(OERP) Videoconference Series - Five Essential Practices that Behavioral Health Clinicians Need to Know About K-12 Schools: Student Assistance Programs, MTSS and Other Initiatives in Pennsylvania 9.2.20

September 2, 2020

Office of Educational Resources and Planning (OERP) Videoconference Series

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, originally published in 1998, illuminated the graded relationship between negative experiences in early life and long-term medical and mental health consequences.  Since then, multiple studies have yielded comparable results and there has been an increased push to provide clinical services in a trauma-informed manner.  While this is a significant step in the right direction, there has been ongoing debate about the utility of ACE assessments in clinical settings, and particularly with marginalized communities.  Ultimately, the potential dangers of relying too heavily on assessing ACE scores need to be considered and more effort put into promoting resilience and protective factors while teaching skills that can help buffer traumatic experiences.

Target Audience

Professionals (Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counselors, Physician Assistants working in Mental Health Settings,

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Nurses, Social Workers, Teachers, Residents, Fellows, Trainees, Students,

and Peer Specialists), Patients, and Families with a basic knowledge of schools, but little to no background in school

based behavioral health mechanisms currently in place. Appropriate for introductory and intermediate levels.

Learning Objectives

the conclusion of this program, participants should be able to:

· Identify the purpose of SAP in Pennsylvania

· Describe the roles, responsibilities and boundaries of SAP professionals.

· Discuss three legal and ethical similarities and differences between school and clinical statutes.

· Outline five ways to improve collaboration between clinicians, families, youth and school personnel.




Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • 2.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
09/02/2020 - 1:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
09/02/2020 - 3:00pm EDT


Clinicians and Educators have different but essential roles and responsibilities when working with children, adolescents,

and their families. Each system has unique legal limitations and ethical codes of conduct that may, at times, seem at

odds. The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program is a K-12 mechanism for addressing learning barriers that

compromise student success in school. The school-based professionally trained SAP team, including a liaison from a

community behavioral health agency, collaborate to provide early intervention, screening, and supportive services for

students’ behavioral health concerns.


This presentation will review the structure, roles, and responsibilities and boundaries of school Student Assistance

Teams in Pennsylvania schools. There are differences between school, and clinical legal and ethical boundaries,

particularly confidentiality, and these are important to recognize when generating collaboration. A significant strength of

the Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program is the presence of the SAP Behavioral Health Liaison and their important

responsibilities are described. Discussed are resources, as well as opportunities for better collaboration and safety net



Susan L. Tarasevich, Ed.D., Clinical Educator, Prevention Education & SAP Services, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Faculty Disclosure

No members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships with any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients to disclose.

Accreditation and credit designation

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Physician (CME)

The University of Pittsburgh School designates this live activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other Healthcare Professionals

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • 2.00 Attendance
Please login or register to take this course.