Course for Direct Support Professionals

Next course begins september 5


The course consists of 6 weekly, webinar-style sessions via Zoom (105 minutes each) where the course facilitator will demonstrate how the information reviewed during sessions can be applied in the day-to-day support of people with IDD-MH. Each session will host 75-minutes of instruction and a 30-minute office hour session will follow for more in depth discussion with questions and answers.

Registration is $149 per person and participants can receive University of New Hampshire Continuing Education Units and a Certificate of Completion for MHIDD Training for Direct Support Professionals.

Facilitators: Lacey Eaton, Micah Peace Urquilla, Anne LaForce

Who Should Participate?

It is highly recommended for the following providers:

  • Direct Support Professionals (both MH and IDD)
  • Functional Support Specialists (both MH and IDD)
  • Residential/AFL/home care providers & staff
  • Day habilitation & residential supervisors

Contact for more information.

Session 1: Foundations I: Introduction to the Course & Guiding Principles

  • Course Overview
  • Positive Psychology & other Guiding Principles (Positive Psych/Strengths-based, Family & Person-centered, Cultural & Linguistic Competency, Trauma-Informed, Biopsychosocial, Wellness-based)

Session 2: Foundations II: Overview of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and Common Vulnerabilities

  • Overview of IDD & Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Core BioPsychoSocial Vulnerabilities of IDD (Executive Functioning, communication, sensory)

Session 3: Foundations III: Mental Health Aspects of IDD

  • Identifying signs and symptoms related to mental health
  • Overview of the most common mental health diagnoses: Anxiety, Depression & Trauma
  • Exploring how core vulnerabilities of IDD impact mental health

Session 4: Foundations IV:  Mental Health Aspects of IDD

  • Trauma
  • Emotional Regulation

Session 5: Therapeutic Interventions I

  • Positive Identity Development
  • Trauma Informed Care in Action (resiliency)
  • Promoting Wellness (PERMA+)

Session 6: Therapeutic Interventions II

  • Emotion Recognition & Regulation
  • Relaxation & Stress Reduction
  • Creative Expression

Course Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will….

  • Demonstrate an understanding of IDD and the presentation of mental health conditions
  • Demonstrate a biopsychosocial understanding of an individual’s strengths and vulnerabilities
  • Apply strengths-based therapeutic practices, interventions and skills to support individuals
  • Effectively facilitate therapeutic activities
  • Engage in positive and wellness-focused interactions with individuals, families, and colleagues

Continuing Education

This course is designed to improve the supports provided to individuals who experience IDD-MH by….

  • Enhancing DSPs’ understanding of important aspects related to wellness and positive supports for people with IDD-MH
  • Equipping DSPs with practical approaches to use in their daily work
  • Increasing job satisfaction and preventing burnout
  • Providing assurance to supervisors that DSPs are adequately trained and equipped to provide quality, strengths-based supports

Participants who attend all 6 sessions of this course will receive a Center for START Services Certificate of Completion and 0.75 CEUs from the University of New Hampshire (CEUs are available for individual sessions).