Today, more than ever, there is enormous pressure on schools and students to meet state and federal learning standards. Despite these efforts to create an environment where students are “ready to learn,” there are students who fail to meet the standards. For many, this failure has nothing to do with a lack of skills, intellectual capacity, teacher competency, or school environment. Rather, emotional turmoil, alcohol or drug use, living with alcohol or drug dependent parents, and other problems interfere with students’ ability to learn, socialize, and interact with others in the classroom and extracurricular activities in healthy and productive ways.

A Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a comprehensive (K-12) school based program that identifies issues which prevent students from learning and being successful in school and provides education, prevention, early identification, intervention, referral and support groups for affected students. Help is Down the Hall: A Handbook on Student Assistance was developed by NACoA for the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Following are the forms in the handbook for easy downloading and use by student assistance professionals.

HELP IS DOWN THE HALL: A Handbook on Student Assistance

  • What is a Student Assistance Program? Why would I want to start one in my school? How would I go about it?
  • This Handbook will take you from thinking about the benefits of having a Student Assistance Program in your school, to program design and implementation.
  • The Handbook on Student Assistance provides a wealth of practical tools for the creation, operation and evaluation of a Student Assistance Program.
  • Using existing resources and personnel, Student Assistance Programs systematically identify and serve the blatantly at risk students as well as the students who suffer in silence, opening doors to resilience, hope and academic success.
  • If your school already has a Student Assistance Program, you will find valuable resources to adapt to your specific program.