CDRC Training Academy
Cultivating Knowledge to Impact Positive Change
From its inception, the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care has paved new pathways for understanding, preventing, and treating mood disorders. Part of our next decade of work involves reimagining the conversation around mood disorders and mental health through sharing the knowledge, tools, and techniques learned (and validated) to a wider audience of clinicians, educators, and communities.
Focus on Youth Through Learning Institutions
As we consider the best ways to encourage mental health promotion in our schools, it becomes important to recognize that there is a noticeable gap in the attendance of youth who are experiencing a crisis. It has become clear that transformation demands focusing on all steps preceding a crisis through early identification of those students who are beginning to experience symptoms of mental illness, alongside those who are experiencing high environmental stressors that put them at greater risk. From our past efforts, we know that there are many more youth who are NOT being identified because they have internalizing symptoms that go unnoticed by those around them and escalate over time.
Programs beneficial to all students
YAM Certification for Health-Related Institution (HRI) Personnel
Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) is a universal mental health literacy and resilience program that is currently being implemented in many schools in North Texas and that began state-wide implementation in the Fall of 2022 as a result of ARPA funding. These trainings will continue to be available. Learn more here.
YAM Certification for School District Personnel
We have expanded the Training Academy YAM Certification program to make it available to school personnel across Texas. School staff are encouraged to attend the 5-day training held throughout the year in Dallas, TX to become a certified YAM facilitator. Upon completion of the training, educators, counselors, and social workers receive credit for 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education.
Having districts train their own staff will exponentially increase the number of students impacted. Learn more here.
Mental Health Screening
Our vision is to implement depression and anxiety screening tools for all Texas students.
School administrators will be trained on the importance of screening for mental health and environmental stressors that may be putting their students at risk, and our team will work with their schools to determine the best methods for identification of which tier of services is needed.
For example, for schools who are implementing YAM in classrooms, we have already developed school-specific methods for connecting at-risk students to the correct school personnel for additional support. We have also worked with a North Texas school district to screen students through our depression screening applications, which could be used by any school choosing this system.
We also work with schools to identify best practices for their preferred mental health screening method.
Identifying Peers in Need
A key component in identifying students who may need mental health services is to engage the entire student body. Peers are the first line of defense in terms of identifying students in need.
The YAM program is one way we are already training students to recognize depression or suicidal thoughts in their peers. For schools who do not use YAM, we will develop a new curriculum that can be a training session for entire student bodies to learn to recognize the signs of someone struggling with depression and anxiety.
Our Training Model
All of the CDRC Training Academy opportunities will be available throughout the year, with ongoing consultation provided to those trained in any of the programs.
- effectiveness of and satisfaction with the training will be evaluated
- ongoing assessment of additional training needs for each school and/or school district will be conducted
- based on feedback gathered from participants, new trainings will be developed as needed
For additional information about our Training Academy opportunities contact CDRC@UTSouthwestern.edu.
For information about CDRC programs, research, or activities, contact us at CDRC@UTSouthwestern.edu.