RTC-CL Leads Co-Creation Sessions for Training Project in Mental Health and Co-Occurring Disorders

Fri Mar 09 2018
Susan O'Nell.

A major sea-change in how services and supports are delivered to people with long-term support needs has been occurring nationally, bringing a growing emphasis on community living and participation, person- and family-centered practices, and self-direction to Minnesota as well. In support of this shift, ICI's Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL) has a two-year, $249,000 contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) called "Developing and Engaging Training on Person-Centered and Family-Centered Approaches in Mental Health and Co-occurring Disorders." Under the contract, RTC-CL is creating training in person-and family-centered practices for mental health and other professionals in the state.

"An exciting part of this contract is the engagement of community members in defining and shaping these practices that affect them," says project director Susan O'Nell (pictured). From this past December to February, seven co-creation sessions were held, attended by a total of 94 community members. The participants provided structured feedback on critical definitions, and helped prioritize and enhance proposed training topics. These sessions gathered service users, families, professionals, and others to get a wide variety of views and voices. Participants came from many parts of the state, including the cities of Two Harbors, Mahnomen, Moorhead, Osage, Chatfield, and many others.

The sessions are part of a multi-tiered approach to engaging community members in shaping training for mental health and other professionals. Earlier work included facilitated sessions at two culturally-specific mental health conferences and one with the DHS mental health division. Staff also attended listening sessions with parent groups. Future efforts will include having community members and lead agency staff review outlines of the curriculum as it is developed and co-facilitate in-person delivery of training.