TABLE 1 HAI Refresher Training Techniques and Activities for CMHWs
TechniquesActivities
PsychoeducationGive clients, families, or communities information on psychological problems.
Reduce stigma about problems and treatment.
Teach how thoughts, behaviors, and feelings can influence each other positively.
Explain how talk therapy can help.
Treatment planningMake arrangements with the client to begin treatment (e.g., confidentiality).
Agree on how to continue treatment (e.g., weekly sessions, involving family if needed).
Explain the way treatment will end.
Describe follow-up assistance if needed after sessions end.
EmpowermentHelp clients develop skills and use positive actions and attitudes.
Start with small changes and help them focus on better parts of life, not only problems.
Grow from a view of themselves as dependent to better able to care for themselves.
Reduce feelings of helplessness by being more active and involved with family and community.
MotivationEncourage clients to come to treatment regularly and make recommended changes in their behavior and thinking.
Normalize their problems.
Emphasize the progress they are making.
Use the treatment relationship for emotional support with empathic listening and reflective techniques.
Crisis managementAssess for suicide or self-injury.
Use safety plan if needed.
Be more directive if needed.
Involve family or other resources if needed.
Get more consultation and supervision if needed.
Change the balance between strengths and supports vs. stresses to manage the crisis.
Medication managementExplain how drug therapy can combine with talk therapy to help reduce negative feelings and improve sleep and other problems.
Advise against the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, which can worsen problems.
Consult with the physician about a combined therapy plan.
Monitor for side effects and encourage daily use for later improvement.
Strength buildingIdentify the skills clients already have.
Remind them how they have solved problems before.
Find new ways to feel better, like talking about what is inside.
Express concern for the negative parts of the client’s life but focus more on the positive (e.g., love of God or their children).
Emphasize client’s ways of taking care of themselves (e.g., time with friends).
Stress reductionAssess and encourage client’s interests in positive activities (e.g., praying, exercising).
Teach relaxation techniques like deep breathing and focusing inside.
Practice relaxation regularly in counseling and have clients use it at home daily.
Help clients use relaxation techniques any time they are upset, worried, or cannot sleep.
AdvocacyIdentify resources in the family or community that can be used for additional client support.
Help the client get additional needed services (e.g., medical or legal assistance).
Promote human rights with equal protection, respect, and benefits for everyone.
Try to end domestic abuse or child abuse and gender-based violence.
Connect with other government offices, community programs, and NGOs to increase public awareness about mental health problems and find solutions.
  • Abbreviations: CMHW, community mental health worker; HAI, Heartland Alliance International.