Past Trainings and Events

The Mountain Plains MHTTC provides education and both synchronous and asynchronous training opportunities for people serving persons with mental health disorders. Below is a list of past trainings and events along with the presented slides and recordings when available.


Compassion Fatigue: Farm Stress and the Mental Health Provider

January 6, 2020
Robin Landwehr, LPCC, discussed burnout prevention strategies for mental health providers working with farm and ranch populations. This session focused on the unique challenges and stressors faced by the individuals who work to support persons experiencing farm stress. Robin also discussed ways for providers to increase compassion satisfaction, minimize compassion fatigue, and prevent the onset of burnout related to mental health work.


Crisis Care with Individuals with Behavioral Health Disorders: Assessment, Prevention, and De-escalation

December 17, 2019
Crisis results from impediments to life goals that people believe they cannot overcome through customary choices and behaviors were presented. Specifically, for individuals with behavioral health disorders, because crisis situations may place them at greater risk. This two-part interactive webinar series highlighted a variety of crisis situations, including but not limited to aggressive outbursts, disruptive behaviors, suicidal ideation, and homicidal ideation. Strategies for assessment and intervention, and the roles of different providers (e.g., doctors, psychologists, nurses, educators, social workers, counselors, and other behavioral health professionals) were examined and then these de-escalation skills were put into practice. Finally, there was a discussion on the importance of de-briefing post de-escalation events along with specifics regarding the implementation of putting these de-escalation techniques into practice.


Hands-on Tools and Strategies to Assist Providers Working with Farmers

December 16, 2019
Meg Moynihan, from Eyes on the Horizon Consulting, and Monica McConkey, from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, provided an overview on the tools and strategies they utilize every day to address the mental health needs of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. This session highlighted specific examples of resources available to support farmers experiencing stress and mental health challenges, as well as a discussion on the best practices for providers working with this population.


The Economics of Farm Stress

December 9, 2019
Dr. David Flynn, Professor of Economics, provided an overview of the economic landscape that affects farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers in the United States. This session highlighted the challenges faced by producers in adapting to uncertain commodities pricing, the long and short term impacts of tariffs, and the financial pressures caused by uncertain crop yields and changing weather.


Introduction to Farm Stress: Mental Health Needs among Diverse Farm Populations

November 25, 2019
Dr. Shawnda Schroeder and Thomasine Heitkamp, Director of the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center presented alongside Matt Perdue with North Dakota Farmers Union. In this first of multiple sessions addressing agricultural mental health, presenters described the definition of farm stress, contributing factors, the impact of farm stress on the family, and how farming demographics and associated stress may vary by U.S. region. This session introduced resources that currently exist for farmers addressing stress and suicide risk, as well as presented ongoing gaps and barriers to utilizing mental health services among agricultural communities.


Intellectual Disabilities & Mental Illness

November 21
This webinar provided an overview of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and discussed some of the most prevalent IDDs, their associated behavioral challenges, and mental health concerns. It also provided information on how to distinguish between behaviors associated with IDD and co-occurring mental illness, helpful interventions, and how to increase provider comfort in working with people with IDD.


Best Practices in School Mental Health

November 7, 2019
Stefanie Winfield and Sarah Younggren presented on the use of Mental Health Colorado’s School Mental Health Toolkit as a framework. This discussion included “Top 10 Best Practices in School Mental Health,” and provided guidelines and suggestions to implement best practices and advocacy/communication strategies for promoting and effecting positive change in school mental health.


Building Capacity of Rural School Personnel to Address Mental Health Needs of Students through Communities of Practice

November 7, 2019
Sarah Nielsen, Susan Bazyk, Tanja Brown, and Thomasine Heitkamp described a Communities of Practice (CoP) Model pilot project targeting implementation of a multi-tiered approach to address school mental health in six rural schools across three states. Presenters described: a) unique features of rural schools; b) CoP practice approach utilized; c) strengths and weaknesses of the CoP process, and d) identified strengths and barriers to implementing a multi-tiered approach in rural settings.


Suicide Prevention Training: Presentation and Panel Discussion

September 13, 2019
The Mountain Plains MHTTC in partnership with the University of North Dakota Department of Occupational Therapy hosted a half-day training symposium on suicide prevention for students and faculty of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The training opened with a presentation of commonly used suicide assessment tools, how to have a conversation with patients regarding suicidal thoughts, and best practices for using a multi-disciplinary approach to supporting patients with active suicidal thoughts. A moderated panel discussion on suicide prevention with special populations followed.


Trauma-Informed Care and Practices: A Three Part Webinar Series for School Personnel

August 8, 2019
Dr. Tami DeCoteau, Ph.D., a national expert on trauma-informed care, offers insight to providers and educators interested in gaining a deeper understanding of trauma, including content on historical trauma and adverse childhood experiences.


Social Media and Mental Health Services Webinar Series

June, 2019
The goal of this three-part webinar series was to present the state of the science on the role of social media as a potentially viable intervention platform for engaging persons with mental disorders, enhancing existing mental health services, and supporting community-based mental health providers.


Housing for All in Rural Communities

June 24, 2019
Jennifer Lopez discussed housing for all in rural communities with a focus on housing solutions for persons with mental health concerns in rural settings.


Together with Veterans – A Rural Veteran Suicide Prevention Program

June 20, 2019
Gina Brimner spoke to the Together With Veterans Program. Together With Veterans targets rural populations and empowers Veterans to lead community-based and evidence-informed planning efforts to address Veteran suicide locally and discuss implementation strategies.


Farm Crisis and Behavioral Health

June 19, 2019
Charles Griffin provided a backdrop to the recurrence of the farm crisis, new legislation to address the crisis, as well as strategies for addressing the needs of farming communities.


Assertive Community Treatment Fidelity and Rural Considerations

May 28, 2019
Dr. Hannah Koch discussed how to tweak the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model to make it work in a rural setting.


Addressing Rural Mental Health Session #1: Rural Mental Health Disparities and Workforce Implications

April 25, 2019
This webinar was part one in a series addressing rural mental health. As the first in the series, this webinar provided a basic introduction to rural mental health. Presenters discusses the definition of rural, rural demographics, and data on rural mental health and mental health disparities. Speakers also presented rural issues of access, acceptability, and availability of rural mental healthcare services. Several resources will be shared for participants to find additional data, policy briefs, funding opportunities, best practices, and toolkits specifically addressing rural mental health.


Addressing First Episode Psychosis: A Three Part Series

March – April, 2019
Dr. Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH, discussed the concept of psychosis and symptom features, shared how to identify the phases of psychosis, and provided an overview of best practices of care for first episode psychosis.


Suicide Prevention for Primary Care Physicians: Webinar

March 26, 2019
Learn more about the toolkit which offers the support necessary to establish the primary care provider as one member of a team, fully equipped to reduce suicide risk among their patients.