Intervention training offered to mental health care providers

Posted on May 03, 2023

A counselor speaks to a girl with her knees pulled up to her chest.

UNC Greensboro is giving mental health care providers the tools, training, and confidence they need to intervene on behalf of a child or teenager who is experiencing or at risk of experiencing a crisis.

UNCG has partnered with the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) – an internationally recognized leader in mental health crisis training to provide nine training sessions from May 17 to June 21. They will provide general instruction on verbal intervention, or how to de-escalate a situation verbally before it becomes a crisis.

The training sessions are made possible through a grant funded by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services.

The courses are for mental health care providers who work with youth between the ages of 3 and 17. UNCG’s Center for Youth, Family, & Community Partnerships (CYFCP) will coordinate them with CPI. CYFCP Director Christine Murray serves as principal investigator, and Shannon Barr as training coordinator.

“This crisis intervention training initiative is part of a larger contract we have currently with NCDHHS, focusing on piloting an enhanced mobile crisis program for children’s and adolescents’ mental health,” says Murray.

The skills will benefit providers who work with youth in schools, hospitals, social work, foster care, residential treatment facilities, substance abuse treatment facilities, developmental disabilities support agencies, among more.

Barr says, “As we’re seeing a higher prevalence of mental health concerns, especially among youth, the more people we can get trained to have these skills, the better. There’s never a bad time to help others feel more confident to respond safely with skills to intervene and de-escalate to avoid a crisis.”

CYFCP and CPI will expand the focus of these courses during the next fiscal year to include:

  • Non-violent crisis intervention training includes verbal intervention techniques as well as specific physical intervention techniques that will protect the patient, provider, and others in the area.
  • Instructors’ certification for non-violent crisis intervention, which certifies the participant to continue the instruction for other providers.

Some of these sessions have the option of being fully virtual; others will require in-person, interactive training.

A report by the U.S. Surgeon General states that, “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, with up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the US with a reported mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder.”

Go here for more information on the courses and information on registering.

Story by Janet Imrick, University Communications
Photography from Adobe Stock


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