Mid-America MHTTC Newsletter
JANUARY 2020
Happy New Year!

It is officially 2020, and we cannot help but feel giddy about the promise this year holds for our Center.

Read on for upcoming events and training, news, and more — and as always, if you have any feedback, don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

The Team at Mid-America MHTTC
UPCOMING EVENTS & TRAINING
We hope to connect with you at one of our events! If you see us, give us a shout-out by using the hashtag  #mhttctravels .
Western MHTTC Director's Huddle
Jan. 14 | Boulder, CO
Program Limited to Selected Participants
Mid-America School Mental Health Learning Community:
Virtual Learning Session No. 1
1-2 p.m. | Jan. 28 | ONLINE
Iowa Permanent Supportive Housing: Fidelity Assessor Training
Jan. 29-30 | Des Moines, IA
Program Limited to Selected Participants
Professional Development for Behavioral Health Coaches and Coaches of Behavioral Health Coaches at Millard Public  Schools
12 p.m. | Feb. 5 | Omaha, NE
Mid-America School Mental Health Learning Community:
Virtual Learning Session No. 2
1-2 p.m. | Feb. 25 | ONLINE
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
Feb. 27-29 | Kansas City, MO
HOLIDAYS & COMMEMORATIONS
New Year's Day - Jan. 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Jan. 20
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Jan. 21-26
NEWS & UPDATES
Nine teams accepted into Mid-America School Mental Health Learning Community
In early December, the Mid-America MHTTC selected nine teams from schools and districts in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to participate in our inaugural Regional School Mental Health Learning Community beginning this month.

The Learning Community, conducted in partnership with the National Center on School Mental Health, will provide participants the opportunity for intensive coaching from our MHTTC team and national experts on how to implement comprehensive school mental health programming within their districts.
 
The training series is comprised of four virtual learning sessions on how to develop comprehensive school mental health programming, as well as one-day, in-person workshops to be scheduled toward the end of the program.

The Learning Community also establishes a channel of communication among participants to encourage regional collaboration on efforts to improve mental health outcomes.

"This allows them the opportunity to learn from peers who are engaged in the same process," said Co-Project Director Brandy Clarke, Ph.D.
New flyer provides overview of Mid-America MHTTC's serious mental illness services
Motivational interviewing training convenes in Iowa
Our Center hosted two six-hour workshops on motivational interviewing in Spencer, Iowa, in late November.

Bill Baerentzen, Ph.D., taught the training sessions, geared toward practitioners. Nearly 50 people attended the workshops.

"Often, the choices we make are informed by conflicting thoughts and ideas. For instance, it is possible to want to eat healthy and also want cake," Dr. Baerentzen said. "Motivational interviewing is a form of counseling that helps people resolve such ambivalence and accept positive lifestyles."

The training is part of a two-year project to develop a self-sustaining motivational interviewing program in a northwest Iowa region of mental health and disability services providers. Our Center's experts are training staff at the beginner and advanced levels to understand and competently use the practice, and will provide training and support for the participants' direct supervisors to reinforce the application of the practice.
AREA OF FOCUS SPOTLIGHT
Behavioral Health Workforce Development
The Mid-America MHTTC is fortunate to operate out of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN), which aims to recruit and retain behavioral health workers across the state. As the result of our partnership with BHECN, many of our Center's experts are well-versed in addressing issues pertaining to behavioral health workforce development, a top concern in a region in which 85 percent of counties have been federally identified as Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Our Center is uniquely prepared to provide workforce development training and technical assistance to academic institutions, provider organizations and schools. Reach out to us with questions, or visit BHECN's website for more information.
Each newsletter we highlight our work in one of our core training areas: school mental health, integrated behavioral health in primary care, serious mental illness and behavioral health workforce development.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT
Dr. Brittany Liebsack
Brittany Liebsack, Ph.D., PLP, LMHP, is a faculty trainer for our Center's school mental health team, developing and providing training and technical assistance at the universal, targeted and intensive levels. Passionate about the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for children and their families, Dr. Liebsack says she is thrilled to be a part of our Center's efforts to implement comprehensive mental health programming via the most accessible mental health providers for youths and teens: our schools.

Throughout her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate research and clinical experiences, Dr. Liebsack became aware of and frustrated by the research-to-practice gap in the use of evidence-based practices in community settings and routine care. This led to her pursuit of graduate training and research interests in implementation, dissemination, and patient/family engagement in and barriers to treatment. Dr. Liebsack’s clinical interests include school mental health, integrated primary care, trauma/anxiety, and externalizing behavior. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at West Virginia State and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute, where she is now a postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Liebsack is a Nebraska native who is happy to be back in "The Good Life." She enjoys spending time with her family and pets, traveling and camping.
Each newsletter we shed light on an exceptional contributor to Mid-America MHTTC's mission. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured, please reply to this email.
You have reached the conclusion of this issue. Thank you for reading!
Mid-America MHTTC | 402.552.7697 | MHTTCnetwork.org/midamerica
The Mid-America Mental Health Technology Transfer Center is a SAMHSA-funded program at the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The Mid-America MHTTC provides training in evidence-based practices to the four-state area of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. 
Follow Mid-America MHTTC on social media