ways, including advocating for students.
The Student Assistance Counselor works collaboratively with colleagues and parents on an as needed basis with student permission. There are times when administrators will make a referral after a student has been confirmed, via policies and procedures, as meeting criteria for under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Once the student has been addressed by administration, then they will notify the SAC to follow-up with the student and parent/s or caregivers. The SAC must follow 42CFR, a federal law regarding release and disclosure when it comes to substance use issues, which means I need student permission to speak to others.
CONFIDENTIALITY is a priority for students at Wall High School. However, there are certain situations that require school personnel to report to an administrator immediately. Some examples include::
They are thinking about hurting themselves or someone else.
Someone has hurt them, possibly in some form of abuse or neglect
They are planning to commit a crime.
What are some issues the Student Assistance Counselor often addresses with students and parents? Every life issue you can think of a teen might experience:
substance use depression anxiety self-harm suicide ideation relationship struggles
social phobias LGBTQ HIB academic decline abuse/neglect bereavement/grief
Meetings for students take place on an as needed basis between SAC/Guidance/FLC/CST supportive staff.
Services the Student Assistance Counselor provides to the school community:
The Student Assistance Counselor discusses topics like Social, Emotional, Personal Development, Character Education, Life Skills, and Leadership.
Small Support Groups (Connecting Students struggling with a similar issue.)
Community Referral Services
Prevention Education through 9-12 Grades Health Education Classrooms- Presentations with Special Guests
School Community Parent Prevention Education Opportunities
In-Service Training to all our faculty/staff on identification and referrals for substance abuse issues
Community Connection to the Wall Community Alliance for the Prevention of Drug & Alcohol Abuse and many more community agencies.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT IS THE KEY TO BEST OUTCOMES!
Educating Parents and getting them onboard, along with educating students and trying to create a stronger, empathetic bond between parents and students helps with reaching positive outcomes. I like to connect with parents as much as parents are willing to connect with me.
What is the Referral Process?
1. Initial Referral: Can be made in-person or over the phone from....
Any person who cares enough to change the path of a youth
2. Screening (Information collection)
3. Brief Interventions (sometimes includes parent/s or teachers as requested)
4. Referral to Therapy/Treatment Services if needed /
Parent to Parent Connections are made as well from a Support Network Perspective
5. Continued Follow-Up
Who does the Student Assistance Counselor Collaborate with?
While I am the Student Assistance Counselor at Wall High School, we also have two Family Liaison Counselors (one of which is the HIB Specialist), 6 Guidance Counselors and 6 CST members; not to mention the administration, teaching staff we collaborate with, all who work collaboratively to help students and share information with each other on an as needed basis. There are certain faculty members I utilize more because they might have a stronger rapport with students in general or because they see more variety of students, etc.; and sometimes club advisors or sports coaches are asked to get involved, there are many different factors depending on the scenario. We are all supporting our students and helping them through various life challenges either 1-1 or collaboratively as needed and as appropriately.