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Community Health Worker Training

Educating members of ethnic, racial, and underserved communities to improve behavioral health

For more than 60 years, Community Health Workers have demonstrated promise in improving health behaviors and outcomes, particularly for racial and ethnic minority communities and others who have traditionally lacked access to adequate healthcare. Community Health Workers enlist and train community members to work as bridges between their ethnic, cultural, or geographic communities and healthcare providers to promote health.

In chronic disease care, these workers often educate patients, identify resources, and coordinate care in partnership with the healthcare system, and they become part of the individual's support network. While the behavioral health sector has rarely used community health workers, the increasing need for integrated behavioral and general health services have put community health workers in a unique position to support this need, particularly in racial and ethnic communities that have traditionally underutilized healthcare services, including behavioral health services. 

The Community Health Worker Training consists of four parts:

  1. Introduction to mental and substance use disorders, focusing on symptoms and factors related to mood disorders
  2. Practice-based skills, including an introduction to counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing
  3. Introduction to mental health services, including referrals, support for individuals and family members, and follow up
  4. Mental health promotion, including stigma reduction and recovery