The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) awarded Better Brodhead a $500,000 4-year Mental Health Awareness Training grant (MHAT) on 31 December 2022.

The purpose of this project is to: (1) train individuals (e.g., school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, veterans, armed services members, and their families) to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, severe mental illness, and/or serious emotional disturbances; (2) establish linkages with school- and/or community-based mental health agencies to refer individuals with the signs or symptoms of mental illness to appropriate services; (3) train emergency services personnel, law enforcement, fire department personnel, veterans, and others to identify persons with a mental disorder and employ crisis de-escalation techniques; and (4) educate individuals about resources that are available in the community for individuals with a mental disorder. 

Better Brodhead will implement this project by providing three levels of training over the next four years in Green and Lafayette Counties to prepare and train people on how to respond to individuals appropriately and safely.  The grant funds will enable Better Brodhead to offer these training free of charge. 

The training we offer

~ASIST – Applied suicide intervention skills training~

ASIST is the gold-standard, 2-day interactive skills-based workshop that prepares participants to provide suicide first-aid using a unique 6-task model. After taking the course, you will have access to make necessary and appropriate mental health referrals to a team of mental health professionals we have partnered with in the area.

What will you learn?

ASIST participants will be better able to:

  • Provide a suicide first-aid intervention with increased willingness, confidence, and capacity.
  • Develop a safety plan to keep a person thinking about suicide safe-for-now.
  • Apply a safety framework to guide the collaborative development of this safety plan.

how asist makes communities safer:

Through extensive skills practice and trainer-facilitated workgroups, ASIST offers participants a life-assisting intervention model that contributes to the development of suicide-safer communities and an overall Network of Safety.


SafeTALK is a four-hour in-person training that prepares participants to be more alert to people thinking about suicide and better able to connect them to help. Powerful videos illustrate the importance of suicide alertness, while discussion and practice stimulate learning. Anyone 15+ years who is looking to build a culture of safety from suicide within their organization or community should take this class.

What will you learn?

SafeTALK participants will be better able to:

  • Reach out to someone thinking about suicide.
  • Promptly connect them to further support.
  • Overcome personal and community attitudes that act as barriers to help.
  • Learn the powerful 4-step TALK model.

How Safetalk makes communities safer:

SafeTALK prepares participants to raise and respond to concerns about suicide in everyday relationships. Participants will play a vital connector role in the network of safety, connecting those seeking help with those ready and able to provide it.


The start is a 90-minute online training that prepares participants to recognize when someone is having thoughts of suicide and take action to keep them safe. The program features built-in resources for help and safety and uses leading-edge online learning tools, including interactive simulations. Anyone 15+ years who wants to learn life-saving skills OR 13+ years with parental or caregiver guidance is encouraged to take this training.

What will you learn?

START trains participants to:

  • Read the signs of suicide.
  • Begin a direct and open conversation about suicide.
  • Facilitate a connection to further help.

How start makes communities safer

START will increase participants’ awareness of the many ways in which suicide can impact individuals within a community. After completing START, each participant will become a vital part of a network of safety, ensuring those people who are thinking about suicide feel less alone and access the help they need to keep safe and find hope.

If interested in any of these trainings please contact