SBIRT Online Training to Be Piloted at CalSWEC Schools

A new online curriculum that will train social workers to assess clients for substance use and refer them to appropriate treatment will soon be piloted at CalSWEC schools of social work. 

The Screening Brief Interventions and Referral to Treatment, SBIRT, is a three-to-four-hour online training that uses advanced video gaming and artificial intelligence technologies to teach screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment, or SBIRT, skills.

The curriculum presents relevant situations that reflect real world circumstances that health professionals frequently encounter as behavioral health clinicians, health educators, nurses, physicians, dentists, and pharmacists. Learners are challenged to practice SBIRT skills using their own words in a variety of simulated interactions.

The training was developed in collaboration with leading SBIRT experts and trainers from SBIRT Colorado, Peer Assistance Services, Inc., MedRespond, University of Pittsburgh, and the BIG Initiative at NORC at the University of Chicago

CalSWEC Mental Health Committee member Michael Brooks, Director of Policy and Business Development at the Center for Clinical Social Work, brought the idea for SBIRT training to the committee because CalSWEC offers a systemic approach to reach many social work students and faculty.

The curriculum was reviewed by a Mental Health Committee work  group composed of Mr. Brooks; Dr. Beverly Buckles, Loma Linda University; Dr. Susan Einbinder, CSU, Dominguez Hills; Dr. Eric Goplerud, NORC; Dr. Marvin Southard, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; and Dr. Sarah Taylor, CSU, East Bay.  

Based on the work group report to the Mental Health Committee in September, the full committee recommended that the CalSWEC Board of Directors approve the Mental Health Program's effort to make the SBIRT training available on a trial basis to member schools. 

More information about participation will be sent to the schools soon.

For more information:

Gwen Foster, Director, Mental Health Program