Student Assistance Network

The Center has created the New Hampshire Student Assistance Network to strengthen and expand the presence and impact of Student Assistance Programs in New Hampshire schools.
New Hampshire Student Assistance Network
What is the New Hampshire Student Assistance Network?

The New Hampshire Student Assistance Network (The Network) develops, aligns, and promotes Student Assistance Programs (SAP) based on the nationally recognized, evidence-based Project SUCCESS. In collaboration with the NH Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, The Network continues to support SAPs by providing:

  • group and individual technical assistance,
  • a Community of Practice learning collaborative, and
  • support with evaluation and sustainability planning.
What is a Student Assistance Program?

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is well integrated into the overall social and emotional support system for students and their parents in a school environment. The SAP uses a team approach and is led by a specially trained student assistance counselor who has experience working with adolescents on early identification and intervention for substance misuse and mental health. Other members of the SAP team include behavioral health school staff, school health and wellness teams, and partnerships with local prevention and behavioral health providers and regional prevention coalitions. The student assistance counselor implements Project SUCCESS and coordinates prevention and early intervention resources to reduce barriers to learning for students in New Hampshire Schools.

What is Project SUCCESS?

Project SUCCESSSchools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students— is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an effective evidence-based program to prevent and reduce substance use among youth ages 12 to 18. Project SUCCESS is a multi-pronged approach, providing education and support at various levels to individuals and families.

Essential activities include:

  • School-wide awareness activities for the school community and families about substance use and mental health resources to promote wellness and avoid high risk behavior, as well as where to go for help.
  • Prevention Education Series for students in at least one grade about mental health, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs.
  • Parent programs with information about ways they can support their child through healthy adolescent development.
  • Professional development and consultation for school staff to increase staff confidence and strategies for promoting wellness, identifying and addressing risk factors for early substance use.
  • Confidential student assessment for substance use and other behavioral health problems that contribute to poor school performance.
  • Individual and group counseling to provide support for needs identified in the assessment.
  • Referral to community organizations when students need additional support outside of the school-based resources.

Applications for NH Student Assistance Programs

In 2022, the NH Student Assistance Network provided grant funding to 31 NH middle and high schools across New Hampshire to support their Student Assistance Programs.

Is Your School Interested in Having a Student Assistance Program?

What do you need to start a Student Assistance Program (SAP)?

    • Contact The Network at and let us know you are interested in having a SAP at your school.
    • The Network will provide you with a Readiness Survey to assess your current school’s landscape and capacity for starting a SAP.
    • Meet with The Network to review readiness and discuss the next steps, which may include applying for the funding and hiring a SAP professional, or increasing readiness by participating in some of The Network’s learning opportunities.

You can learn more about each step below. We look forward to working with you to bring Student Assistance Programming to your school’s community.

In order to implement student assistance with fidelity, it is essential that each component of the program be integrated into the school and be supported by administration and the school community. See Scope of Work. Starting a Student Assistance Program (SAP) requires a certain level of readiness. Step one of the Network’s SAP Development process is for schools to complete the Readiness Assessment to evaluate the current environment at the school as well as areas that the Network can support.

Applying for Funding
After meeting with the Network to understand the school’s level of readiness, the school can apply for funding to support the exploration or implementation of the SAP.  Schools are required to provide a 25% match in cash or kind.

Hiring for SAP
The SAP professional’s responsibility requires highly trained, supervised, and experienced staff members with expertise in working with youth, communicating with other professionals and engaging parents. It is strongly recommended that SAP professionals have a Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or social work, at least two years’ experience working with adolescents and knowledge of substance misuse prevention. All NH SAP professionals receiving state funds must become a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) within one year of being hired.

Ongoing Support
Through the Network the newly hired SAP professional will receive professional support and development. The Network offers one-on-one mentoring for first year SAP professionals, bi-weekly regional peer collaboratives, monthly communities of practice and trainings. In addition, technical assistance is provided on an ongoing and as needed basis for both the SAP professional and the school administrator, the school administrator and others on the behavioral health team.