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Training and Other Community Programs

Valley Community Services Board has always valued itself on being a local resource for educating the public about the nature of mental illness, substance use, and developmental delays to dispel stereotypes and to encourage support for those facing these challenges. Knowledge is truly power and we strive to ensure our community members are the most knowledgeable when it comes to preventing and helping those facing behavioral health and/or developmental disability needs. Please see below for more information about all the great training and outreach provided in our community.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing and mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. Valley CSB has trainers certified to provide the specialized Adult Mental Health First Aid Course, the Youth Mental Health First Aid course and the Veterans Mental Health First Aid Course. To learn more, click here.

For questions or to schedule your course, call our Community Liaison at 540-213-7325.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is for everyone 16 or older—regardless of prior experience—who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community. To learn more, click here.

For more information about ASIST, please call our Prevention Services Coordinator at 540-213-7599. To learn more about other services our Prevention Department offers, please click here.

Crisis Intervention Training, better known as CIT, is a collaborative effort between Mental Health Professionals from Valley CSB and local Criminal Justice Professionals. This 40 hour training is designed to give officers and other first responders the knowledge and skills to better respond to a person experiencing a substance use or psychiatric emergency. The team provides trainings for 8 different law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities and hospitals. Blue Ridge CIT was fortunate enough to win the Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety award by EMS in 2015. To read more about that, please click here. If you are a police officer, law enforcement professional, or emergency first responder (fire, medical) and are interested in learning more about our local CIT programs, please feel free to call Valley CSB's Community Liaison at 540-213-7325.

Lock and Talk is a local initiative to decrease occurrences of completed suicide and increase suicide prevention awareness. This initiative is a collaboration between the State Health Planning Region 1, Suicide Prevention Committee and Valley CSB Prevention Services.

Lock and Talk provides education and tools regarding "Means Safety". This is defined as keeping the lethal means in which most use to attempt or complete suicide can be kept safe by family, friends and local professionals.

They provide safety devices such as medication lock boxes, trigger locks/ cables, support material and consultation. They also provide trainings to the community; to include Mental Health First Aid, ASIST, SafeTalk, and SuicideTALK. For more information, please call the Prevention Coordinator at 540-292-0013, click on the Facebook link (left), or visit their website here.

Audience Specific Trainings

In addition to the pre-designed trainings that Valley CSB provides (see above), we also provide tailored and audience specific presentations, seminars and trainings. We have been able to provide trainings and presentations ranging from an orientation of services and resources to mental wellness educational seminars to more clinical knowledge and skills based trainings. Our staff have provided these organizational-centered trainings to educational and college staff, medical staff, government employees, etc. To summarize, no matter if you are a butcher, a baker or a candle stick maker, if you are interested in increasing your knowledge and/or skills set regarding mental health, substance use and/or intellectual disabilities, then our staff can design something for you! For more information, please call our Community Liaison at 540-213-7325.

Community Outreach mostly means going out into the community, but sometimes it can be brining the community to you! Valley Community Services Board has partnered with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). The local NAMI chapter, NAMI "We Care Augusta", holds their FREE monthly community meetings here at Valley CSB in our main conference room. This community meeting is open to the public. It is held on every third Tuesday of the month from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Guest speakers attend to discuss local resources, therapies, medications, treatment options....everything! There is then social networking time set aside following the guest presentation along with free refreshments. Like Valley CSB's Facebook page to follow news and updates. To learn more, please call our Community Liaison at 540-213-7325.

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