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17:47 PM

GSU Launches Substance Use Disorder Training


Many healthcare disciplines interact with individuals with various substance use disorders and don’t realize it.

 “They begin to wonder why the clients do not respond to treatment plans quite the way they should,” said Nancy Burley, University Lecturer in the Department of Addiction Studies and Behavioral Health at Governors State University (GSU). “An occupational therapist or physical therapist might find their client has fallen again or complains of increased sleep or anxiety. Asking the right questions and being able to help the patient or client identify their problems can help create better outcomes.”

To that end, GSU is working to increase the number of health practitioners who are trained in recognizing those disorders with a free virtual course.

Made possible through a SAMHSA grant, the series of nine online training modules, titled Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), gives students the tools to identify people with SUDs and to refer them to the appropriate type and level of treatment, according to College of Education Dean Shannon Dermer.

“The College of Health and Human Services and College of Education united to create a unique training program tailored to train counselors, occupational therapists, and physical therapists in understanding and assessing substance misuse,” Dermer said. “The comprehensive, online training that includes powerpoint slides, video demonstrations for each profession, assessments of knowledge, and instructor materials allows pre-professionals at GSU and other universities to gain a lot of knowledge in a time-efficient, engaging, and easily accessible manner.”

The free training can be found here.