The Student Assistance Counselor
at Somerville High School
Mr. Douglas Graiver
Somerville High School - Student Assistance Counselor
What is Student Assistance?
The Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) at Somerville High School is a student focused professional whose main role is to address concerns related to a student’s relationship to substance use, abusive behaviors (gambling, Technology, etc, as well as their social and emotional well-being. The Student Assistance Counselor’s ultimate goal is to help a student reduce any behavior that may impact upon their well-being and their academic experience.
Prevention planning and early intervention services related to the above concerns are two core components of a Student Assistance Program
What does the Student Assistance Counselor do?
The Student Assistance Counselor meets with students, individually and in groups, as a way to provide assistance and support. At times, referrals are necessary for outside counseling, Twelve Step programming, or other interventions. In addition, the SAC provides substance use assessments, speaks to health and student classes, meets with parents, teachers, and community organizations. The emphasis on family, school, community and the protective factors and risk factors inherent within the student’s community are important considerations in any involvement with SAC.
Some Areas a Student Assistance Counselor Addresses:
- Substance Use
- Concerns related to use of Technology, Gambling, Sex, food, etc
- Peer Interactions and Socialization Skills
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Grief and Loss
- Family Concerns
- Suicide Prevention and Self-Injury
All counseling services are confidential. When students seek help, they are encouraged to share their concerns with their families. Parents are not contacted unless there is an immediate concern for the student’s safety. In addition, substance use information is strictly protected by Federal Law.*
Of primary importance to the Student Assistance Counselor is a student’s ability to share information and concerns without fear that this information will be disclosed to teachers, parents, or administrators. The only exceptions to maintaining confidentiality are: 1) If a student expresses plans to harm themselves, or to harm someone else. 2) A student makes allegations of child abuse or neglect. 3) A student gives written consent.
*Federal Regulations protect this information, Title 42, (42 CFR). As well as New Jersey Administrative Code, 6A:16-3.2
Making a Referral
- Students may self-refer and come in to see the SAC at any time during the school day, although students are encouraged to visit during their study hall or lunch periods.
- Students can confidentially refer other students who may be in need of support.
- Students may be referred by school administration, guidance, nurse, or any other school staff member that has identified an area of concern. In most instances, the student’s guidance counselor will be contacted.
- Parents who have concerns are encouraged to first contact their child’s guidance Counselor, but are encouraged to call the SAC any time.
- Please feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns.
Mr. Graiver is available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays from 8:30 until 2:30
on the 3rd floor between room 311 and 313. Students, parents, and interested
community members are invited to contact him anytime at:
908.218.4108 ext. 5189