Allegheny County

North Allegheny High School

Stand Together is a ground-breaking initiative operated by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health. Participating schools select a group of students who undergo training provided by Stand Together staff. Those students create projects to educate their peers about mental and substance use disorders, stigma, and social inclusion. Stand Together believes in unleashing the creativity of students to develop innovative ways to educate schoolmates. Students know what peers will respond to, which is why the project planning process is student driven. Because short-term interventions are not effective in changing stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors, the Stand Together initiative takes place over the school year. Costs for Stand Together are covered by the Department of Human Services, including costs for student projects. Allegheny County schools interested in learning more about starting Stand Together chapters can click here for additional information.

 


External Partnerships

Stand Together has been recognized as an innovative anti-stigma program in Allegheny County. Participating schools select a group of students who undergo training provided by Stand Together staff. Those students create projects to educate their peers about mental and substance use disorders, stigma, and social inclusion. Stand Together believes in unleashing the creativity of students to develop innovative ways to educate schoolmates. Students know what their peers will respond to, which is why the project planning process is student driven. Because short-term interventions are not effective in changing stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors, the Stand Together initiative takes place over the school year.

 

Over its eight years of operation, Stand Together has learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work in educating students about mental and substance use disorders, stigma, social inclusion, and treatment options. We’ve done the hard work developing separate curricula for middle and high schools as well as other project-related materials. Our curricula are based upon anti-stigma education research and keep students engaged using a variety of activities. Stand Together created guides that walk students through the project planning process. These guides are structured so that students aren’t overwhelmed by the planning process, but also allow them to customize their projects to fit the needs of their school. This way, no two projects are the same even though they use the same toolkit.

 

Stand Together can work with external county partners in multiple ways. For more information, click here.

 


General Information

For more information about the Stand Together program in general, explore the promotional materials below:

-Supporting evidence handout

-Program description

-Testimonials from school administrators, advisors, and youth