Training Programs

TLC Staff Development Workshops Available for Schools and Communities

In addition to our regional and statewide trainings, TLC continues to offer workshops for schools and communities. These workshops can be customized to meet the needs of the requesting organization.

All workshops are provided by TLC trainers who are experienced clinicians working with youth, educators, and service providers in a variety of settings including schools, social service programs, juvenile justice facilities, faith based organizations, etc.  Several trainers have additional experience as school administrators and bring that perspective to the trainings.

Connect Suicide Prevention/Intervention Training Programs

Training with a Community-Based Approach

Knowing risk factors and warning signs of suicide and how to get a suicidal person help is a good beginning.  However, to build a truly comprehensive safety net, it’s important to promote collaboration and bring together key service providers and stakeholders to address community risk and protective factors.  The TLC has historically relied on coalition building to achieve its goals and the Connect Program fits extremely well with our mission.

More than "just training", Connect fosters relationship building and the exchange of resources among participants.  Connect's Prevention/Intervention curriculum includes how to identify suicide warning signs and intervene with a person at risk.  Using activities, interactive case scenarios, facilitated discussion, PowerPoint, and written materials, the TLC training team will offer customized Connect Prevention/Intervention trainings to the following audiences: school personnel, community members, faith leaders, primary care doctors, social service agency personnel and law enforcement.

Suicide Prevention/Intervention training highlights for schools:

  • National Best Practices for school personnel and educators regarding school suicide prevention and crisis response related to suicidal behavior
  • Recognizing risk and protective factors and responding to warning signs for suicide
  • Intervening with students or others at risk and connecting the individual with appropriate resources
  • Transition plans for students who return to school after a suicide attempt
  • Communicating with students and parents/guardians in crisis situations and knowledge of local resources
  • A review of individual school crisis response plans and suggestions for including suicide incidents as part of these plans
  • Suicide as a public health issue and its impact on communities, family members and friends
  • Suicide data and how age, gender, culture and other factors impact suicide risk
  • Strategies for promoting help-seeking behavior and reducing stigmatizing attitudes
  • Individual, family and community risk and protective factors and ways to strengthen the positive influences that prevent suicide and reduce risky behaviors
  • Youth culture, including electronic communication, social networking, peer group influences and bullying and how these impact risk and protective factors
  • Confidentiality and reporting requirements with respect to FERPA and HIPPA, and guidelines for timely response and notification
  • Best Practices concerning restricting access to lethal means, safe messaging, communication and responding to media inquiries
  • Strategies to increase suicide prevention efforts through collaboration with community and campus services
  • Self-care skills

Connect Postvention Training

A suicide can have a devastating impact on a community or organization. The shock and grief can ripple throughout the community affecting friends, co-workers, schools, and faith communities. Connect postvention training helps service providers respond in a coordinated and comprehensive way in the aftermath of a suicide or any sudden death.

Since knowing someone who has died by suicide is one of the highest risk factors for suicide, postvention becomes an integral part of suicide prevention efforts.

TLC Master trainer/clinicians conduct the suicide postvention training that includes activities, interactive case scenarios, discussion, PowerPoint, and printed materials for school personnel, social service agency personnel, mental health and substance abuse personnel, faith leaders, funeral directors, and law enforcement.

This program is compatible with the Post Traumatic Stress Management Training (PTSM) that is offered each year by the TLC.  The Connect Postvention Training is ideal for all individuals working with children, teens and young adults.  It clearly outlines everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the aftermath of suicide or other traumatic death.  PTSM trains school and community crisis teams in more in-depth group protocols and individual psychological first aid to help in the healing process.

Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk for Mental Health Professionals

The TLC training team will be providing this one-day workshop for social workers, licensed counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists focused on the core competencies for assessing and managing suicide risk identified by leading clinician researchers.  The workshop includes pre-workshop reading, lecture, resource manuals, paired practices, discussion and video demonstrations.  It will be offered to counselors and clinicians in schools, mental health centers, social service agencies, juvenile justice facilities, colleges and universities. 

Sources of Strength Peer Leader Program

Sources of Strength is a comprehensive wellness program that is designed to impact suicide prevention.  It uses peer and caring adult relationships to improve social norms, enhance coping and social support, and increase help-seeking behaviors in order to reduce conditions that give rise to suicide and other risk-taking behaviors.  This highly acclaimed program also impacts substance abuse, violence and bullying prevention.  Sources of Strength can be implemented in middle schools, high schools and colleges and university campuses.  It is listed on the SPRC National Registry of Evidenced Based Programs and Practices.

Sources of Strength’s Core Principles include the following:  bring together and train both peer leaders and caring adults - one without the other lacks prevention power; peer leaders break down codes of silence and increase student help seeking from caring adults; a core emphasis on strengths that goes beyond a simple focus on suicide risk and warning signs; move beyond a singular focus on mental health referrals and train students to develop multiple sources of support; hope, help and strength messages use local voices and faces to saturate local schools and communities with stories of resiliency instead of trauma.


Post Traumatic Stress Management Training and Psychological First Aid With Ethnocultural, Gender and Developmental Specificity (PTSM)

Program Goal:  The goal of this training is to enable trainees to respond to traumatic incidents and large scale disasters with evidence-based public health/mental health intervention protocols incorporating ethnocultural, gender and developmental specificity so that the majority of survivors are stabilized and/or referred appropriately within the first 72 hours of the incident or disaster occurring.

Training objectives:  At the end of this training the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify historical perspectives and responses to helping people who have experienced psychological trauma and the resulting traumatic stress including ethnocultural and gender variables
  2. Describe Psychological First Aid (PFA)
  3. Analyze the PFA’s 8 core functions
  4. Compare theoretical models describing the subjective experiences of traumatic stress and resiliency in US adults, children, and various ethnocultural and diverse groups
  5. Analyze physiological and biological reactions that may occur during a traumatic stress response with focus on ethnocultural variables
  6. Design and conduct PFA and PTSM continuum of care protocols sensitive to diversity, gender, and developmental stages, and as applied to TLC-PTSM Incident Command.

Training Overview:  PTSM is a model developed and tested extensively in the field over the last 10 years by Robert D. Macy, PhD. This PTSM training series includes the most current components of psychological first aid, psychosocial stabilization and resiliency enhancement. Attendees are taught the skills used to identify, stabilize and augment the psychosocial needs of children who have been exposed to traumatic events including traumatic loss from accidents, suicide, homicide, illness, and larger impact disasters.

 Advanced PTSM in Suicide Response Protocols

Program Goal:  The goal of this training is to enable trainees to respond to a suicide with evidence-based public health/mental health intervention protocols incorporating ethnocultural, gender and developmental specificity.

Training objectives:  At the end of this training the learner will be able to:

  1. Examine the detailed literature by Madelyn Gould, PhD, regarding the epidemiology of suicide and the risk and protective factors associated with attempts and completions
  2. Identify conditions and stigmatic issues arising from deaths caused by suicide
  3. Apply suicide-specific protocols to PTSM group models: orientations, stabilizations, and coping groups through small group practice

Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR)

SPR is an evidence-informed modular approach to help children, adolescents, adults, and families in the months and years after a traumatic exposure including disasters and terrorism. This training is a two-day intensive seminar. SPR is designed to help survivors acquire skills to reduce ongoing stress and effectively cope with post-incident stresses and adversities. Principles and techniques of Skills for A Psychological Recovery meet four basic standards. They are: (1) consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma; (2) applicable and practical in field settings; (3) appropriate for developmental levels across the lifespan; and (4) culturally informed and delivered in a flexible manner.

Classroom Based Psychosocial Intervention (CBI) and Traumatic Incident Intervention (TII)

These evidenced-based protocols involve a series of highly structured expressive-behavioral activities. The aim of these activities is to significantly reduce traumatic stress reactions, anxiety, fear and depressed mood by allowing and guiding children to do what they do best: playing, learning and creative problem solving. To achieve these goals, the TII and CBI group leaders use psycho education, movement and dance, art or ‘silent stories’, drama, and cooperative games.

TII is a 3 session protocol for youth in grades K-5, and CBI is a 5 week, 15 session protocol for youth in grades 3-12. They were originated and continue to be developed by Dr. Macy and the Center for Trauma Psychology. Dr. Macy has successfully used these protocols in the United States, Haiti, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda, and Burundi to assist with ongoing efforts to provide school, community and tribal based clinical and psychosocial interventions to care for youth exposed to psychological trauma resulting from suicide, homicide, gang violence, armed conflict, ethnic cleansing, displacement, terrorism, genocide, and natural disasters.

The following workshops can be adapted to the specific needs of the schools and communities:

Suicide Awareness Training Workshops for Educators, Parents, and Other Youth Serving Individuals   This two-hour Suicide Awareness Training for Educators fulfills the professional development requirement, per N.J.S.A. 18A:6-11.  Clinicians experienced in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with mental health disorders and suicidal behaviors provide the training.  The content can be customized to meet the needs of a single school or an entire school district, as well as mental health and social agency staff.   On-site school counselors or administrators are included in the presentation to talk about the specific protocols outlined in their school’s crisis plan for referring at-risk youth for further evaluation and treatment. This program uses lecture, slide presentation, video clips, and interactive discussion to enhance the learning. 

Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (CASE) Approach Training   This half-day workshop provides front-line counselors and clinicians in high schools, colleges and universities, and community-based programs with an overview of the CASE Approach including state of the art skills necessary to tackle one of the most difficult clinical situations facing them through the gathering of valid data about ideation, plan and intent during a suicide assessment.  The CASE Approach is an interviewing strategy for eliciting suicidal ideation, planning, and intent for high school youth of normal cognitive development as well as adults.  It is designed to increase validity, decrease errors of omission, and increase the client's sense of safety with the interviewer.

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a public education program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents. The course helps participants build understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly, teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. The course employs the use of role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Research has shown that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, so it’s vital to ensure that those who work with children understand the symptoms, know how to respond, and the appropriate action steps to getting the child help. Early invention and treatment pave the way for a more positive life path, eliminating or diminishing symptoms that are likely to make educational and social development more difficult as time goes on.

This training is 8 hours in length and can be done in one full day or two or three day modules.  The program can be adapted based on the audience and their needs.  There is also a variant for an adolescent audience (16 and older) to encourage peer-to-peer interaction, as they may be the first to recognize symptomatic behavior within their own social circles. 

Supporting Adolescents As They Transition From High School   An adolescent’s transition from high school to college, technical school, military or work can be a worrisome time for students and their parents. This is especially true for those adolescents who struggle with learning disabilities, mental health issues, substance abuse problems, and recent losses.  This workshop will focus on supporting youth as they leave the predictable structure of family and school community to enter an exciting and critical phase of their lives.  This workshop can be adapted for presentation to school staff as well as parents and caregivers.

Working with Resistant Teens   Those of us who work with teenagers encounter resistance as part of our work. But how we view resistance to our services makes all the difference
in how effectively we engage our young clients.  This workshop provides participants with new insight and practical strategies for building working alliances with adolescents.  It is suitable for any professional who provides services to teenagers, including therapists, educators, outreach and DYFS workers.  This is a dynamic, highly interactive and fun program using a combination of presentation, small group discussion, and role play that will leave participants with fresh ideas and new confidence in meeting the challenges of working with resistant youth.

Trauma and Youth   Trauma is often a core issue presenting in many youth we work with. Recognizing trauma and knowing how to work with youth who have been traumatized is becoming a critical skill set for education and social services professionals.  This workshop provides practical strategies for those who work with youth who have experienced trauma and may be manifesting behavioral health issues as a result.  The presentation includes signs and symptoms of trauma in children and youth, neurobiological effects, and practical strategies for working with youth who have experienced trauma.  It also covers vicarious trauma and self-care for workers, and ways to create safe environments for youth and families suffering the effects of trauma.  This is a dynamic, interactive program that combines large and small group activities, video illustrations and discussion.  This training is useful for anyone who works with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, including clinicians, behavioral assistants, DYFS workers, juvenile justice workers, guidance counselors, case managers, social workers, child study team members, teachers, parents, and advocates.

Stress, Burnout and Vicarious Trauma   Your work should make your life better.  But sometimes, those of us who work in the areas of trauma, crisis or mental health can become overwhelmed and even symptomatic from our work.  And too often, self-care is not prioritized in our work environments.  This workshop invites participants to step outside of their work life and reflect on how their engagement with suffering in their work affects their own lives.  It equips participants with essential knowledge for recognizing, addressing and protecting themselves against burnout and vicarious trauma using a combination of presentation, guided  individual reflection, and group discussion.  Participants will leave this session with a sense of how to find balance between their professional and personal lives and their own self-care plan to help put their new ideas into action.  It is suitable for any professional who encounters trauma in their work, including mental health professionals, human services professionals and teachers, though it is targeted specifically to those who work with children and adolescents.

Crisis Planning for Vulnerable School Populations   What special considerations are given for vulnerable populations of students (and staff) within the school community?  This training session brings special attention to students with IEP’s, 504 Accommodation Plans, and those other students and staff with “invisible” needs (psychiatric disorders, anxiety, use of medication, fears and disruptive behavior).

School Safety is Every Adults Responsibility   What are the responsibilities for secretaries, bus drivers, bus aides, classroom aides, hall monitors, security guards, custodians, substitute teachers, volunteers and visitors during a school crisis?  This training offers administrators and school safety team members a deeper look into the potential value of all adults in the school during a crisis, or the potential disruption that might result if their presence is not considered.

Responding to Grief and Loss  What is the school’s responsibility to facilitate the expression of grief following the death of school community member?  Is a response needed even during a holiday or summer death?  How should schools respond to very public deaths, multiple deaths or deaths on campus?  This discussion will focus on paying attention to the natural grieving process among students and staff in a school community.

School Crisis-An Administrator’s Guide to Management and Recovery   Leadership during a school crisis is critical to recovery.  Returning to a pre-crisis level of functioning is always the goal, but requires thoughtful planning and effective intervention.  School superintendents, principals, assistant principals and other school leaders will be expected to be “out front” in managing school crises.  This training will highlight skills, attitudes and practices needed to live through a school crisis and support a healthy recovery.

Additional workshops are:

  • After a Suicide – Guidelines for Schools
  • An Introduction to Evidence Based and Best Practice Suicide Prevention Programs for Schools
  • Depression in Children and Adolescents
  • Using the School I&RS Team to Support Students with Mental Illness
  • Schools and Mental Health-Bridging the Gap in Treating the Whole Child
  • Managing Trauma and Loss in Schools  -  For Administrators and Crisis Teams
  • Enhancing Your School’s Crisis Plan
  • Creating Safe and Respectful Environments

Please contact the TLC at 732-235-2810 for more information on the above workshops.