Model Training Plan

Model Mental Health Training Program for Policy SHLT-003, SL 2019-245 and SL 2020-7 

The following guidance and resources have been compiled to assist public school units (PSUs) in implementing State Board of Education Policy SHLT-003, North Carolina SL 2019-245, and North Carolina SL 2020-7. These are in addition to universal promotion of mental and social-emotional wellness and prevention through core instruction, curriculum, and positive school climate which establish the foundation for student and staff wellness. Most of these courses/resources are aligned to the CORE SEL and Mental Wellness Supports in a strong local SEL and School Mental Health Improvement Plan. PSUs are encouraged to utilize the NC Healthful Living Essential Standards, Guidance Essential Standards and CASEL Core Competencies resources to support integration of mental and social-emotional wellness and prevention into academic instruction.

Training Selection and Implementation

In selecting trainings, look for programs that have evidence related to the desired outcomes and priority populations in your strategic plan., an interagency working group of 21 federal agencies, provides the following guidance on selecting evidence-based programs.

Considerations in selecting trainings:

  • The criteria used to designate programs as “evidence-based” vary across registries and reviews.
  • No registry or review includes a complete listing of all possible programs, so consult multiple sources.
  • Start with a needs assessment. Program registries and lists are useful tools, but thoughtful data-driven, strategic planning is most important in selecting trainings that best fit the needs of your school.
  • Look for programs that address the underlying risk and protective factors and the conditions that drive or contribute to the content area in your community or school.
  • Choose programs that match your population, setting, and culture and that are feasible in terms of capacity, resources, and readiness.

A list of evidence-based, evidence-supported trainings is included in this document. This list is not exhaustive and schools are not required to select from this list. Schools have the authority and responsibility to select evidence-supported, evidence-based trainings that best meet the needs of their school district. Note that some training options included are listed as General to indicate they are applicable for any school personnel. Others are listed as SISP Specific to indicate being primarily appropriate specifically for specialized instructional support personnel who serve in mental health related capacities within the schools. It is highly recommended that these specialized instructional support personnel also be aware of the training content being provided to other school personnel so that all staff have consistent information. Where appropriate, this might be accomplished by involving the specialized instructional support personnel in the delivery of professional learning opportunities for other school personnel.


All Personnel

  • Definition
  • National & State statistics
  • Myths & Facts
  • Risk Factors
  • Protective Factors
  • Respond to Warning Signs*
  • Resources

             * In addition to the areas included for all personnel, SISP training should be inclusive                 of the following within Respond to Warning Signs:
                •  SISP Roles
                •  Procedures/protocols
                •  Intervention Strategies
                •  Referral & Follow Up

Child Sexual Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention

  • Best practices from the field of prevention
  • The grooming process of sexual predators
  • The warning signs of sexual abuse and sex trafficking
  • How to intervene when sexual abuse or sex trafficking is suspected or disclosed
  • Legal responsibilities for reporting sexual abuse or sex trafficking, and available resources for assistance

Model Mental Health Training document available for download at the bottom of the page.

Legislated Trainings Required

Example No-Cost Resources

Full CFSS Resource Guide/RISE

Additional Resources
6 hrs. initial, 2 hrs subsequent annually per SHLT-003
Youth Mental Health GENERAL

Check with your LME/MCO, college and university partners, and/or area AHEC regarding whether they have staff available who can train on youth mental health.

Check professional association opportunities and resources

Mental Health to Support Student Learning: Training Modules for Educators and School-based Staff

MHTTC Classroom WISE
A mental health literacy course for teachers and school staff

SISP Specific

Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships Training and Access Project (TAP)

HealtheLearning Special Topics in Mental Health Services

HealtheLearning Girls Matter! Series

Advocating for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

ASCA Mental Health Webinar Recordings (note some require membership, but many do not)

Suicide Prevention GENERAL

Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention

Check with your LME/MCO, college and university partners, and/or area AHEC regarding whether they have staff available who can train on suicide prevention.

Check professional association opportunities and resources

Some human resource departments have added this training to their mandatory safety & compliance trainings (SafeSchools, Public Works, etc) 

RISE Training Guide

Suicide Prevention Training: Recognize, Ask, Care, Encourage

  •  2 hours
  •  Self-paced
  •  2 hours
  •  Self-paced

The Sandy Hook Promise SaySomething App Suicide Prevention videos may be used to supplement more in-depth training or as an introduction to staff discussions, planning and additional training.

SISP Specific

Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)

CALM: Counseling on Access to Lethal Means

HealtheLearning Suicide Prevention Across the Educational Continuum

For district leaders: Model School District Suicide Prevention Policy

Substance Abuse

RISE Training Guide

HealtheLearning Informing Prevention: Adolescent Webinar Series

Check professional association opportunities and resources
Teenage Dating Violence GENERAL

Framework for Developing School Policies to Address Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

Check professional association opportunities and resources

RISE Training Guide

CDC-dating Matters®: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention Training For Educators
  •  1 hour
  •  Self-paced
  •  0.2 CEU

Teacher Training: Teen Dating Violence Prevention Education

SISP Specific
Get Smart - Get Help - Get Safe: Preventing, Assessing, and Intervening in Teenage Dating Abuse - A Training for Specialized Instructional Support Personnel
In accordance with SL 2019-245 2 hrs every even numbered year
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Prevent Child Abuse NC Online Training

Check with your local Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Office regarding whether they have staff who can train on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.

Some human resource departments have added this training to their mandatory safety & compliance trainings (SafeSchools, Public Works, etc) 

Check professional association opportunities and resources

Sex Trafficking Prevention

RISE Training Guide

Human Trafficking in America’s Schools

Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and US DHHS
SOAR for School-Based Professionals

Some human resource departments have added this training to their mandatory safety & compliance trainings (SafeSchools, Public Works, etc) 

Check professional association opportunities and resources

Canvas Courses

Canvas courses are available to PSUs seeking to fulfill training requirements in any of the content areas listed below. Please use the link below to access the guide on how to load these courses into your districts Canvas offerings.

  • Suicide Prevention 
  • Substance abuse
  • Teenage dating violence   
  • Sex trafficking prevention

Canvas Course Information

Additional Resources:

Tab/Accordion Items

For a detailed guide on developing and implementing a comprehensive school mental health system, see the National School Mental Health Curriculum: Guidance and Best Practices for States, Districts, and Schools. This resource was developed by the National Center for School Mental Health in partnership with the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network Coordinating (MHTTC) Office. It describes the core components of developing, operating, and sustaining a comprehensive school mental health system in school districts. The curriculum guide contains eight modules designed for delivery in 60-minute in-service sessions by a school mental health trainer designee. It contains trainer and participant manuals (with slides, worksheets, and other resources referenced in the modules) and PowerPoint slides with presenter notes. 

A new guide, RESTART & RECOVERY (, highlights how state and local education agencies can use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to support student and staff mental health and wellbeing. It also explains how to leverage these one-time-only funds to access additional funding streams, such as Medicaid, to ensure efforts are sustained.

Developed by the Council for Chief State School Officers, Healthy Schools Campaign and National Center for School Mental Health, this guide provides an essential roadmap for strategic and sustainable investment that can help advance student and staff wellbeing and connection for years to come.

Learn more: RESTART & RECOVERY: Leveraging Federal COVID Relief Funding & Medicaid to Support Student & Staff Wellbeing & Connection

Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the purpose of the MHTTC Network is to disseminate and implement evidence-based practices for mental disorders into the field. The School Mental Health Resources page in particular includes numerous resources useful for schools.

The SHAPE System, developed by the NCSMH at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is a free, private, web-based portal that offers a virtual workspace for school mental health teams at school, district, and state levels to document, track, and advance quality and sustainability improvement goals as well as assess trauma responsiveness. The SHAPE System also offers access to free action planning, mapping, program implementation resources and other critical tools to advance comprehensive school mental health systems.

North Carolina’s Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) also locally known as NC Project ACTIVATE (Advancing Coordinated and Timely InterVentions, Awareness, Training, and Education) addresses the three tiers of mental health (promotion, prevention, and intervention) through a continuum of education, universal screening, and appropriate services and supports for all students in response to varying levels of need. Recognizing the interrelatedness of academic outcomes and mental health/well-being of students Project AWARE seeks to provide an embedded approach within an existing system (schools) versus fragmented and reactive approaches. Learn more and view their Year End Reports. 

Developed and supported by those affiliated with education, A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools outlines evidence-based policies and practices for improving school safety and increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth. This resource shares a comprehensive school-wide approach that facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and builds on a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) to improve school climate, safety, and learning as integrated endeavors.

The NC School Mental HealthInitiative (NC SMHI) is a partnership of concerned citizens with the collective purpose of ensuring that all children in North Carolina have access to mental health and substance use services. Information on related reports, data, and resources, including regional SMHI Networks, can be found in the SMHI LiveBinder.

AOTA School Mental Health Toolkit is a resource for occupational therapy practitioners working with children and youth in school and community settings to obtain specific knowledge about mental health (MH) promotion, prevention, and intervention and to guide service provision. Each information sheet in the toolkit provides an overview of the topic, implications for occupational therapy, and strategies for MH promotion, prevention, and intervention in a variety of settings.

The Enhancing School Staff Understanding of Mental Health and Psychosocial Concerns guide is designed to outline a variety of ways to play a significant role in providing inservice at schools. Seven delivery systems are highlighted. Basic guidelines are presented for enhancing inservice processes and content and countering tendencies toward over-emphasizing pathology and under-emphasizing environmental causes.

The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) offers information and technical assistance to States, districts, schools, institutions of higher learning, and communities focused on improving school climate and conditions for learning including, but not limited to, resources on promoting mental health, school climate, SEL, trauma-sensitive schools, substance abuse prevention, human trafficking, etc.