Student Assistance Services News

November 2021

Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) have expertise in the mental health and substance use field. They have master’s degrees in Social Work or Counseling and most are licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions as Clinical Social Workers, Professional Counselors or Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners. As members of the Unified Mental Health Team, Student Assistance Specialists support LCPS initiatives that promote student connectedness, enhance student resilience and educate about mental health and substance use issues. We provide educational presentations for students and parents, restorative practices, individualized and group support, referral services, coordination with providers, staff development and consultation with parents and staff.

To find your school's SAS assignment, visit our website.

The SAS team's newest members!

We have continued to add experienced professionals to our team of Student Assistance Specialists (SASs). We are excited to introduce Kevin Grigsby and Mihaela Stefan, who recently joined our team. Read their bios below. To learn about the rest of our team, visit our September newsletter.


Not to worry! Find takeback locations near you throughout the year. Disposing safely of unused prescription medicines helps keep them out of the hands of our children and teens. Proper disposal is an important step toward reducing the risk of accidental poisoning, overdose and addiction. It's a simple step toward making our homes and communities safer for our students.
Big picture

Prevention Presentations are Underway!

Our team provides educational presentations to all students in 6th, 8th and 10th grades as part of the planned Health & PE curriculum. We are excited to be back in the classrooms connecting with students in-person and sharing this important information. Our presentations are adjusted according to grade level but carry the same themes throughout so students receive consistent messaging as they progress through grades.

Our primary focus is on the developing teen brain and its vulnerability to every choice we make like sleeping habits, eating habits and exercise. We highlight that any substance use during the teen years has a powerful impact on the developing brain and causes dramatic changes that increase risk for addiction, cause or exacerbate mental illness and negatively impact academic outcomes. We challenge teens to think critically about claims made by others promoting substance use and to develop a plan with their parent to avoid or leave risky situations.

Finally, we encourage students to connect with a parent or other trusted adult, including our staff, if they have questions or concerns related to their use or the use of someone else. We remind students that Student Assistance Specialists offer confidential support and connection to help within or outside of the school. If you have any questions about prevention presentations or supports available at your school, reach out to your school's Student Assistance Specialist.

Upcoming Student Presentations:

Loudoun Valley HS 10th grade- 11/8-11/11

Rock Ridge HS 10th grade- 11/10, 11/11, 11/17, 11/18

Blue Ridge MS- 8th grade- 11/12, 11/15-11/18

Education and Support Resources

These resources are not maintained or endorsed by Loudoun County Public Schools. LCPS is providing them as a helpful resource but is not responsible for their content.

Increase Your Knowledge - Parent/Student Substance Use information - Alcohol Information - Drug Information - Tobacco and E-Cig Information - Easy-to-read drug facts - Tobacco and Nicotine education, advocacy and cessation resources - COVID-19 & Substance Use—Stanford study on vaping increasing COVID-19 risk - DEA website - drug-specific information, pill identifiers, social media trends— Addiction Policy Forum website—provides educational videos and articles - Education and tips for parents on talking to their children about substance use

Support for you as a Loved One - Resource for families - Online Support Community for parents/caregivers - Support for family members of someone struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings—Support for children of parents struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings - Find online Alateen meetings—Addiction Policy Forum website for finding and navigating the treatment experience

Find a Treatment Provider - SAMHSA treatment locator

1-800-662-HELP (4357) TTY: 1-800-487-4889 - SAMSHA National Helpline - Online Recovery Community: Self-Management and Recovery Training Recovery community based on Buddhist Principles, virtual meetings available—Virtual Narcotics Anonymous meetings - Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings - LCPS listing of community treatment providers

All Rights Reserved. ©2021 Loudoun County Public Schools.