Multiple challenges face communities in accessing mental health. Existing resourcesand trainings often focus on crisis needs and immediate suicide risk. However, many people suffer from distress and moderate depression or anxiety, sometimes acutely and/or undiagnosed, that significantly impact their health and well-being. Mental health functions on a spectrum.
COMET™ (Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory) teaches people how to intervene when they encounter someone who is in a “vulnerable space” and help shift the person’s mental health trajectory back to a place of wellness instead of proceeding towards a mental health crisis.
COMET™helps fill a gap and is a strong complement to other strategies to reduce the suffering resulting from the high levels of stress in rural, agricultural communities.
COMET aligns with cultural values of neighbor helping neighbor and communities being their own best resource. COMET empowers friends and neighbors to be more prepared to support others’ mental health needs –especially before a crisis. COMET does not to ask community members to “be the fix”or have all the answers. Rather, the program trains community members to initiate a supportive interaction for a potentially emotional conversation using a simple, conversational seven-question guide.
COMET is easy to teach and aims to make these tools more accessible to a broader community. Trainees have included farmers/ranchers, law enforcement, coroners, health care professionals, teachers, office staff, and retail workers.
COMET trainings are 90-minutes and include experiential and didactic sections. Ideally, trainings are delivered in-person; however, virtual versions of both trainings are available.
1. “COMET Community Training”: For community members to learn and use the COMET Questions.
Delivered by a two-person training team.
2. COMET “Train-the-Trainer” (TTT) Program: Trains local community members to successfully deliver the COMET Community Training.
Provides Regional Trainers with program background, key concepts, and a thorough review of content and COMET questions.
Identifies opportunities for local tailoring, such as local resources and health providers to which people can be referred.
IT MATTTRs™ helps communities and primary care practices reduce suffering from opioid dependence and use disorder (OUD).This program helps communities change the conversation around opioids and treatment and trains and supports primary care and behavioral health practice teams so that effective, outpatient treatment is locally available.
Developed by community members, OUD experts, and health researchers, IT MATTTRs™offers a host of evidence-based materials and resources to inform community members and increase access to local medication assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD in your community.
Primary care practices can play a key role in reducing a huge nationwide treatment gap for OUD. Over 40 primary care practices have been trained in the IT MATTTRs™ Practice Team Training, which provides information, implementation support, and resources that primary care practices need to provide treatment for opioid dependence and OUD. This training, and our Train the Trainer Program, help practices be part of the local solution.
Using a community-based participatory research method called Boot Camp Translation, a community-based awareness and action intervention around MAT for OUD has been developed for the IT MATTTRs™ program. Community-based campaigns were developed to change the conversation in rural communities around OUD, and increase awareness, knowledge, and utilization of MAT in rural local primary care practices. A variety of printed materials were created for the IT MATTTRs™ community intervention, including coasters, posters, program inserts, restaurant placemats, newspaper articles, letters to judges, movie advertisements, and websites.
Rural Diabetes One Day Education and Support Program (R-D1D)
Diabetes is more common in rural areas than the rest of the state. While diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is an evidence-based standard of care in optimal diabetes management, many people living in rural communities often do not have access to DSMES locally and it may not be culturally relevant, or integrated into the primary care practices where patients receive their diabetes care.
A time-efficient DSMES program delivered in English and Spanish via telehealth that encourages care partners and peer support is a creative solution to increasing access to DSMES and reducing the negative health outcomes associated with diabetes.
Working with community partners, this study will adapt, implement, and evaluate an existing DSMES program, called Diabetes One Day, for use in rural communities and practices. The program, called the Rural Diabetes One Day (R-D1D) will be implemented in two clinics in rural Eastern Colorado. The results of this study will inform a larger-scale study and, ultimately, the sharing and spread of this Rural-Diabetes One Day program throughout eastern Colorado and other rural regions of the country.