In June of 2018, I provided a two-part (two-day) training on TeleMental Health at the University of North Florida as part of a grant project called CMHC CONNECT (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Creating Opportunities Needed in North Florida for Educating Counselors through Technology). The project was funded by the Humana Foundation and held in partnership with UNF. According to the university’s follow-up summary, they “contracted with Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC to provide TeleMental Health Training for CMHC students and mental health providers with comprehensive information on the establishment and provision of TeleMental Health services to clients.
The University of North Florida’s follow-up summary also made clear that their intentions for the project were to:
“...enhance training for graduate Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) students and faculty, as well as offer training opportunities for current mental health practitioners. An additional intent was the development of TeleMental Health infrastructure and delivery for current community training partners. The project goal was to enable mental health professionals to competently incorporate technology into mental health service delivery as well as prepare them to offer increased access for CMHC students to mental health counseling supervisors who are trained in the TeleMental Health modality.”
The event at UNF was presented in a similar format by which many participants complete our TeleMental Health Training Certificate program: Day One as a live, in-person event, and Day Two as a live webinar. In evaluations completed right after the training, 81% of Part One attendees returned to complete Part Two of the training, and those participants had very positive feedback for us: 89% course content approval, 95.6% instructor approval, and 96.7% training format approval. In addition, nearly every participant (96%) stated that CMHC CONNECT enhanced their professional expertise and 95% said they would recommend CMHC CONNECT to others.
The six-month post-training report supported that the TeleMental Health training and consultation met the following project objectives:
- faculty maintained an increase in their competency in the area of TeleMental Health,
- CMHC students were trained in best practices and, to a limited degree, are implementing what they learned
The results of the second survey indicated a high rate of success in the delivery and outcome of training in conjunction with consultation services. However, there were some limitations associated with ongoing implementation, which are believed to be primarily due to three factors: determining the “fit” with existing processes, competing programs, and budget and IT restrictions. The organizations with whom I consulted felt that there would be a continual need for new staff training, refresher courses, and for completion of consultation. As a result of the consultation provided, these organizations are revising policies and procedures, making sure that TeleMental Health services are secure and compliant, and that platforms for review are built into their structure.
Many universities have trained their mental health staff and area affiliates using the TeleMental Health Training Program.
We have also been proud to support many behavioral health graduate programs, teaching TeleMental Health to their students.