• What is Student Assistance?

    The student assistance program is a comprehensive model of services that foster safe school environments, promotes healthy childhood development and prevents alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse. True North aims to motivate students to make the connection between risky behaviors and negative consequences that often have permanent results to their lives. The underlying goal of the program is to create a climate that allows students to DISCOVER what behaviors they are engaged in that may be harmful, EXPLORE a variety of scenarios and options available to them, and ultimately experience SUCCESS in their life decisions.

     What services does Student Assistance provide?

    • Classroom Presentations on a variety of topics.
    • Screening and Assessment for substance abuse or dependence.
    • Referral and Case Management.
    • Opportunities Group- Provides information and increases the student's perception of risk and problems with current behavior.
    • Brief Intervention- For adolescents who are experiencing life problems that may be related to or made worse by their use of illicit substances.
    • Treatment- Regular and ongoing individual and group sessions for adolescents who are experiencing life problems that may be related to or made worse by their use of illicit substances.
    • Continuing Care- Ongoing recovery support to help students develop strategies to prevent a return to substance abuse and behavioral patterns.
    • Affected Others Group- Provides information about the impact of chemical use; teaches students how to identify and express emotion and strengthen resources.

     How does Student Assistance work?
    First, a referral is made to Chris Chitwood, the Student Assistance Counselor serving Rainier. Referrals can be made by school staff, students, or families. All referrals are confidential within state and federal laws. Referrals can be made for a variety of reasons, including suspected drug use, depression, falling grades, truancy, or other issues.
    The student is seen at school and is screened for a variety of difficulties, including depression and substance abuse. Mrs. Chitwood works with the student to determine the basis of the problem and identifies resources.
    A decision is made about what to do. Some students are only seen once, some are seen several times during the school year and others are referred to more intensive levels of care outside the school environment. Sometimes parents, friends, school personnel, or area agencies are recruited to help.