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Due to COVID-19 precautions, behavioral health trainings will be offered in virtual format whenever possible.

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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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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Community Paramedicine training is for anyone currently certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT‐P) with at least 2 years of full‐time service as an EMT‐P, or its part‐time equivalent.

Community Paramedics help individuals and communities overcome barriers that prevent them from accessing and benefiting from health services. They serve as advocates, facilitators, liaisons, community brokers and resource coordinators. They are trained as direct service providers which will ensure basic and advanced levels of care appropriate to prevention, emergencies, evaluation, triage, disease management, and basic oral and mental health.

Training is 1 semester (10 college credits), online, live instructor‐ led through Hennepin Technical College or Missoula College.

For more information and to reserve your spot contact Nicole Steeneken at or Beth Ann Carter, Project Coordinator at email: or phone: 406.925.1261


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Missoula College Program




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.

Mental Health First Aid is now available online!

First Aiders will complete a 2-hour, self-paced class, and then participate in a 4-hour, Instructor-led class using videoconferencing technology.

The virtual training will be based on new curricula that has been in development for more than a year. It includes expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care. Youth MHFA will include new content applicable for adults working with elementary-age children, including content on the impact of social media. The content is gender neutral and culturally relevant.

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

ASIST has recently become available in an abbreviated online version. It is taught through the LivingWorks Start online platform. In just one hour, LivingWorks Start teaches trainees to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and how to connect them to help and support.

Question. Persuade. Refer. Three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.

QPR is an innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. This quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know.

Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

The self-guided online course takes approximately 1 hour to complete. To reinforce training, all self-paced learners receive an electronic version of the QPR booklet and a printable wallet card. The license remains active for 3 years.

The key components covered in training:

  • How to Question, Persuade and Refer someone who may be suicidal.
  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide.
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior.
  • The warning signs of suicide.
  • How to get help for someone in crisis.

To reserve your spot for QPR Training contact: Beth Ann Carter, Program Coordinator

Email: or phone: 406.925.1261


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SafeTALK trainees learn to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and connect them to an intervention provider.

SafeTALK is a four-hour face-to-face or online workshop featuring powerful presentations, audiovisuals, and skills practice. At a safeTALK workshop, you’ll learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, engaging someone, and connecting them to an intervention resource for further support. A skilled, supportive trainer will guide you through the course, and a community resource will be on hand to support your safety and comfort.

SafeTALK is evidence-based. According to peer-reviewed reports safeTALK:

  • Improves trainee skills and readiness.
  • Is safe for trainees, with no adverse effects from training.
  • Effective for participants as young as 15 years old.
  • Helps break down suicide stigma in the community.
  • Shows better skill retention compared to other connector programs.

To reserve your spot for safeTALK Training contact: Beth Ann Carter, Program Coordinator

Email: or phone: 406.925.1261


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In order to meet the recent increase in demand for front-line community health professionals, the Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Education Center is offering a Pre-Community Health Worker Training online.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are vitally important and essential to communities and the individuals or clients and their families who live within these communities. CHWs provide direct services and education to community members. They help their clients understand the health and social service systems available to them and advocate for individual and community needs.

Right now, CHWs are critical to strengthen the public health response to COVID-19. A recently published article in the Health Affairs Blog written by NACHW Executive Director O. Denise Smith and Board Member, Ashley Wennerstrom, outlines the important role of CHWs in responding to the public health crisis. "The public health system is a critical firewall to reduce community spread of COVID-19 and to relieve the unsustainable pressure the US health care system is experiencing as a result of the pandemic. Community Health Workers -- frontline public health staff who conduct outreach and build trust with vulnerable populations in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), hospitals, public health agencies, and through community-based organizations—have a particularly important role to play.”


This Pre-Community Health Worker Training is an abbreviated version of the full CHW training offered by MORH/AHEC. It is being offered in an effort to increase the amount of CHWs available to serve Montana communities today.

The training is conducted online and consists of eight online modules meant to give students a basic understanding of the role of CHWs and how they work to support the health of their communities. The modules are:

  1. Roles & Responsibilities
  2. Boundaries & Safety
  3. Legal Requirements & Ethical Guidelines
  4. Documentation
  5. Communication & Interviewing
  6. Coordinating Client Resources and Care
  7. Capacity Building & Change
  8. Goal Setting

This training, as well as several other behavioral health trainings are available for full tuition reimbursement from the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC through our Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training Program. Learn more about our BHWET Program.

To reserve your spot for the Pre-Community Health Worker Training contact: Beth Ann Carter, Program Coordinator

Email: or phone: 406.925.1261

Secondary traumatic stress is the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another. Andrew Laue, LCSW, has created a series of Secondary Trauma trainings that build resiliency in human service workers at risk of experiencing secondary trauma.

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