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Behavioral Health Workforce Position Trainings

The Montana Community Health Worker (CHW) training provides the knowledge and skills necessary to
become a Community Health Worker. The instructor-guided curriculum takes approximately seven weeks (85 hours) to complete and consists of four online or in-person 15-hour Learning Modules and a 25-hour on-the-job Supervised Experience taken at the completion of the four Modules. Each Module contains written content, videos, application activities, case studies and reflective journaling. An individual will gain skills in the following areas: professional skills & conduct; communication; self-care; interpersonal relationships; outreach, navigation & coordination; organization; advocacy; capacity building & teaching. The CHW training provides a certificate upon completion. 

*A trainee must be sponsored by an employer prior to beginning the training, as the 25-hour Supervised Experience is required to complete the course. 


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The Montana Fundamentals of Behavioral Health (FBH) training provides the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and respond to behavioral health issues and mental health disorders. You will learn to recognize, appropriately respond, and adapt to unpredictable situations that may be encountered. The instructor-guided curriculum takes approximately six weeks (55 hours) to complete and consists of six online Learning Units (units 1-5 are approximately 10-hours each, and unit 6 is 5 hours).  

Employer Benefits:

  • Improved patient safety and care
  • Better trained para-professional staff
  • Increased staff retention

Employment within a healthcare setting is recommended


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The Behavioral Health Technician program is offered through Highlands College in Butte. This Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS) program is designed to train and educate students in one semester and prepare them for Entry Level Employment in the Medical and Mental Health Field. Students will undergo an intense 15 credit load, 90% online via distance technology and interactive education. A 20-hour in-person Management of Aggressive Behaviors (MOAB) training component will be given toward the end of the program. This gives students an additional certification. 

highlands college


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Montana’s Peer Network is a statewide peer run non-profit recovery organization with a mission to lead the expansion and development of recovery-oriented behavioral health services in Montana. They offer a variety of peer support trainings. Trainees must identify as being in recovery from a behavioral health diagnosis and have sought treatment. There are 40 hours of in-person initial training to receive certification as a Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist. This course meets the National Practice Standards for Peer Supporters and the guideline set up by the Montana Peer Support Task Force.



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Behavioral Health Professional Development Trainings

Management of Aggressive Behaviors (MOAB®) is an in-person training with a variety of session options, including a 4-hour, 8-hour or two-day course option. MOAB® presents principles, techniques and skills for recognizing, reducing and managing violent and aggressive behavior. The program also provides humane and compassionate methods of dealing with aggressive people. MOAB® techniques provide research based nonverbal, verbal and physical skills as well as personal defense and safety skills. MOAB® goes beyond the strategies for preventing and diffusing a crisis. It addresses the multitude of crises and stages of conflict to help clam people and diffuse anxious or aggressive behavior.

Employer Benefits:

  • Avoid violence and injuries
  • Create confidence and the ability to improve any situation
  • Minimize or eliminate lawsuits

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour, in-person training appropriate for anyone who wants to learn about mental illnesses and addictions, including risk factors and warning signs. This training teaches participants a 5-step action plan to help a person in a mental health or substance use crisis or challenge connect with professional, peer, social and self-help care.

Mental Health First Aid training can help those who regularly engage with individuals who may experience mental health challenges and is most appropriate for audiences with no prior training or experience with mental health or substance use. Using scenarios, activities and role playing, participants are given the opportunity to practice their new skills and gain confidence—making it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.

The MHFA Action Plan teaches: access for risk of suicide or harm, listen without judgment, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help and encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an 8-hour, in-person training designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day, in-person interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with him/her to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

Studies show that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings in those at risk and is a cost-effective way to help address the problem of suicide.

Participant learning goals and objectives:

  • Understand the ways that personal and societal attitudes affect views on suicide and interventions
  • Provide guidance and suicide first aid to a person at risk in ways that meet their individual safety needs
  • Identify the key elements of an effective suicide safety plan and the actions required to implement it
  • Appreciate the value of improving and integrating suicide prevention resources in the community at large
  • Recognize other important aspects of suicide prevention including life-promotion and self-care

Workshop features:

  • A scientifically proven intervention model
  • Powerful audiovisual learning aids
  • Group discussions
  • Skills practice and development
  • A balance of challenge and safety