CURRICULUM
for training
CONSUMERS/SURVIVORS as MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS

The basic training runs eight to ten weeks (ten week curriculum below), Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The daily schedule is:
9:00 - 10:00 Check-in/peer support
10:00 - 12:00 Lecture/presentation/guest speaker/discussion/exercise
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 Skill development
2:30 - 3:00 Check-out/peer support

Check-in/peer support and Check-out/peer support are vital to the success of the class. Sometimes the topics covered during a particular day can be intense enough that people may need some support outside of class and this is the time to identify those needs. Also, life outside the classroom may present obstacles and this support time allows for some extra consideration of individual needs. In addition, this time helps to create a bonding between students and helps them to build the class as a peer support system.

It has been found that consumers/survivors who go to work for the mental health system need to have some basic background knowledge to be effective in their jobs. The training curriculum that follows addresses those basic areas and provides consumers/survivors with a sound place to begin their career in mental health. Additionally, for consumer/survivor employees to be most successful, they need to have a strongly developed sense of self and have the self-care skills necessary to tolerate the ambiguities inherent in any human services arena. The training outlined below has successfully integrated these skills so that graduates have at least an 80% success rate on the job.

WEEK I--INTRODUCTION TO COURSE

Monday, Introduction and Overview
Introductions of Instructors and Students
Review Course Outline, Materials, and Completion Requirements
Review Paperwork Requirements for Department of Rehabilitation
Starting and Maintaining a Mental Health Service Provider Resource Directory

Tuesday, Disability and Impairment Awareness
Appreciating Diversity
Speaker from Independent Living Resource Center
Definition of Disability both Physical and Mental
Community College Campus Resources
Disabled Student Programs and Services
Introduction to Peer Counseling

Wednesday, Self Management
Self Awareness
Cultural Awareness
Listening Skills
Transference
Countertransference
Awareness of Poverty Issues

Thursday, Supports, Family Members and Friends I
Introduction to Conflict Resolution
Developing a Personal Support System including Peer Supports, Family and Friends
Environmental Resources As Supports

Friday, Supports, Family Members and Friends II
Speaker from (NAMI) National Alliance For the Mentally Ill
Open House for Family Members and Friends of Students
Encouraging Involvement and Support of Family Members and Friends


WEEK II--MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE SYSTEM

Monday, National Mental Health System Overview
National Innovations in Mental Health
Introduction to the Mental Health Client/Consumer/Ex-Patient/Survivor Movement

Tuesday, Emergency Resources I
Psychiatric Emergencies
Deescalation Techniques
Observing Body Language
Listening to Your Gut
Crisis Intervention
Suicide Prevention
Medical Emergencies
Food
Utility Bills
Financial Emergencies

Wednesday, Self-Help/Peer Support Resources/Introduction to Dual Diagnosis
Regional Consumer Peer Support Groups
12 Step and Similar Groups
Class Presentations
Education & Employment Development Peer Support Groups

Thursday, Approaches in Contemporary Psychology
Introduction to Jargon
Introduction to the Role of the Helping Professional
Philosophical Diversity of Thought in Mental Health System
Mental Health vs. Mental Illness
Diagnosis and Treatment--DSM overview
"Strengths" and Other Case Management Models
Speakers from Different Disciplines (M.D., R.N., M.F.C.C., etc.)

Friday, Emergency Resources
Symptom Reduction
Preventing Relapses in Self and Others (H.A.L.T. and other self-therapies)
Personal Crisis Plans


WEEK III--ROLE OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDER

Monday, Local Mental Health System Overview
Student Presentations
Programs and Resources‹MHO¹s (Managed Care)
Programs and Resources--County System
Programs and Resources--Contract System

Tuesday, Psychotropic Medications
Descriptions of Common Drugs and Effects
Informed Consent

Wednesday, Introduction to Mental Health Consumer Advocacy & Systems Change
Introduction to Advocacy
History of the Advocacy (Disabled Rights) Movement
History of the Mental Health Consumer Movement
Self-Advocacy
Peer-Advocacy
System-Advocacy

Thursday, Mental Illness as a Disability
Mental Health and Physical Disabilities
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Intro to History of the Disability Rights Movement

Friday, Dual Diagnosis II
Recognizing Chemical Dependency
Confronting Addictions
In-patient Programs
Additional resources
Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Issues


WEEK IV--ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND SKILLS

Monday, Public Benefits (SSI and SSDI)
Overview of Programs
Cash Assistance Programs
MediCal and Medicare

Tuesday, Social Security I
General Information about Programs
Obtaining Benefits for Self and Clients
Methods for Negotiating Bureaucracy
Effective Assertiveness

Wednesday, Social Security II
General Information about Programs
Programs for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)

Thursday, Networking Day
Representatives of Mental Health, Community Programs, and Related Agencies Visit Class for networking and informational exchange

Friday, Intro to Job Readiness
Self-Assessment of Current Job Readiness
Writing and Discussing Job Histories
Interests--what do I want to do?
Environmental Resources for Training, Education, and Employment
Identifying Personal Supports to Enhance Job Readiness


WEEK V--HOUSING

Monday, Housing Programs
Independent Living Programs
Residential Hotels
Supported Apartment Programs

Tuesday, Role of the Helping Professional in Supported Housing
Teaching Activities of Daily Living
Locating Housing
Landlord Tenant Relations
Utilizing and Teaching Environmental Resources and Skills

Wednesday, Presentations by Supported Housing Experts I
Rental Assistance Programs
Residential Care Facilities (Board & Care Homes)

Thursday, Presentations by Supported Housing Experts II
Working with Clients in Board & Care Homes
Rental Assistance Programs
Community Relations
Organizing Tenant Associations

Friday, Review of Supported Housing Week
Special Issues Around Homelessness
Special Issues Around Families


WEEK VI--WORK OPPORTUNITIES

Monday, Job Fair
Presentations by Mental Health and Housing Employers
Opportunities to Meet Employers and Review Job Descriptions

Tuesday, Application for Paid and Volunteer Work Opportunities, Part I
Job Search Skills
Creating a Resume and Letter of Introduction
Completing Job Applications

Wednesday, Application for Paid and Volunteer Work Opportunities, Part II
Selecting Work Opportunities
Assistance in Completing Applications

Thursday, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
Presentation by Department of Rehabilitation
Exercise in Filling Out Applications

Friday, Job Readiness
Paid Employment vs. Volunteer Work Opportunities
Part-time Work vs. Full-time
Identifying specific areas of interest for training, education, and employment
Preparing a Training, Education, and Employment Plan
Preparation for Interviews
Interviewing Skills


WEEK VII--ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND SKILLS

Monday, Emergency Resources III
Management of Assaultive Behavior (Intensive Inservice Training)

Tuesday, Patients Rights Advocacy
Expressed Interest
Patients¹ rights as mandated by state law
Medication Rights
Children¹s Rights
Residential Rights
Other Rights Laws

Wednesday, Public Benefits Part II
AFDC
Food Stamps
General Assistance
Other Programs

Thursday, Basic Helping Skills I
Group Facilitation
Teaching Clients to Build a Personal Support System

Friday, Job Readiness
Preparation for Interviews
Hygiene Issues
Interviewing Skills
Transition to Work


WEEK VIII--STARTING TO WORK

Monday, Basic Helping Skills II
Suicide Prevention
Peer Support Over the Phone
Taking Care of Yourself
Reassessing Your Peer Support System to Assure It Is Sufficient

Tuesday, Special Issues
AIDS
First Aid
Smoking
Nutrition
Value Shopping

Wednesday, Involvement
Assertiveness Skills
Coping with the Holidays
Volunteer and Other Places to Go to Be Active (Activist)

Thursday, Resources
Self-Help Resources; Federal, State, Local
Organizations to Know; Federal, State, Local
The Mental Health Association

Friday, Intro to Ethics
Introduction to Ethics
Boundaries and Limitations Issues I


WEEK IX--THE WORLD OF WORK I

Monday, Self-Help Practicum
Active Listening
Diads
Triads
Group Facilitation Practice

Tuesday, Government and the Mental Health System
Federal Government and the Mental Health System
State Government and the Mental Health System
Local Government and the Mental Health System
Advisory Boards (Local, State and Federal)
Managed Care Organizations
The Mental Health Commission
The Mental Health Coalition
Unions

Wednesday, Job Readiness
Transition From Class
Transition To Work
Developing Positive Work Habits
On the Job Supports
Balancing Work and Play
Planning An After Training Retreat

Thursday, Advocacy II
Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
Advance Directives

Friday, Starting to Work
Roles of the "Client Provider"
Boundaries and Limitations Issues II
Self-Disclosure
Paperwork
Establishing Positive Working Relationships With Supervisors and Colleagues
Maintaining Positive Working Relationships


WEEK X--THE WORLD OF WORK II

Monday, Work Ethics and Issues II
Confidentiality
Role Conflicts
Liability
Peer Relationships
Staff Relations
Resistance and Cooperation

Tuesday, Work Ethics and Issues III
Cooptation
Burn-Out
Other On-The-Job Hazards
Rehabilitation Crisis?

Wednesday, Job Readiness
Transition to Work
Career Ladders and Directions
Supported Education as an Option
Job Matching
Choices and Decisions
Developing Positive Work Habits

Thursday, Ethics Wrap-up
Values Clarification
Ethics and Ethical Issues

Friday, Recovery
Recovery Process, Spirituality, Life and Work