Student Assistance Program

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) provides support to students experiencing a variety of problems to increase their ability to concentrate and be successful in the classroom. Providing help to students with alcohol and other drug and related problems is a major component of the SAP but primary prevention and intervention are the foundation of the program model.

What is a Support Group?

Support groups provide students with the opportunity to gain support and make positive changes in their lives. Students learn to improve their communication and coping skills and to avoid alcohol and other drug use.

There are many different types of support groups and each is organized to help members cope with specific issues. The groups are co-facilitated by the SAP coordinator, MMHS guidance counselors and professionals from counseling agencies in the community.

The groups meet for one rotating period each week during the school day. This results in the student missing the same class on time each marking period. The absence is excused or non-counting under the attendance policy. Students are responsible for making up any missed class work.

Many students have difficulty reaching out for help or talking about their feelings. They believe that no one understands. Through support group participation, students discover that they are not alone.

How to Get Involved?

Most of the students who receive services from the SAP refer themselves during the SEPTEMBER SUPPORT GROUP Sign-Up in freshmen English classes and in upperclassmen home rooms. Referral forms are also available from guidance counselors, school administrators, the nurse and the SAP coordinator throughout the school year.

Parents, friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, administrators and anyone else who is concerned may refer a student by submitting a referral form, by meeting with the program coordinator or in the SAP room or by calling the school. Referrals may be made on an anonymous basis to the student but the referring person must be known to the SAP coordinator.

What Happens After Referral?

The coordinator meets individually with each student to explain the program, to discuss the reasons for the referral and to look at the options for help. Information about in-school support groups, services in the community and other assistance at Memorial is provided. Students must be willing to participate voluntarily in the program.


All SAP services are confidential except in cases involving suicidal behavior, sexual assault, a threat to the physical safety of others or child abuse or neglect.

What Types of Groups Are There?

  • Grief and Loss
  • Improving Communication
  • Coping with Divorce
  • Step and Blended Family Adjustment
  • Recovery from Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • Teens Affected by the Drinking or Addiction of a Loved One
  • Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood

The Challenge Group is a six session program designed to help students resist alcohol and other drug use. Most students refer themselves but some participants have been court ordered and others have been mandated to attend for violating the District's chemical use policy.

Can the Student Assistance Program Help You?

  • Are you often worried, angry or depressed?
  • Do you feel like you are all alone and that no one cares?
  • Have things in your life changed for the worse?

Have your grades dropped?

Are you in trouble in school, at home or with the law?

Have other people noticed negative changes in you?

Do you have low motivation and effort?

Are you hanging around with people who get into trouble?

Has your appearance changed?

Are you frequently absent from school?

Have you given up on things that used to be important to you?

  • Have you had trouble adjusting to your parents divorce?
  • Are you under stress?
  • Are you concerned about the alcohol or other drug abuse of a loved one?
  • Do you sometimes worry about your own alcohol or other drug use?
  • Have you tried to quit drinking or using other drugs on your own but didn't succeed?
  • Are you affected by the death of a friend or relative?
  • Have you been threatened or hurt by divorce?