SAC/Wellness Counselor

GMS SAC/Wellness Counselor
 

The Student Assistance/Wellness Counseling (SAC) is a comprehensive and integrated joint school-community program for prevention, intervention, support, and referral services to students in the areas of high-risk behaviors such as the use of substances, self-harm, personal struggles, and other mental health concerns. The SAC/Wellness Counselor can help by working with the student directly, collaborating with the teacher, or both. The SAC/Wellness Counselor can also communicate with the student’s family or other professionals when appropriate. The SAC/Wellness Counselor aims to provide all students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to cope with these obstacles and develop a healthy lifestyle. The SAC helps students take a look at their life-style, identify negative consequences, and guide them toward making better choices. Providing mental health support and referral to services is an integral part of our counseling department's mission in promoting the well-being of each student. The SAC partners with a network of community services and agencies, creating a coordinated effort to promote a continuum of care and services for all students and families.

GMS SAC/Wellness Counselor: Mrs. Jessica Ribaudo-Piskuloski
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 973.272.7020 ext. 3297


Role & Value of SAC click here

Referral Process

There are several ways that a student can be referred to meet with the SAC/Wellness Counselor. Please utilize the form below to refer a student.

  • Faculty/Staff member may refer
  • Parent/Guardian may refer
  • Student may refer themselves
  • Grade Level School Counselor may refer


Referral Form Click Here

What kinds of problems does the Student Assistance/Wellness Counselor (SAC) deal with?

  • Peer and Social Problems
  • Drug and Alcohol Problems
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anxiety and Mood Disorders
  • Grief and Loss
  • Family Transitions
  • Depression and Suicide Prevention
  • Self-Injury (suicidal ideation)
  • Emotion Management
  • Stress Management
  • And more…

All services are confidential.


Get sailing with social-emotional learning

Some Commonly Asked Questions about SACs:

 

What is the difference between a School Counselor and a SAC?

While all students are assigned a school counselor, not all students meet with the SACs. The SACs work with students who are referred to them. The primary goal of SACs is to support students' social emotional and mental health needs so that they can achieve as much as possible in their academic life. 

 

How are students referred to the SACs?

Students can be referred to the SACs by a teacher, counselor, case manager, or administrator. Additionally, students can also refer themselves. 

 

Are my conversations with the SACs confidential?

Confidentiality does apply to students who meet with the SAC, with limitations. The limitations of confidentiality are if a student says that they are thinking of harming themselves, if a student says that they are thinking of harming someone else, or if a student says that they are being abused, even if that abuse took place in the past. In those cases, the SAC is legally and ethically obligated to break confidentiality in order to ensure the safety of the student. 

Confidentiality 

According to a very strict Federal Regulation (42.CFR), the Student Assistance Counselor cannot disclose to anyone any information that a student discusses with them, without the permission of the student. 

However, there are a few exceptions to this law. If a student tells the SAC that they wishes to hurt themselves or anyone else, actions must be taken to prevent this from happening. Also, if a student discloses that abuse is happening to them, the SAC counselor has the obligation to report the abuse.


With this confidentiality law, students feel more comfortable disclosing information to their counselors. In most cases holding information in and letting it build can have a detrimental effect. The SAC gives the students the opportunity to vent in a safe place where they know the information will not leave the office.

Confidentiality for Substance Abuse professionals is located in the Federal Regulations, Title 42, (42 CFR).  With regard to school-based substance abuse professionals, this authority is referred to in the New Jersey Administrative Code, 6A:16-3.2 wherein it states: “Each district board of education shall assure compliance with the following confidentiality requirements:

1. Confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records, pursuant to 42 CFR part 2; and 

2.Confidentiality of information provided by...a secondary school student while participating in a school-based drug and alcohol counseling program which indicates that the student's parent or other person residing in the student's household is dependent upon or illegally using substances..."

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