Additional Services

Mental Health Awareness Trainings

Mental Health Awareness Trainings

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is a FREE 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Why take Mental Health First Aid?

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experience a mental health disorder. Within rural communities, there are limited mental health trainings, a lack of awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, and lack of information about and access to local mental health services, supports, and resources.

What are the course types currently being offered?

Adult Mental Health First Aid: This program is Mental Health First Aid’s core program. Within this course, participants learn about the risks and warning signs of mental health disorders. Participants also have opportunities to build understanding of their impact as Mental Health First Aiders and become equip with appropriate resources.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: This program highlights the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health disorders specific to adolescents (ages 12-18) as well as the importance of early intervention and how the help an adolescent who is in crisis. 

* Please note, we are currently only offering virtual Mental Health First Aid sessions due to COVID-19. If you're interested in a virtual training, please contact Taylor at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

What will you learn?

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Who should attend?

  • Employers
  • Police officers
  • Hospital staff
  • First responders
  • Faith leaders
  • Community members
  • Caring individuals
  • Parents
  • College/university leaders
  • Human resource professionals
  • Teachers and other school-based workers

Training Length

Trainings vary in length depending on the mode in which the training is offered.

  • Fully In-Person: 8 hours
  • Blended (Pre-Work Self-Paced Module + In-Person): 2-Hour Self-Paced Work + 6.5 Hour In-Person
  • Virtual (Pre-Work Self-Paced Module + Live Webinar): 2-Hour Self-Paced Work + 6.5 Hour Webinar

CEUs Available

Continuing Education Units are automatically available for Social Workers, LMHC’s, and LMFT’s. For additional information on other CEUs, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Upcoming Courses

Thursday, April 1 (for Foster & Adoptive Parents)

            *INCLUDES SELF-PACED MODULE; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

            Location: Dordt Agriculture Student Center

            Trainer: Adam Lybarger (scroll for bio)

            Register today at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/youth-mental-health-first-aid-for-fosteradoptive-parents-workers-registration-137695534049 

To inquire about hosting an upcoming course, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Trainer Biographies

Adam Lybarger: As Adam likes to tell it, his Mom & Dad sent him to summer camp for the first time at the age of 10 and he never left. After aging out of being a camper he transitioned to becoming a counselor and program staff through high school and college, and then to the administrative side after graduation. He has worked for YMCA Camp Lakewood in Missouri, YWCA Camp Westwind in Oregon, Camp Mountain Chai & Alpine Meadows Retreats in California, and the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center in Kentucky. Adam excitedly joined Seasons as the Director for Camp Autumn in March of 2019. Adam has been a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor since February 2020.

Jill Kluesner: Jill Kluesner, MA, CRC, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, National Trainer, and public health programming consultant. She has 10+ years of experience working as a provider, youth advocate, educator, published author and instructional designer. In the state of Iowa, she is revered as a leader in community mental health education, as evidenced by creating the path for increasing statewide mental health literacy efforts, providing 150+ Mental Health First Aid courses.

Jill has extensive experience in advancing change within the local and national healthcare landscape. Traveling across the United States, she serves as a National Trainer for the National Council for Behavioral Health, providing train-the-trainer programs in Mental Health First Aid. She has extensive experience providing evidence-based behavioral health trainings for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, corporations, adult and pediatric medical and behavioral health providers, child welfare programs and faith communities.

Partnering with the University of Iowa, Jill has been an integral part of the redesign of the statewide Peer Support Specialist and Family Peer Support Specialist training curricula. In addition to curriculum development and redesign, Jill provides training program evaluations to monitor and ensure quality programming and fidelity.

Jill completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University and her graduate work in Rehabilitation Counseling and Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Joseph Coffey: Joseph Coffey is uniquely qualified to present Mental Health First Aid training. He retired from the Warwick, Rhode Island, Police Department in May 2016, where he last served as a Captain assigned to the Patrol Division. Captain Coffey established and lead his department’s Mental Health Crisis Response Team, the first such team in Rhode Island. Prior to his twenty-year policing career, he worked nine years in Rhode Island Corrections, achieving the rank of Captain. Joe served a combined thirteen years in the Army and Reserve, last serving as an instructor at the Rhode Island Military Academy. 

Joe has a lifetime of personal and professional exposure to people with mental health conditions, having been raised and employed in environments in which mental illnesses and substance use disorders were common and often misunderstood. Acting on these experiences and his true desire to improve outcomes between public safety and his community’s most vulnerable members, Joe collaborated with local community mental health agencies to develop and implement a Community Diversion Clinician position, a Police & Probation and Parole Mental Health Monitoring and Intervention team, Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for School Resource Officers, and several other successful initiatives focusing on early intervention. Joe remained steadfast in his efforts to reduce opioid overdose deaths through his work on the Rhode Island Suicide Prevention Coalition, Rhode Island Mental Health Association Board of Directors, Department of Health Drug Overdose Prevention and Rescuer Coalition, Governor’s Overdose Prevention Task Force. Additionally, Joe initiated a prescription drug disposal unit and Naloxone (Narcan) deployment programs, both firsts for a municipal police department in his state.

Today Joe owns and operates BlueAid Consulting, Inc., a company providing training, advocacy, and collaboration, with a mission to improve the lives of people living with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Questions

Email Taylor at tprather@seasonscenter.org or call 800-242-5101 x1318.

What is Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)?

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

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. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying "Yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.
QPR can be learned in our Gatekeeper course in as little as one-two hour.

Why take Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)?

To save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know.

What will you learn?
As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:

  • Recognize the warning signs of suicide
  • Know how to offer hope
  • Know how to get help and save a life

Who should attend?
ANYONE can attend, however, this training is recommended for:

  • Parents
  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Teachers
  • Ministers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Office supervisors
  • Squad leaders
  • Foremen
  • Police officers
  • Advisors
  • Caseworkers
  • Firefighters
  • And any others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide

Training Length
Trainings vary in length depending on group discussions, however, generally will not be shorter than one hour and will not exceed two hours.

CEUs Available
Continuing Education Units are automatically available for Social Workers, LMHC’s, and LMFT’s. For additional information on other CEUs, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Upcoming Courses

To inquire about hosting an upcoming course, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Trainer Biographies

Ryan Nesbit: Ryan Nesbit is co-chair of Iowa’s Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Nesbit has first-hand knowledge of rural suicide and is a trained QPR training instructor. For most of his adult life, Nesbit has worked tirelessly to bring suicide prevention strategies to communities across Iowa. He helps educate people across the state about suicide warning signs. Nesbit recognizes how difficult it can be to talk about suicide, but says that communication is an important prevention strategy if you see warning signs.

What is Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)?

LivingWorks ASIST is a two-day face-to-face workshop featuring powerful audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations. At a LivingWorks ASIST workshop, participants will learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, providing a skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan to keep someone alive. Two knowledgeable, supportive trainers will guide participants through the course, ensuring participant comfort and safety.

What will you learn?
Over the course of their two-day workshop, ASIST participants learn to:

  • 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;
  • And recognize other important aspects of suicide prevention including life-promotion and self-care.

Who should attend?
Anyone can attend these trainings. However, due to the level of intensity of ASIST, this training is recommended for:

  • Administrators
  • Firefighters
  • Police/Corrections
  • Clergy/Pastoral Workers
  • Youth Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Military Members, Veterans, or Family Members
  • Military Chaplains/Assistants
  • Educators
  • Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Physicians
  • Transit Workers
  • And any others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide

Training Length
Trainings are 15 hours total, spread across two full days.

CEUs Available
Continuing Education Units are automatically available for Social Workers, LMHC’s, and LMFT’s. For additional information on other CEUs, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Upcoming Courses

To inquire about attending or hosting an upcoming course, please contact Taylor Prather at tprather@seasonscenter.org.

Trainer Biographies

Lindsay Obbink: Lindsay Obbink is currently the Emergency Response and Suicide Prevention Project Director with Seasons. Lindsay has over 10 years working with crime victims. She began her career in Waverly, Iowa as a Sexual Assault Advocate, working with individuals while also providing education in the schools and community. Lindsay moved back home to Northwest Iowa and took a Victim Witness Coordinator position at the Sioux County Attorney's Office. She has had 2 other employers since then, all working with victims of crime.

Michelle Theesfeld, LMHC: Michelle Theesfeld is currently an Outpatient Therapist and School-Based Service Specialist with Seasons. Prior to joining Seasons Center in 2017, Michelle was a mental health counselor at Hope Haven providing services to children, adolescents, families, adults, and couples. Michelle is certified in play therapy and marriage and family therapy. Additionally, Michelle has training in integrating art into therapy, PCIT, DBT, TF-CBT, sand tray therapy, and Gottman's couples counseling. Michelle is truly passionate about supporting individuals as they advocate for themselves and find empowerment within their ability to work through the barriers and obstacles they have encountered interpersonally or within their life experiences and interactions.

Seasons Center offers various other Regional Summits and Trainings throughout the year. Topics may include:

  • Mental health and/or substance use disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression)
  • Trauma (adult and childhood)
  • Trauma informed-care
  • Working/supporting individuals experiencing mental health challenges
  • Self-care, secondary trauma, burnout
  • Cultural competency
  • Foster and adoptive mental health
  • Crime victims mental health
  • Rural mental health

For more the most up-to-date information on upcoming trainings, please visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SeasonsCenterForBehavioralHealth)/).
To request a training, please the “Request Training” link in the top right corner of this page.

Seasons provides free 24 hour crisis assistance with trained counselors available to help with life’s challenges and hardships. To speak to a crisis counselor call (844) 345-4569.

Find a location

Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has offices in 12 counties across northwest Iowa.  We service a 19-county region through in-person and telehealth visits.  Enter a city name or zip code to find the location nearest you. Learn more.