icanhelp is an early identification program that creates “safe spots” in schools and communities for youth to discuss issues with trained personnel. icanhelp operates through Potential Connections LLC.
Across the country, our youth are not engaging in services until their substance use and behavioral health/mental health issues have progressed to the level of truancy, lower school and pro-social engagement, drop-out, school expulsions, juvenile justice involvement and poly-substance abuse. According to the latest Monitoring the Future statistics, despite our best efforts, our youth continue to abuse substances at a much higher rate than in the last ten years. Prescription drug abuse is among the fastest growing and most dangerous.
The icanhelp℠ program program is a novel school and community based program that trains individuals-viz. teachers, administrators, nurses, coaches, truancy and law enforcement, school psychologist, guidance counselors, prevention specialist/student assistance programs (SAP), and others who are involved in engaging youth that may need help in multiple areas ranging from education, family, substance use and behavioral health issues.
The icanhelp℠ program is designed to improve:
- Accessibility of resources and services
- Academic performance
- Mental and physical health
- Quality of life
- Gaps in service
- New links for individuals and the community
The icanhelp℠ Program is built on five components: training, engagement, identification, linking and follow-up.
The gaps that the icanhelp℠ Program addresses are linking youth early in their need for help and services by expanding the number of trained adults that they trust; initiating a dialogue around some of the high prevalence issues that youth seek assistance for; offering multiple doors for them to access linkages; building a community database of resources and services; and following up with youth in need.