RTC-CL Developing Online Training for MN Professionals in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Delivery

Publication date: 
July 15, 2017

A major sea-change in how services and supports are delivered to people with long-term support needs has been occurring both nationally and in Minnesota as policy and other changes have emphasized community living and participation, self-direction, and person-centered practices. Yet despite these improvements, a recent report from the Minnesota Governor's Task Force on Mental Health noted that there are still gaps in services and fragmentation in service delivery for individuals experiencing mental health conditions and/or substance abuse. This means that engaging the system can be difficult and the coordination of supports, services, and treatments do not always make sense to the person receiving them or their families.

To help address those shortcomings, ICI's Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL) began a two-year, $249,000 contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services in April called Developing and Engaging Training on Person-Centered and Family-Centered Approaches in Mental Health and Co-occurring Disorders. Under the contract, RTC-CL will design and implement a culturally-responsive e-curriculum for professionals that will include interactive modules and will embed evidence-based practices vetted in the mental health and behavioral health service delivery system in Minnesota such as Motivational Interviewing, Illness Management and Recovery, Trauma-Informed Care, and Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders. Using the curriculum, the RTC-CL will train a minimum of 300 Mental Health-Targeted Case Management (MH-TCM) professionals, including MH-TCM lead agencies in metropolitan, rural, and diverse communities.

"The project will deliver training in person- and family-centered practices to professionals who work with people who need support for community living due to mental health conditions and/or substance use," says principal investigator Amy Hewitt. "Training professionals in these practices will help realize the vision of person-centered and family-centered support expressed in the Minnesota Olmstead Plan."

Project manager Susan O'Nell (second from left) is pictured telling a visitor about the project at the African Mental Health Summit in St. Paul, July 7-8, accompanied by project coordinator Merrie Haskins (third from left) and staffer Macdonald Metzger (right). Other project staff include Anab Gulaid and Erin Watts. At the summit, O'Nell and Haskins were the among the presenters of, "Promoting Person-Centered Practices: A Holistic Perspective in Wellness and Recovery."