Mindful Mondays

April 15-May 20
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Veteran Lethal Means Safety for Suicide Prevention

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Adverse Childhood Experiences

What Does the Evidence Say and What Can We Do?
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Nutrition and Perinatal Mental Health

The Importance of Maternal Diet for Mother and Child’s Mental Health
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Not Otherwise Better Explained

Adequate Assessment of ADHD in a Culture of ACEs and Trauma
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Short-Term Success with Long-Term Impact

Using Focused-Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (FACT) to Improve Patient Engagement
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Implementing MTSS to Expand Mental Health Services to Students

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A Trauma-Informed Approach to Psychological Assessment

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From the Bench to the Ranch

Register by June 14!

Understanding Power and Privilege: New Angles for a New Era

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Registration Coming Soon!

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What Are We Up To?

Stay up-to-date on new products, resources, and upcoming events by subscribing to our newsletter!
Subscribe Here

Mindful Mondays

April 15-May 20
Learn More

Veteran Lethal Means Safety for Suicide Prevention

Learn More

Adverse Childhood Experiences

What Does the Evidence Say and What Can We Do?
Learn More

Nutrition and Perinatal Mental Health

The Importance of Maternal Diet for Mother and Child’s Mental Health
Learn More

Not Otherwise Better Explained

Adequate Assessment of ADHD in a Culture of ACEs and Trauma
Learn More

Short-Term Success with Long-Term Impact

Using Focused-Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (FACT) to Improve Patient Engagement
Learn More

Implementing MTSS to Expand Mental Health Services to Students

Learn More

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Psychological Assessment

Learn More

From the Bench to the Ranch

Register by June 14!

Understanding Power and Privilege: New Angles for a New Era

Learn More

Registration Coming Soon!

Learn More

What Are We Up To?

Stay up-to-date on new products, resources, and upcoming events by subscribing to our newsletter!
Subscribe Here

Mountain Plains MHTTC

University of North Dakota
231 Centennial Drive, Stop 7189, Education Building Room 317
Grand Forks,
ND
58202
HHS Region 8
CO, MT, ND, SD, WY, UT
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The primary focus of the Mountain Plains MHTTC is to provide training, resources, and technical assistance to individuals serving persons with mental health disorders. Particular attention is given to serving providers with limited access to service delivery systems with attention paid to rural and agricultural communities. By providing free, innovative, and accessible learning opportunities on research-based practices in mental health services, we seek to help you better serve your communities, staff, and patients.The Mountain Plains MHTTC serves the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.


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Recent News

From the Mountain Plains MHTTC
Aug. 11, 2023
The American Psychiatric Association's Health Minds Monthly Poll found that 86% of pet owners say their pets have a mostly positive impact on their mental health.   Click here to read the full article.
Aug. 11, 2023
CDC released the latest provisional estimates for suicide deaths in the United States in 2022. After declining in 2019 and 2020, suicide deaths increased approximately 5% in the United States in 2021. The provisional estimates released indicate that suicide deaths further increased in 2022, rising from 48,183 deaths in 2021 to an estimated 49,449 deaths in […]
Jun. 29, 2023
"About five minutes into his Montana Football Hall of Fame induction speech, Dane Fletcher took an unexpected turn. “Tonight, I’m going to talk about my dark times,” Fletcher told the Billings Hotel and Convention Center crowd on June 25, 2022.  “Everybody kind of went, ‘What?’” said Montana Football HOF chairman Rick Halmes. “It really got […]

Upcoming Events

Hosted by the Mountain Plains MHTTC
Face-to-Face Training
This training is now at full capacity. Stay tuned for future in-person opportunities! Event Description This two-day in-person training provides a neurodevelopmentally informed approach to better understand student behavior and performance. This training is intended to assist school mental health professionals and educators to understand the impact that stress has on a child’s brain so that they can become trauma-sensitive and ultimately provide effective supports to their students. Agenda: Day One: Explore sequential development and skill building Breaking down the six components necessary for optimal learning environments   Day Two: Breaking down the six components necessary for optimal learning environments (continued) Identifying and creating student interventions and strategies that align with concepts learned in the training   The participant is responsible for all travel, meals, and lodging costs. While lodging accommodations cannot be provided by the Mountain Plains MHTTC, the Residence Inn by Marriott is located directly across the street from the WICHE offices. Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to modify current student strategies to align with the modes of regulation. 2. Participants will practice utilizing state-dependent behavior intervention plans. 3. Participants will do an audit of current strategies in their area of practice regarding components of neuroplasticity. Trainer Jessica Pfeiffer, PsyD., PCSY, LCSW Jessica Pfeiffer, PsyD, NCSP, LCSW is the Founder of Intricate Roots and a consultant with the Neurosequential Network. Over the last 16 years, Dr. Pfeiffer has provided keynote presentations, trainings, consultations, coaching, and observations to educational systems around the world. She focuses on embedding a neurobiological lens in the school settings and providing recommendations that are developmentally relevant for students and staff. Dr. Pfeiffer is co-host of Education Suspended, a podcast focused on engaging in conversation with guests who are passionate about evolving our educational system. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She received her Master of Social Work degree and Animal Assisted Social Work Certificate from the University of Denver. Dr. Pfeiffer received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in School Psychology at the University of Colorado, Denver.
Online Course
Event Description Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. This session will provide rationale for lethal means safety, recommendations on who and when should receive lethal means safety information, and an introduction to lethal means counseling for Veterans at risk for suicide. In addition, the session will provide information on basic firearm safety and safe storage practices.  Trainers Chad Pitts & Sarah Kemp-Tabbut Chad Pitts is a Veteran of the U.S. Army with over 10 years of organization and program management experience. He is currently the Program Manager for ND HOPES, a suicide prevention project in Western ND focused on Veterans, LGBTQIA2S+ youth, and rural residents. Chad has previously held positions within the NDUS focused on equity and diversity initiatives for disproportionately affected populations including LGBTQIA2S+ and Veterans. While in the Army Chad served as the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge for multiple domestic and global missions with the 82nd Airborne Division.   Sarah Kemp Tabbut is the Community Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator at the Fargo VA.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 8 years of hands-on and public health experience in mental health and suicide prevention.  Sarah is well-versed in suicide prevention best practices, including safety planning, lethal means safety, and community-based interventions and is a Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) Trainer.  She also partners throughout North Dakota with communities to create and strengthen community coalition efforts for mental health, suicide prevention, and Veteran/Military issues. 
Webinar/Virtual Training
Event Description This presentation will define and describe adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and review the substantial empirical evidence on their mental and physical health effects. Multiple ways of understanding and assessing for ACEs will be discussed, as will how to identify and address them in clinical practice.    Trainer Melanie Wilcox Dr. Melanie Wilcox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Institute of Public and Preventive Health, and Department of Psychiatry at Augusta University. She is also a licensed psychologist and board certified in counseling psychology and works part-time in private practice providing both therapy and assessment via telehealth. Her clinical areas of expertise include culturally responsive and trauma-informed care as well as substance abuse and addiction. Her research focuses on culturally response and antiracist psychotherapy and training, racial and socioeconomic inequity in higher education, and racial and social justice more broadly. She is in her final year as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs, which she chaired in 2020, and is currently President Elect-Elect of APA Division 17, the Society of Counseling Psychology.  

Products & Resources

Developed by the Mountain Plains MHTTC
Multimedia
  To access resources from this training, click ATTACHMENT links Recording coming soon!   Event Description Studies have estimated that it takes approximately 17 years for research to inform practice. Implementation science is the systematic study of methods to improve the translation of research to practice. There are many implementation science studies within youth mental health that have focused on therapist training, dissemination campaigns, and cost-effectiveness of training in particular interventions based on community appropriateness. This training will go over implementation science theories, methods, and frameworks that anyone can use to guide an implementation effort. Practical examples in youth mental health implementation within school-settings will be used to highlight innovative ways people can use implementation science in their own work. Learning Objectives Define implementation science, applied implementation, and implementation research Understand theories, frameworks, and models that comprise implementation research Learn from practical school-based implementation efforts for youth mental health Commit to one action that aligns with implementation science principle Trainers Kelsie Okamura Kelsie Okamura (she/her) is an Implementation Researcher at the Baker Center for Children and Families, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and a licensed psychologist. Dr. Okamura serves on the training, consultation, and distance learning development teams at PracticeWise, LLC. She received her BA in Psychology with Honors and PhD from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Okamura completed her predoctoral internship at I Ola Lāhui Rural Hawai‘i Behavioral Health and postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health. Dr. Okamura was both a NIMH Child Intervention, Prevention and Services (CHIPS) and Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH) fellow; and has more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She currently serves as Leader for the ABCT Dissemination and Implementation Science Special Interest Group and is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group Member to Implementation Research and Practice. Dr. Okamura is passionate about community-based public-sector service system implementation, particularly (a) knowledge formation, (b) quality improvement initiatives that bridge team-based technology, and (c) financial strategies to improve implementation. She is currently funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Co-PI, System of Care Expansion Award), and has received funding through the National Institute for General Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and American Psychological Foundation. As a fourth-generation daughter of Japanese and Okinawan immigrants to Hawaiʻi, Dr. Okamura has a deep appreciation of understanding diversity, culture, and contexts as they apply to youth mental health implementation. Growing up in a rural town in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi has afforded her insight into the complexities of socioeconomic and cultural barriers that may impede successful implementation of youth psychosocial interventions.   Summer Pascual Summer Pascual (she/her) is an Implementation Research Assistant at The Baker Center for Children and Families, Implementation Research Division. Summer grew up in California and graduated cum laude from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2021. She was also the 2021 recipient of the WWU Presidential Scholar Award for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as a testament to her exceptional scholarship and service to the university and community. Her undergraduate clinical research focused on eating disorders, body image, and community-based work with underserved populations. In her time at WWU, Summer also researched race, culture, and prejudice. Her understanding of equity and oppressive systems is at the forefront of all her work, and she carries this with her into her current position. At the Baker Center, Summer has worked on several implementation research projects such as the implementation evaluation of a case management system in a publicly-funded mental health system. In conjunction with her work in the IRD, she also supports various implementation projects in the Quality Care Initiative including MATCH and PCIT Learning Collaboratives. Part of her time is spent providing administrative support to the Baker Center’s internship, practicum student, and postdoc training programs. Her passion for developing, implementing, and improving mental health services for underserved communities drives all of her work.
Multimedia
  To access resources from this session, click ATTACHMENT link Recording coming soon!   Event Description Overview: The workshop places a special emphasis on combating deficit thinking by encouraging participants to recognize and rectify assumptions, biases, and evaluations in their observations. By adopting a strengths-based approach, educators can contribute to a positive learning environment and promote equity. This workshop aims to empower education professionals with practical tools to enhance their observation skills, particularly in recognizing and addressing deficit thinking. The observation protocol provided will guide participants in unpacking their observations of students, encouraging a deeper understanding and awareness of assumptions before making recommendations to support student learning. Purpose: The purpose of this 90-minute workshop is to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to conduct better observations by avoiding deficit thinking and fostering a strengths-based approach. By practicing objective description, participants will learn to recognize and challenge assumptions, leading to more informed and equitable observations. Why Training is Important: Training is crucial for education professionals to refine their observation skills, ensuring that the assessments made are fair, unbiased, and conducive to positive learning outcomes. This workshop provides participants with a comprehensive observation protocol, helping them understand the importance of describing behaviors objectively and be mindful of where assumptions may influence interpretation and evaluation of students learning. What Training will Provide Participants: Skillsets: Objective detailing of observable behaviors. Differentiation between description, interpretation, and evaluation. Checking assumptions and biases during the observation process. Analysis of behaviors, considering alternative explanations.   Types of Resources Observation and Analysis Form for systematic recording and reflection. Guidelines for Distinguishing Description, Interpretation, and Evaluation. Practical steps on using the observation protocol effectively.   Learning Objectives: Participants will understand the concept of deficit thinking and how it can show up in learning observations (overt and nuanced ways) Participants will practice distinguishing between objective description, interpretation, and evaluation in their observations Learn One Approach for Implementing Systematic Observation and Analysis Trainer Alyson Kaneshiro, EdD Alyson Kaneshiro, Ed.D, is an educator based in the Bay Area. Currently serving as the Bay Area Regional SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Facilitator, she also holds the position of Associate Director of Learning Services at Urban School of San Francisco. Additionally, Alyson offers consulting and coaching services through her private practice, Learning Specialist LLC. Her extensive experience includes teaching as an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts Special Education Program at the University of San Francisco, conducting action research in Response to Intervention practices, and working in inclusive education and special education compliance at the Hawai’i Department of Education. With a rich educational background spanning 20 years, Alyson is passionate about designing equitable student support systems that prioritize relationships and compassionate care.
Multimedia
To view resources from this training, click ATTACHMENT links Recording coming soon!   Event Description Statistics reveal a concerning trend: a significant number of men who have died by suicide had visited a healthcare provider within 30 days prior to their death. This alarming fact underscores the urgent need for more effective mental health interventions and support systems within rural settings. This session aims to shed light on the critical intersection of masculinity, mental health, and rural life, and explore how everyday places—such as doctors' offices, churches, workplaces, and community gatherings—can become gateways to meaningful conversations and interventions. Key topics will include: Understanding the barriers to mental health support for rural men, including stigma, limited resources, and cultural norms. Strategies for healthcare providers to initiate mental health conversations and recognize warning signs during routine visits. The role of churches and faith-based organizations in providing support and breaking down the stigma associated with mental health issues. Integrating mental health awareness and support into workplaces, especially in industries predominant in rural areas. The importance of Integrated Behavioral Health positions in creating a holistic approach to health care in rural settings. Trainer Andrew Jordan Thayer, PhD, LP
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