Mental Health Support Specialist Course (MHSS) $350.00

This participation based, instructor led, course explores the knowledge, skills and concepts needed to begin a career as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT-1). When completed, students will have the required skills to support residents within a collaborative and engaging environment while assisting those residents in obtaining autonomy and self-reliance.

The course consists of twelve modules, described below:

Topics covered include:

Module one focuses on developing an essential mind set for working in a supportive environment. How to work with residents, co-workers, supervision are a focus. In addition to this a breakdown of basic daily tasks and expectations are discussed to create an overview of the position.

Module two is an introduction to understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness. This section will provide students with concepts of how different forms of mental illness can present and provide knowledge of best practices for engaging with those presenting with symptoms.

Module three focuses on understanding the causality of trauma and its impact on the mental health of trauma survivors. A focus on a recovery-oriented system of care for assisting those with trauma to heal, combined with concepts to limit re-traumatization in residents, is at the forefront of this section.

Module four covers the spectrum of health, both mental and physical. Discussion involves how this spectrum is not simply a place where a person exists, but how various stimuli can impact where on that spectrum a person exists. A special focus on the differences between dual diagnosis and multiple diagnosis is explored, with an emphasis on the bonding effect of chemical dependence.

Module five focuses on the concepts of communication and its importance in being effective in providing support to residents. The primary methods of communication; written, verbal and body language; are explored to create a consciousness around clear and effective communication skills and to demonstrate its importance.

Module six consists of creating understanding of confidentiality on a conceptual level. Areas of focus include individually identifiable information and the forms this can take, how HIPAA impacts us as floor workers when working with residents’ personal information and how residents retain control over such information, how, when and to whom it can be provided.

Module seven provides an overview of documentation skills. This highlights training around the basics of clinically supported documentation of clients, focused on concepts such as objectivity, brevity, and Medicare appropriate language. In addition, concepts around how documentation has a direct impact on client services received and treatment planning is conceptualized.

Module eight discusses human sexuality in terms of dispelling myths around mental health and sexual behavior, how to support clients in coming to terms with their sexuality within our scope of practice. Along with this, discussion creates clear boundaries between our ability to support residents in healthy sexual expression and when to defer to professionals for sexual education.

Module nine is a focus on health and safety as complete concepts within the supported living environment. More than just providing supportive living with intent to mitigate re-traumatization, it is a focus on everything from physical safety of the building, safety in food handling and storage and overall cleanliness. An additional focus on the importance of exercise with discussion on how to invite resident engagement is outlined.

Module ten is designed to provide workers with a basic understanding of what elements make up a person’s total culture. This begins with understanding the various cultural influences we have as individuals, then taking that understanding and applying it to respecting and interacting with those whose cultural upbringing differs from our own.

Module eleven provides a broad overview of the mental health support system in Maine. Starting with a basic understanding of DHHS’ role, the various supportive offices below DHHS that service residents and other outside agencies, groups and entitlements that residents are eligible for and have access to.

Module twelve creates an understanding of what constitutes a community-based support system. Workers learn how to assist residents in integrating within a community, why this system of care is preferred to historical predecessors, and what leads to a resident being fully integrated within a community they live in.