August 2021 Newsletter

Recent Surveys Conducted on the Effectiveness of Various Training Modalities

AdCare Educational Institute Survey

The Maine Behavioral Health Workforce Development Collaborative conducted a short survey of Maine’s behavioral health workforce on the subject of training modalities. The pandemic made it necessary to transition all behavioral health trainings and conferences to the virtual realm over the past 16 months. As Maine begins to emerge from the pandemic and as businesses and other institutions begin to re-open, the Collaborative solicited feedback from the field regarding the delivery of training in the months and year ahead. This survey addressed comfort levels with different types and mixes of training modalities, between in-person, virtual, and hybrid (part in-person and part virtual). Additionally, it gauged the effectiveness of virtual training on professional development.

Over 750 people responded! A majority of respondents (over 50%) indicated a high-level of interest and support for “in-person conferences and a mix of in-person trainings and virtual trainings” and a “hybrid mixture having various combinations.” Thirty-eight percent (38%) of respondents indicated a high interest in in-person trainings and conferences, while twenty-nine% (29%) had little or no interest in this option.

Least popular among the options listed were all trainings and conferences being in-person without a virtual option or regular trainings remaining fully virtual.

AdCare Educational Institute is in the process of summarizing the feedback. Keep an eye out for the final report.

Muskie School Center for Learning Survey

Prior to this survey, the Muskie School Center for Learning did a similar query among MHSS and MHRT/C non-academic curricula trainers.  There were 56 total responses.  Almost two-thirds (63%) of the trainers who responded indicated that they would consider a hybrid approach to training, while sixteen percent (16%) would not consider this option. Twenty percent (20%) stated that it would depend on the particular course.

With regard to safety, almost half (46%) of survey respondents indicated that they currently feel “very safe” with face-to-face training, and 39% feel “somewhat safe.” Fifteen percent (15%) feel either “somewhat unsafe” or “very unsafe” and would not conduct face-to-face training at this time.

When asked what their training plans are in the future, 40% of respondents specified that they were planning to offer face-to-face training, 33% will conduct virtual training, and 27% intend to deliver a hybrid training option.

It is important to note that both of these surveys were sent in June and early July, prior to the beginning of the Delta variant surge.  It is likely that some of the data and responses would be different had the surveys been conducted in the latter half of July.

Overall findings of both surveys reflect that the majority of the behavioral health workforce favors a hybrid or mix of online and in-person training.  Respondents are interested in returning to face-to-face learning at some point in the coming months, but are content to continue with a strictly virtual training format for the immediate future.  These data highlight the importance of ongoing discussions around how best to offer quality training for the behavioral health workforce, including improving upon existing virtual models as well as researching and designing new blended models of training delivery.

REMINDER: MHRT/C certificate holders may continue to complete the entire 18-hour Continuing Education requirement online, until further notice. We will send out advance notice when OBH reinstates the face-to-face requirement. Please remember that at least four (4) of these hours must be in Ethics.

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