Education and Training

Vaya Health’s educational trainings can help you better understand mental health challenges, substance use disorders, intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and how to address them with hope and compassion. Our goal is to help people use their new knowledge on the job, at home, at school, and in other settings so they can better support family, friends, and others in their communities.

Our training and education courses are designed to meet individual needs. Classes take place throughout our region and focus on a variety of topics.

Please note: Vaya’ sunsetted our North Carolina Peer Support Specialist (PSS) training curriculum in 2023.

Learning and Development

Mental Health First Aid is a certified, evidence-based, best-practice training that teaches people how to identify potential risk factors, warning signs, and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorders. The training explores skills for reaching out and providing initial help and support to someone who may be experiencing a substance use or mental health challenge and/or crisis. Participants learn a five-step action plan and are provided resources where they can find additional support.

Mental Health First Aid is available in both youth and adult sessions.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Eight consecutive hours or two sessions of four hours each

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person only*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Mental Health First Aid training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is an innovative, first-responder model for police-based crisis interventions to help people with mental health and/or substance use disorders access treatment. It is a community-based partnership that promotes both officer safety and the safety of the person in crisis.

The CIT model reduces stigma and provides a forum for effective problem-solving. CIT participants learn techniques to safely de-escalate situations through classroom education and role-play scenarios.

Intended Audience: Law enforcement/first responder agencies

Length of Training: 40-hour week

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person only*

Visit the Crisis Intervention Team Training page of our website to learn more. Contact CIT@vayahealth.com if you have questions or wish to register for CIT training.

Question, Persuade, Refer, is a certified, evidence-based, best practice training that teaches people how to respond to someone in crisis and help prevent suicide. Participants learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, ask the right questions, persuade a person to get help, and refer an individual to the right resources. Just like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, people trained in QPR can help save a life.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Two hours

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention and email it to training@vayahealth.com. You may also visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings.

Psychosis Simulation is an experiential training that involves an interactive simulation of hearing voices. Participants will learn about psychosis and review signs, symptoms, risk factors, prevalence, and potential treatment options.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: 90 minutes

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person only*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Psychosis Simulation training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

This training gives people a basic understanding of the impact that trauma and other adverse life events can have on an individual’s life, an introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), simple and practical strategies for engaging in communication around experiences of trauma, resiliency, and the role of self-care.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Looking in the Mirror: Self-Care and Trauma training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Disable the Label: Stuck in Stigma

People living with mental illness, substance use disorder, I/DD, and/or TBI exhibit behaviors that others may not understand. Therefore, individuals may experience discrimination and misunderstanding from others. This interactive training will present and discuss issues of stigma, introduce participants to person-first language, and explore how awareness can lead to understanding in communities.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Two hours

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Disable the Label: Stuck in Stigma training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

NC Innovations Waiver and the Innovations Waiver Waitlist

Participants will receive an overview of the NC Innovations Waiver and the Innovations Waiver Waitlist, learn how to apply for the waitlist, and become familiar with services available through NC Innovations. 

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: 90 minutes

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Visit the NC Innovations Waiver and Innovations Waiver Waitlist page of our website to learn more. Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for NC Innovations Waiver and the Innovations Waiver Waitlist and email it to training@vayahealth.com. You may also visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings.

Behavioral Health 101

Participants receive a basic overview of some of the most common behavioral health diagnoses in the United States, such as depression and anxiety. The training consists of recognizing and understanding key signs and symptoms of a person experiencing a behavioral health challenge and/or crisis. Participants receive some key resources, including self-care and recovery principles.  

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: 90 minutes

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Behavioral Health 101 training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

CRM, developed by the Trauma Resource Institute, trains participants in their community to understand the biology of traumatic stress reactions and learn specific skills to help adults and children return their body, mind, and spirit to balance after experiencing traumatic events or loss after natural and human-made disasters.

CRM’s goal is to help to create “trauma-informed” and “resiliency-focused” communities that share a collective understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored or increased using this skill-based approach.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Six hours

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually* 

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Community Resiliency Model® training and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders in children. This training covers the impacts of mental health disorders as well as skills for responding to children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Participants define active listening and discuss barriers to effective communication. This training covers active listening techniques as well as benefits of active listening that help in responding to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Active Listening and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Participants learn how to recognize the signs of stress, manage triggers of stress, and discuss strategies for coping with stress.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Two hours

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Complete Vaya’s Community Training Intake Form to request group instruction for Self-Care and email it to training@vayahealth.com.

Member Engagement

This presentation gives people general information about Vaya Health — including how to contact Vaya, what populations Vaya serves, and an overview of health plans Vaya manages. Participants will have a better understanding of who we are and the individuals we serve.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This presentation is offered in person or virtually by request*

Contact MemberEngagement@vayahealth.com if you have questions or to request the Vaya Health 101 presentation.

PCT Training is a two-day training that introduces the basic principles of PCT. Vaya trainers review and discuss the origins, research, and values of PCT and provide an essential framework for effectively supporting a person in navigating life’s challenges and opportunities.


Intended Audience: Network providers
Length of Training: Two days
Cost: Free
*This training is offered in person or virtually*
You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings.

Member Engagement

This presentation gives people general information about Vaya Health — including how to contact Vaya, what populations Vaya serves, and an overview of health plans Vaya manages. Participants will have a better understanding of who we are and the individuals we serve.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This presentation is offered in person or virtually by request*

Contact MemberEngagement@vayahealth.com if you have questions or to request the Vaya Health 101 presentation.

System of Care

This training introduces people to System of Care elements, values, and principles. System of Care is a network of community-based services and supports organized to meet the needs of families who are involved with multiple child service agencies, such as child welfare, mental health, schools, and juvenile justice. Participants learn strategies for partnering with their Child and Family Teams to ensure support is effective and built on a child’s strengths.

Intended Audience: Parents, family members, advocates, network providers, and other agencies that work with youth and families

Length of Training: 90 minutes

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Visit the System of Care page of our website to learn more. Contact SystemOfCare@vayahealth.com if you have questions or to register for An Introduction to System of Care training.  

Developed in partnership with families in North Carolina, this two-day experiential training gives parents, caregivers, and professionals an overview of Child and Family Team meetings from the family’s perspective and teaches strategies and facilitation skills to support children, youth, and families. This training seeks to reinforce the idea of “one family, one plan” by addressing Child and Family Teams through the lens of multiple systems.

Intended Audience: Parents, family members, advocates, network providers, and other agencies that work with youth and families

Length of Training: Two days (seven hours each day)

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually* 

Contact provider.training@vayahealth.com if you have questions, or to register for An Introduction to Child and Family Teams: A Cross System Training from the Family’s Perspective (CFT I) training.

Introduction to Child and Family Teams II is a two-day interactive training where people build and practice the facilitation skills learned in CFT Part I. Participants should come prepared to practice different facilitation skills as well as portions of a Child and Family Team Meeting. Trainers will provide opportunities for connection, introspection, conversation, and exploration.

Intended Audience: Parents, family members, advocates, network providers, and other agencies that work with youth and families

Length of Training: Two days (seven hours/day)

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

Contact Provider.Training@vayahealth.com if you have questions, or to register for An Introduction to Child and Family Teams: A Cross System Training from the Family’s Perspective (CFT II) training.

WRAP is an evidence-based practice developed by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery intended to help people enhance their overall wellness and learn skills and strategies for reaching their full potential. WRAP is open to individuals who want to decrease troubling feelings or behaviors and achieve life goals.

Intended Audience: General public

Length of Training: Two days (six hours each day)

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Email SOC@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Geriatric and Adult Mental Health Specialty Team

Vaya’s Geriatric and Adult Mental Health Specialty Team (GAMHST) provides education, support, and consultation to agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age who are experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns.

All GAMHST courses are evidence-informed, meaning they are derived from evidence-based research and incorporated into a user-friendly format focused on promoting adaptive outcomes. All courses offer contact hours approved by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR).

Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com for more information on all GAMHST trainings.

To refer a caregiver for consultation, please complete the GAMHST Referral Form and send it to Vaya by our confidential fax number at 1-877-355-2436 or by secure email to geriatric.team@vayahealth.com. We will contact you within three business days from the date the referral form is received.

This introductory course aims to educate individuals on the most common mental health diagnoses among the older population, along with treatment options to help overcome stigma. Variations between mental health and illness will be considered.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually* 

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

The utilization of antipsychotic medications is accompanied by many challenges when treating older people. This course focuses on the classifications of medication, indications for use, and potential side effects. Emphasis is on the vulnerabilities of using antipsychotics for this demographic.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

A growing number of people report experiencing anxiety symptoms in recent years. This course examines anxiety as it disproportionately affects the older population and explores traditional and alternative treatments for symptom management.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions

Having extreme mood changes can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to function in life. This cycle is difficult to stabilize without proper treatment. This course looks at the causes, symptoms, and current treatment options for the older adult.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

When communication isn’t working, relationships tend to unravel. Effective communication cultivates strong relationships and supports one’s voice being heard. This curriculum is designed to look at ways to neutralize barriers to communication and methods to enhance clear, concise, and deliberate communication between older adults and their caregivers.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

This course covers a variety of complementary treatments for overall mental health that can support managing everyday stressors and improving wellness. These treatments can create opportunities for balance, stability, and stress reduction. Join us to explore topics from nutrition to mindfulness and many in between.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Substance use is a reality in every community. Possibly you or someone in your life has been impacted by the challenges of substance use and addiction. This course identifies common substances, addiction development, and their impact on families and communities. The focus is on the older adult population regarding identification, safety, treatment, and recovery.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Receiving a chronic illness diagnosis can produce a range of emotional responses. In this training, we will explore the physical and mental impact of these conditions. Understanding can help us remain proactive, be resilient and promote better outcomes.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Have you ever had a secret you were too embarrassed to share? Those who hoard may not disclose symptoms due to potential embarrassment, judgment, and ridicule. This presentation explores causes, symptoms, treatment, and care methods for those managing this condition. The focus is on the older population.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. When excessive, it can negatively impact one’s quality of life. This course explores medications used to treat anxiety, specifically in the older population. The training also explores effective therapies and potential medication side effects.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Managing mood disorders can be a balancing act. This course provides information about the role medications play in maintaining equilibrium. It also teaches the importance of observing medication responses and monitoring for side effects. The training also reviews alternative evidence-based strategies to support mood stabilization.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Depression is common in older adults and often overlooked or misdiagnosed. This course explores risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options. Care providers receive tips on how to support others experiencing depression.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

This course is designed to increase the understanding of neurocognitive disorders and dementia. The curriculum examines the four most diagnosed types of neurocognitive disorders in older adults, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options. Also included are intervention strategies to support adaptive care delivery.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Did you know misuse of medications is a growing problem in older adults? This course will review how the aging process can lead to unintentional misuse and adverse changes to the brain. We discuss interventions and methods available to support the reduction of this evolving concern.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

OCD: Thought-Behavior Cycle

When intrusive thoughts create increased anxiety and overwhelming emotion, it can lead to compulsive behavior. This thought-behavior cycle can be overpowering to individuals, negatively affecting one’s ability to function in daily life. This class focuses on obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms and evidence-based treatment options.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

An individual can experience a crisis suddenly and without warning, especially when symptoms of a mental illness are involved. As a caregiver or responder, possessing skills that support de-escalation is imperative. Did you know that you can help? This course provides information about crises in older adults, barriers to de-escalation, and specific methods of stabilizing support.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Supporting an older adult with a personality disorder can be challenging. This training looks at specific personality disorders, what to expect, and treatment options. It also includes tips for making interactions smoother and more effective.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

When trauma occurs, it can have lasting effects on the person who experiences it and their caregiver. This presentation defines posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reviews the impact of trauma, and highlights treatment options and self-care strategies related to older adults.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Conversations about suicide are not always comfortable; however, having the dialogue opens the door for help. This course focuses on warning signs, adaptive responses, and prevention methods for aging individuals at risk of suicide.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Dementia can be a complex journey for the caregiver and care recipient. As research continues to reveal more, it’s imperative to remain informed to provide the best care. This presentation focuses on current medications and treatment protocols for the most diagnosed neurocognitive disorders.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

Dementia can be a complex journey for the caregiver and care recipient. As research continues to reveal more, it’s imperative to remain informed to provide the best care. This presentation focuses on current medications and treatment protocols for the most diagnosed neurocognitive disorders.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.

People living with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders have been misunderstood throughout history. This presentation focuses on the manifestation of symptoms, causality, and risk factors. We also explore ways to support and treat an individual experiencing psychosis.

Intended Audience: Agencies and care providers of persons at least 60 years of age experiencing mental health, substance use, dementia, or other emotional/behavioral concerns

Length of Training: One hour

Cost: Free

*This training is offered in person or virtually*

You may visit our Calendar of Events for scheduled trainings. Contact geriatric.team@vayahealth.com if you have questions.