APU Hosts Faith-based SBIRT Training

by University Relations

APU hosted the first Faith and Spirituality Integrated SBIRT Network Training Summit at the beginning of the academic year. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, APU led the efforts in establishing this network—a partnership with five faith-based universities and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health—which provides information and support to allied health professionals as they care for their clients and patients through SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), a public health approach to treating those at risk for substance use disorders.

More than 40 faculty and staff trainers attended from the partner institutions—Azusa Pacific University; Biola University; California Baptist University; Concordia University Irvine; Fresno Pacific University; and La Sierra University—in preparation for implementing an interactive, internet-based SBIRT training program into courses and practice settings beginning this spring. The new program equips students in nursing, social work, and psychology as professionals prepared to engage in their work with cultural competence and the ability to integrate faith and spirituality when caring for people in a wide range of healthcare settings.

The summit introduced faculty and staff to the SBIRT concept—screening using standardized and validated tools, applying motivational interviewing as part of the Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment components, and integrating a cultural competency framework of faith and spirituality into SBIRT practice—and allowed attendees to practice using didactic role plays.

Faculty from APU’s Departments of Psychology, Graduate Psychology, and Social Work and the School of Nursing helped organize and lead the event, which included a core session, faith and spirituality components, and a practice panel that facilitated discussion regarding the implementation and sustainability of SBIRT training within social work, nursing, and psychology internship sites.

Visit sbirtfaithandspirituality.org for project and event information.