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January 2022 Newsletter

Reminder: Changes to MHRT/C & MHRT I

At the risk of sounding redundant, this newsletter highlights a few policy changes to the MHRT certification programs, as well as things to remember when applying for certification.

The MHRT/Community (MHRT/C) certification program offers three pathways to certification, as of November 1, 2021.

  1. Pathway A – complete an approved academic program or degree
  2. Pathway B – hold a four-year or higher social services related academic degree or a full LSW
  3. Pathway C

a) hold a two-year social services related academic degree, or
b) complete at least 30 social services related academic credits, or
c) hold a four-year or higher unrelated academic degree, or
d) have at least one-year of related work experience in adult behavioral health services

Pathways A and B are for full certification, and Pathway C is provisional certification. Center for Learning (CFL) staff reviews all applications and official transcripts to identify any gaps in required competency domains. (There are eight domains.) Depending on an individual’s pathway, they might have outstanding requirements to complete within a certain timeframe, which CFL clearly outlines in a letter to each applicant.

Pathways B and C must complete the free, one-hour, online module “An Introduction to Maine’s Mental Health System 101.” Here is the link to access the module.

Pathway C applicants must complete any outstanding Priority Domains (1, 2, & 3) within 90 days. Those issued a Provisional MHRT/C prior to November 1, 2021 are already on the best pathway to reach Full MHRT/C. The 90-day requirement to complete the Priority Domains does not apply to the following: Provisional MHRT/C certificates issued prior to November 1, 2021 or Provisional MHRT/C certificates issued to current students in Pathway A programs.

Important reminder: An applicant must submit all of the required documentation as one application in order to have it reviewed. Partial applications delay the review process.

Once an applicant meets all Eight Domains, they receive a full certificate, which requires renewal every two years with 18 hours of continuing education. The next newsletter will focus on continuing education.

For more information on how to meet the MHRT/C requirements, please visit our MHRT/C Webpage.

MHRT I Updates

The latest updates to the MHRT I certification program, announced recently by the Office of Behavioral Health, include:

  1. As of November 1, 2021, CRMA course is no longer required to earn or maintain full MHRT I certification. It is required for staff who pass medication.
  2. Agencies may utilize live virtual training platforms for behavioral intervention programs such as MANDT, through March 31, 2022. Agencies will need to follow up with an in-person session to ensure staff have training in the use of appropriate behavioral intervention techniques, when it is safe to do so.
  3. There are three online, and two blended, adult First Aid and CPR courses approved through March 31, 2022. These links can be found on our CPR/First Aid webpage.
  4. NEW: Individuals who have been out of the field for at least six months with a lapsed full or provisional MHRT I, may be eligible for a one-time short-term (up to three months) provisional certification in order to update their required training for full certification. The application from the agency must include a clear training plan (courses and dates) and a Provisional MHRT I certificate for the time period requested signed by the agency representative and the employee. Additionally, the agency must include documentation that the individual has been out of the field for six months. The individual must complete all of the following that are not current within that three-month provisional time-frame:

    First Aid
    Behavioral Intervention Training
    Maine’s Mental Health System 101
    Skill Development for Work in Residential Settings
    and The Introduction to Substance use Disorders in the Direct Service Worker Trainings

*–Full MHRT I certificate holders who completed Residential Care Specialist (RCS) who cannot locate their RCS certificate MUST complete MHSS.

For more information on the MHRT I certification program, please visit the MHRT I webpage.

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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