Case managers in the adopting organizations are trained to offer the Healthy IDEAS intervention, including how to conduct screening for depressive symptoms; use a standardized depression scale to asses severity of symptoms; provide education about signs of depression, depression treatment, and self-care; provide linkages to health or mental health care; teach clients how to self-manage their symptoms of depression using Behavioral Activation; coach and support clients as they pursue personal, meaningful goals; and monitor clients’ progress. Trained personnel of differing backgrounds and educational levels can administer the Healthy IDEAS program.

Training is viewed as a multiphase process for implementing organizations, as well as for the staff and supervisors who are acquiring new practice skills and learning this evidence-based program model. Your agency will use the Healthy IDEAS tools and resources and work with a Healthy IDEAS Trainer to be ready to embark on training.

Healthy IDEAS trainers are mental health professionals who have been trained to teach Healthy IDEAS. They conduct in-person, onsite, trainings for agencies that have completed the required implementation activities. More information about implementation is found under the program.

“Guided practice was most useful for me – it was particularly helpful when experts shared options for responses during the training workshop.”

Case manager at a North Carolina training

Training Requirements: A three-phase approach

Phase 1: Introductory Training

Agency staff and supervisors need overview training about depression and depression treatment in older adults, as well as the core components of the Healthy IDEAS program. Implementing agencies arrange for an in-service from a qualified professional, lasting from 1-3 hours, depending on local needs and interests.

Phase 2: Healthy IDEAS Intervention Training

Agencies work with a Healthy IDEAS trainer to choose one of two models for helping staff acquire the skills needed to deliver the intervention. The Traditional training model involves a two-day, in-person training workshop conducted in your local community by the trainer. The newer Hybrid training model consists of participants completing an online Healthy IDEAS course, followed by a more intense one day of skills practice.

Agency staff, supervisors, and the designated local clinical coach participate in the skills-based, face-to-face Healthy IDEAS Intervention Training. This training is delivered in an interactive group format involving a mixture of lecture; group discussion and practice; video case examples; role-play; demonstration; local client scenarios; and the Healthy IDEAS Intervention Manual, containing an overview of the program, scripts, descriptions, and guidelines for program components.

Phase 3: Follow-up Training

Ongoing follow-up training/coaching allows staff to address challenges they encounter and develop confidence and mastery of skills practiced during intervention training. This training is led by a local qualified trainer/coach to address questions or barriers that case managers are encountering and to prevent “drift” in staff skills. Local coaches can come from partnerships with local mental or behavioral health providers or be clinical staff from within the implementing agency. Potential trainers may have different professional backgrounds, such as clinical social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing, or psychiatry.