This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The Institute for Family Professionals (IFP) offers these three courses, which must be taken in sequence, to teachers, counselors and others in the School District:
1. “Enhancing Trauma Awareness,” which the IFP says brings participants to the level of “trauma-informed.”
2. “Deepening Trauma Awareness,” leading to the level of “trauma-sensitive.”
3. “Applying Trauma Principles,” leading to the level of “trauma-competent.”
The IFP also offers a two-hour workshop, held at a school’s location. Called “An Overview of Trauma-Informed Care,” this class brings participants to the level of “trauma-aware.”
Other courses offered “may at times include some trauma information as appropriate to the topic,” said Beth Hall, IFP director of administration.
As of March 31, all professional educators in buildings with 6th-12th graders were trained in suicide awareness and prevention in compliance with Pennsylvania Act 71.
All new employees will be required to take online suicide-prevention training equivalent to that before starting work. The District also plans two hours of refresher training on suicide awareness and prevention every other year.
In addition, about 1,500 District employees are trained in Mental Health First Aid, which essentially is CPR for behavioral health.