Jen Slusser-MacTernan, Director of Outreach and Talent Development
Horizon Treatment Services has been steadily implementing improved training for staff – one of many initiatives derived from an Employee Engagement Survey last year. The evidence-based practices our counselors use lead with compassionate, trauma-informed support and responses with our clients. We are excited to report that so far this year, we have scheduled and provided three notable learning experiences for our team on two critical topics.
We even invited community partners to two of them – thank you to those of you who took advantage of the ‘Horizon-Sponsored learning experiences.’ As a continuous improvement organization, we always aim to strengthen our in-house team – we also recognize the value of investing in quality training to elevate our local behavioral health substance use disorder (SUD) workforce. Our community depends on all of us.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one of the primary tools used by counseling staff to enhance a patient’s motivation to change. It’s a skillset that can never be practiced enough, one that is well worth the investment of time and dollars. This year, we sponsored two, 2-day virtual instructor-led-trainings by Steven Berg-Smith, with a specific focus on adapting the MI content for group counseling venues! A 30-year veteran of the Internationally renowned Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), he has conducted in excess of 1,000 workshops around the world. There were over 50 staff and community partners who completed training with Steve.
Another very important hybrid training course we’ve made available to staff next month is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). This course teaches about risk factors and warning signs of SUD and mental health concerns, strategies for helping effectively during both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. It teaches client recovery and resiliency through discussing depression and other mood disorders, anxiety and substance use disorders, trauma, and psychosis. Staff are empowered with a better understanding of the context behind what presents as challenging client behavior, and through the staff’s understanding, clients gain an improved experience themselves; finding their own strength to recover, articulate their needs, and become more resilient.
Our agency remains focused on leveling-up the SUD and MH workforce both at Horizon and locally. Stay tuned!