Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) Resources

Effective September 1, 2015, TEC 21.044(c-1) requires a person seeking a certificate that includes a bachelor’s degree as part of the minimum academic qualifications to receive instruction regarding mental health, substance abuse, and youth suicide as part of the training required to obtain that certificate. The mental health instruction must include effective strategies for teaching and intervening with students with mental or emotional disorders, including de-escalation techniques and positive behavioral interventions and supports. The resources listed below have been recommended by a panel of experts in the diagnosis and treatment of mental or emotional disorders to meet this requirement.

Suicide Prevention  

At-Risk (Kognito) Training
This is a one-hour online training for Elementary, Middle School, and High School educators. This online, interactive professional development program uses virtual role-play to help school faculty, staff, and administrators learn common signs of psychological distress and how to approach an at-risk student for referral to the school counselor.

ACT on FACTS: Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention
This is an updated version of the school-based suicide awareness program Making Educators Partners in Suicide Prevention. ACT on FACTS is a two-hour online interactive training program, designed in a series of modules. It addresses the critical but limited responsibilities of educators in the process of identification and referral of potentially suicidal youth. It focuses on the practical realities and challenges inherent in the school setting through a variety of training formats that include lecture, question and answer with content experts, interactive exercises and role plays.

Plan, Prepare, Prevent: The SOS Signs of Suicide
This training takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, and has videos and interactive quizzes throughout the three sections. The module provides contextual information about mental illness, suicide, and risk and protective factors, and teaches participants to recognize and respond to the warning signs of depression and suicide.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training*
YMHFA is an 8-hour face-to-face course that trains participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training includes: risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems; information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders; a 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis; and where to turn for help – professional, peer, and self-help resources. MHFA teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

Early Mental Health Intervention and Substance Abuse Intervention 

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training*
YMHFA is an 8-hour face-to-face course that trains participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training includes: risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems; information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders; a 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis; and where to turn for help – professional, peer, and self-help resources. MHFA teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

Teaching and Intervening with Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders  

Texas Behavior Support Initiative Training 
The Texas Behavior Support Initiative (TBSI) training is designed to provide foundational knowledge for the use of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) for all students, including those with disabilities. While the TBSI training meets legislative requirements related to procedures for the use of restraint and time-out, it also provides a framework for sharing a wide range of foundation-level behavior strategies and prevention-based school-wide, classroom, and individual interventions.

Contact Information
Julie Wayman, Mental/Behavioral Health Coordinator
512-463-9414

julie.wayman@tea.texas.gov