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Training Offered by SAAC

Mental Health First Aid and MHFA for Public Safety / First Responders

Mental Health First Aid is a program that helps identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 8-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems. . Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.

Mental Health First Aid training for Public Safety Personnel and First Responders is also offered through a specialized curriculum specific to these professions. For a number of reasons, individuals experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders often have more contact with the criminal justice system than the general population does. Thus, the better prepared officers and staff are to respond effectively and appropriately, the more likely the interaction will be a positive one.

4 Reasons to Become a Mental Health First Aider

  1. Be prepared. When a mental health crisis happens, know what to do
  2. You can help. People with mental illnesses often suffer alone
  3. Mental illnesses are common. 1 in 5 adults in any given year.
  4. You care. Be there for a friend, family member, or colleague.

Length: 8 hour certification

Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Who should attend: Adults whom regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals, School Resource Officers – may find the course content useful.

Length: 8 hour certification


TIPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS)

TIPS is a dynamic, skills-based training program designed to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking by enhancing the fundamental "people skills" of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol. TIPS gives individuals the knowledge and confidence they need to recognize potential alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.

TIPS for On Premise:

This program is specifically designed for establishments where alcohol is being consumed. Employees will learn strategies that ensure responsible alcohol service, promote professionalism, and enhance customer service skills.
Length: 4 hours
Target Audience: Servers at restaurants, bars, hotels, grocery stores and other venders.

TIPS for Off Premise:

This program is specifically designed for establishments where alcohol is being purchased and not consumed. Staff and personnel will learn strategies for preventing illegal alcohol sales to underage and/or intoxicated patrons.
Length: 3 hours
Target Audience: Liquor and package stores, grocery stores and convenience stores.


QPR Training (Question, Persuade, Refer)

Suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), guided by certified trainers, is a program designed for everyone to learn what can be done to prevent suicide.

The ultimate goal of the QPR training is to help community members prevent suicide attempts and completions. As a result of this training, participants will be able to recognize risk factors and warning signs and understand the myths and facts associated with suicide. Knowledge of referral sources will be addressed as well as increasing intervention skills.
Length: 1 hour 30 minutes


Community Project(s)

Department of Public Health Tobacco Prevention Project

Photo Voice Project: Photovoice is a process by which communities can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. It entrusts cameras to the hands of people, in this case, students to enable them to act as recorders, and potential catalysts for social action and change, in their own communities.

This Photovoice Project will focus on community tobacco interventions. The benefits of policy change will be highlighted to restrict access to tobacco products by youth and prevent tobacco use initiation among youth and young adults.

Participating Communities

New Britain
CMHA/ Young Adult Program

CMHA’s Substance Abuse Action Council (SAAC) presents

Free Training for Tobacco Merchants

A presentation by Gregory Carver, DMHAS Program Coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program, and an opportunity to complete the
Tobacco Sales: Do the Right Thing Online Tobacco Retailer training.

RSVP online HERE.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Space is limited.

Monday, March 16
9:00 to 10:30 am 
Tunxis @ Bristol
430 North Main Street,
Bristol, CT
Computer Lab


Tuesday, March 17
9:00 to 10:30 am
Northwestern CT Community College
2 Park Place East,
Winsted, CT
Founders Hall Room 108

Local Drug Drop Boxes

drop box

Prevention Committee

The Prevention Committee provides a forum for discussion and implementation of prevention activities in fourteen towns: Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Harwinton, New Britain, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington, Barkhamsted, Colebrook, New Hartford, Norfolk, Torrington, and Winchester.

Each town is represented by a member or members of its Local Prevention Council (LPC). These councils are designated as such by the mayor and include members from schools, community, municipal and state agencies, parents, and other interested individuals. Monthly meetings allow for regular updates and communication between the LPC's.

The towns included in our communities are diverse in size, cultural makeup, and socioeconomic groups, yet we have common interests in decreasing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse. Our meetings allow for networking between the town and sharing of helpful ideas. As a committee of the SAAC, there is direct communication with other Regional Action Councils (RAC) and statewide agencies and programs. In addition, updates about pending legislation, public hearings, statewide events, and available grants are brought to the table.

The Prevention committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am at Plainville Youth Services.

Our Towns

Local Prevention Councils function at the local community level to provide primary prevention. SAAC serves as the liaison between the LPCs in our fourteen communities and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).
LPCs participate in the state-wide underage drinking and smoking prevention programs.

Youth Services Advisory Board
Berlin Youth Service
240 Kensington Rd.
Berlin 06037

Community Wellness Coalition
Bristol Chamber of Commerce (fiduciary)
200 Main St.
Bristol 06010

Drug Free School Council
Burlington Recreation Dept.
200 Spielman Hwy.
Burlington 06013

Commision on Youth Services
New Britain Youth Services
27 West Main St.
New Britain 06051

(Barkhamsted, Colebrook, New Hartford, Norfolk, Winchester)
Winchester Youth Service Bureau/
Northwest CT Drug & Alcohol Task Force
480 Main St.
Winsted 06098


Plainville Coalition for Positive Youth Development
c/o Plainville Youth Services
50 Whiting St., Plainville, CT 06062
c/o Plainville Community Schools
One Central Square, Plainville, CT 06062
(860) 793-3220

Advisory Council on Alcohol,
Tobacco and other Drugs
Plymouth Board of Education
77 Main St.
Terryville 06786

Southington Drug Task Force
Southington Youth Services Bureau
93 Main St.
Southington 06489

Torrington Substance Abuse Prevention Council
Torrington Youth Services
PO Box 204
Torrington, CT 06790

Contact Us

270 John Downey Drive
New Britain, CT 06051

  • 860.826.1358

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