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CAST Program Goals
• Improved Moods
1. The CAST Curriculum
The CAST Group is comprised of 6 – 8 students, who are INVITED to participate. CAST can be offered to an entire population (as “universal” prevention), to a high-risk group (“selective” prevention), or to specific at-risk students (“indicated” prevention).
CAST is an evidenced-based program:
In NIH-funded studies, relative to controls, CAST youth evidenced significant and sustained changes:
See Research for more details.
Overview provided by Dr. Kyle Barrington - 2020:
Coping and Support Training (CAST): CAST is a school-based small group counseling program (thus a Tier 2 service) for at-risk youth that has demonstrated decreased suicide risk factors and reduced alcohol and hard drug use, among other positive outcomes, in adolescents. CAST is conducted over 12, 55-minute sessions. It can be delivered by trained teachers, counselors, social workers, or others with similar experience. The program has been selected as a model program by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. It is identified as a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Promising Practice. CAST participants in several National Institute of Health (NIH) funded studies saw significant and sustained reduction of suicide risk behaviors, reduction of drug use, reduction in depression, increase in personal control, increase in problem-solving, and increase in family support. Researchers have shown students participating in CAST show significant improvements, including: 1) Sustained reductions in suicide-risk behavior (65.0%) and depression (44.0%); 2) Declines in anger control problems (24.0%); 3) Reduced hard drug use (62.0%); 4) Reduced alcohol use (16.0%) and drug use control problems (33.0%); and 5) Enhanced and sustained higher levels of problem-solving coping (24.0%), personal control (24.0%), and family support (27.0%) (Eggert et al., 2002; Eggert et al., 2001). Importantly, CAST has been proven to be effective for all ethnicities and genders and in urban settings like COJUSD (Eggert et al., 2001). As part of the CAST Tier 2 services, parents or guardians of students in CAST will be invited to participate in the CAST parenting program called Parents as Partners.