skip navigation Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
Families & Children Women Teens Adults Seniors People with Disabilities
What is the New Hampshire Student Assistance Program (SAP)?
Every year, SAP counselors across the state serve over 20,000 youth and their families with various social issues, such as bullying, dating violence, and peer pressure. The program has grown from five schools in 2013 to more than 50 today. Read more in the Student Assistance Program brochure Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol. Each SAP is different, but all engage in the following activities:

Screening and Assessment of Students
SAP counselors screen and assess students for risk factors that relate to the likelihood that they might engage in risky behaviors, such as early substance misuse. Students are also assessed for protective factors, which will help keep them safe.

Prevention Education Series
SAPs counselors teach a 6-8 session Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Program in the seventh and ninth grades. Often this is done in partnership with teaching staff such as health and wellness educators.

Individual Sessions

SAP counselors provide time limited individual sessions for students. The number of sessions maybe extended for those students needing skill building to prepare them for group work or in situations where they might be experiencing an ongoing personal crisis.

Group Sessions
Groups focus on students who hold favorable views toward or misuse alcohol and/or other drugs, including nicotine, those students who are impacted by substance misuse in the family or friend group, and students who are experiencing difficulty with regulating their emotions.. Group sessions also lend support to those students who feel pressured to use substances or who are in recovery from a substance use disorder.

SAP counselors refer students who need extra support to resources (in-school and community based) such as mental health counseling, substance misuse treatment, and social services.

Prevention Education Series
Although the curriculum may differ by school, SAP counselors facilitate alone, or in collaboration with teaching staff such as health and wellness educators, 6-8 sessions of substance misuse prevention and mental health education to students in grades 7 and 9, a time considered to be high risk for the onset of substance misuse and mental health problems.

Environmental Initiatives
SAPs organize and carry out school-wide awareness activities to influence student, parent, and staff perceptions around substance misuse and mental health related topics and to offer available resources.

SAPs meet with students, parents, staff, and community groups to review available data, develop policies, and create action plans aimed at preventing and reducing adolescent substance misuse and other risky behaviors.

If you are concerned about a student and think they may benefit from a consultation with a SAP counselor contact a participating school to learn more. This information is confidential and will not be shared with the student unless you would like it to be.


Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Translate this page


New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire