Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Social Work

First Advisor

Caitlin Stinneford


Salinas High Union School District has implemented Wellness Centers in a number of their schools where students can receive mental health services on campus, yet these centers are understaffed and underprepared for the amount of students needing socioemotional support. This project group aimed to address student substance use on campus while focusing on student mental health and harm reduction. The group facilitated discussion on stressors students experience, developed education surrounding mental health, and educated students about harm reduction. The expected outcome was a decrease in student substance use on campus. Although this project did not meet the expected result of reducing substance use on campus within a 6 week period, it did succeed in providing students with a toolbox of coping skills and strategies to support in emotional regulation and distress tolerance. It is recommended that SUHSD continues to implement substance use groups aimed at harm reduction to support students in building insight between mental wellbeing and ongoing substance use, increase their mental health professional staffing levels, and advocate for more funding to implement more consistent services.

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