6 Resources to Help Your Team Support At-Risk Youth This School Year

Imagine – 

It’s the second week of school and a 14-year-old walks into your office at her appointed time. She seems especially nervous today as she shuffles her feet and looks at the ground. You wonder if she’s about to cry, or maybe run back out and get back to math class. You’ve been working with youth for years now, so you can tell when one of them is really struggling. 

She settles down after a few minutes of twirling one of the fidget toys on your desk while you begin to do your thing – asking her open-ended questions to figure out what is bothering her. You check in about her older brother, her best friend, her grades, and more. She tells you what happened at a party she went to over the weekend. 

As the time wraps up, you think about how this 14-year-old’s anxiety isn’t unique. You’ve seen a huge uptick in mental health concerns over the past few years, along with risky behaviors that often accompany intense emotions. More and more of the students at your school seem to be at risk. 

“How many other students are like her? Who else is struggling with this? How many kids are using substances on the weekends to feel better?” you wonder. 

Providers all over the world are grappling with these challenges. Whether you are a pediatrician, public health leader, or parent, we are here to support you in your care for youth. 

At Possibilities for Change, we offer educational resources and easy-to-implement, evidence-based tools. This article is a quick summary of these resources and tools. The new school year is upon us, so be sure to spend some time reviewing the webinars, training sessions, white papers, and more. Your team will thank you!

BOOST Your Knowledge Base and Skillset with These 20-Minute Training Sessions 

Have you participated in one of our BOOST sessions yet? 

Our Brief Opportunities of Supportive Training (BOOST) videos are 20-minute speed sessions designed to give you a quick knowledge BOOST (get it?) without wearing you out with yet another long webinar. We release new BOOSTs throughout the year. Some of our most popular recordings include: 

For more than 2 years, teens have slugged through interrupted learning and peer interactions as a result of the global pandemic. For many adolescents, this has resulted in increased mental health challenges and risky behaviors, including suicidal ideation and substance abuse. Every policy leader, practitioner, and parent is considering how to mitigate these risks. If you are a school district-level leader or a building administrator, you will love the Quick Path to Schoolwide Screening BOOST. In this 27-minute webinar, we share an overview of our Rapid Adolescent Prevention Screening (RAAPS) and offer specific implementation steps so you can begin a schoolwide screening plan. 

Webinars: A Deep Dive Into Youth Risk

When you’re ready for a deeper dive into pressing youth issues, like teen vaping or adolescent sexual health, head over to our webinar section. Our webinars are 50-minute learning sessions with Dr. Jennifer Salerno, DNP, CPNP, FAANP, and expert panelists across a variety of disciplines. 

In each webinar (and in all content we share), we focus on the facts. We analyze and share evidence-based strategies and data from scientifically-validated studies to educate about youth risk. We share resources and offer tools to help providers and professionals identify and respond to those risks. 

In the Combatting Youth Risk With Technology webinar, for example, we share the research and rationale for RAAPS being a technology-based tool, explaining the common pitfalls with paper-based screening and face-to-face interviews. You’ll learn how RAAPS is a time-efficient, effective, and comprehensive screening tool. 

RAAPS is currently recommended by multiple top health organizations, including: 

  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • The National School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA)
  • The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP)
  • The Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM)
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • The Children’s Hospital Association (CHA)

If you haven’t viewed any of our webinars yet, the Combatting Youth Risk With Technology webinar is a great place to start. 

Case Studies

Our resources and tools have an impressive global footprint – hundreds of school-based health centers, colleges, providers, and professionals around the world are currently using RAAPS, ACT, and/or Motivational Interviewing to improve adolescent health. 

Our case studies offer a glimpse into our effectiveness across settings all over the world, from school-based health centers to primary care settings and more.  The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), based in SW Detroit, is one of the nation’s leading health care providers. Prior to adopting RAAPS, the renowned health system used lengthy paper surveys that were tedious and challenging for teens to complete and tedious and challenging for providers to review in their entirety. This often resulted in incomplete and/or inaccurate data. Transitioning to RAAPS was “super easy” for providers with varying levels of clinical training, from medical assistants to clinical therapists. The case study dives into the implementation process in depth. 

Other case studies share the impact of RAAPS, ACT, and/or Motivational Interviewing on improving adolescent sexual health, decreasing youth vaping, preventing school dropout, and more. Read a case study spotlight on a multiple-county intervention in North Carolina here

Information Sheets and White Papers

Our RAAPS, ACT, and Motivational Interviewing resources are currently being used across settings – we are in schools, community clinics, private health organizations, community agencies, and more. 

As a leader of one of these entities, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing we have done the work of creating the checklists, infographics, one-pagers, and other information sheets for you. We’ve distilled the essence of what you need to know and what you want to share with your team. Check out our information sheets to preview an automation workflow infographic or a youth screening criteria checklist, for example. 

Our selection of white papers includes several deep dives into some of the most common risks youth are facing today, along with education for caregivers and providers. Here are a few of our topics: 

  • Sexual health risks in American adolescents 
  • Nicotine and tobacco risks in American adolescents 
  • College student risk
  • Role of caregivers in teen sexual health 
  • Strengthening relationships and improving communication with teens  

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Let us know. We’re always adding to our resources and it is our goal to provide practical, evidence-based information to support the quality care you offer youth. 


Our scholarly articles have been published in premier journals, including The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, and The Journal of Pediatric Health, to name just a few. 

Dr. Salerno has worked alongside several adolescent health experts to bring you timely and comprehensive insight into the spectrum of caring for youth. Whether you are looking to provide ongoing professional development to your staff or educate new hires on the effectiveness of the RAAPS, our publications will provide you and your team with trustworthy research to support the resources and tools you are using to effectively care for the youth in your school, clinic, or community. 

What’s Next?

Summer is wrapping up and the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year is right around the corner. Every new school year offers teens and families a fresh start. It’s a chance to regain solid footing with supportive friends, strong homework habits, and healthier behaviors. It’s also a chance for practitioners, policymakers, and parents to put in place systems that can act as a safety net for youth when they are at risk for, or currently engaging in, risky behaviors. 

Possibilities For Change exists to provide clinicians and professionals like you with these tools so you can support youth through the best and worst of times. 

Get ahead of youth risks this school year with the resources we mentioned in this article. Questions? We’d love to guide you towards the right kind of support for your setting. Reach out here and one of our team members will be in touch shortly.