Classes, trainings, and talks

Suicide prevention training

Connections offers free suicide prevention training. The hour-long training is held twice monthly on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon at the Health District offices, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins.

Called QPR Training, this suicide prevention training teaches participants how to question people about suicide, persuade them to accept professional help, and refer them to community resources. Key subjects covered include:

  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior
  • The warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

Trainings are held at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins.

Evening trainings are held on Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Upcoming trainings:

  • August 21
  • October 16
  • December 4

Daytime trainings are held on Wednesdays, noon-1 p.m.
Upcoming trainings:

  • September 16
  • November 14

There is no cost, but registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Emily Leetham at or 970-494-4370. Light snacks will be provided.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour, evidenced-based course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems; builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of appropriate supports. Participants learn how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.

Those who practice mental health first aid do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers people concrete tools and answers key questions such as “What do I do?” and “Where can someone find help?”

The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people, such as parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other community providers.

The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, and disruptive disorders (including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

These trainings are free, but space is limited. Snacks are included. All trainings are held at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins, unless otherwise noted. or more information or to reserve a spot, contact Emily Leetham at 970-530-2883 or

Upcoming trainings:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid , Thursday, Sept. 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mental Health First Aid, Monday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid, Thursday, Sept. 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parent Education Speaker Series

The Health District is offering a series of free, evening talks for parents on mental health and substance use topics. Dinner is included. The talks are 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins, unless otherwise noted. They are organized by the Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Connections (CAYAC) service at the Health District’s Connections program.

Topics include:

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
"How to Talk to a Loved One about Eating and Body Issues"

Presenter: Rebekah Knight-Baughman, Ph.D., Licensed psychologist

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
"What is Going On in Their Brain?"

Neurodevelopmental changes and societal perspectives affecting teenagers today
Presenter Megan Brice, MS, LPCC, NCC

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
"You Deserve a Break"

Self care: taking care of yourself when you are taking care of others
Presenter: Stephanie Torres, Bilingual Victim Services Coordinator for SAVA (Sexual Assault Victim Advocate)

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
"Play Therapy 101"

A parent's guide to play therapy and how it can help
Presenter: Heather Truschel, MC LPC, RPT
NOTE: Location for this talk will be the CAYAC office, 1302 S. Shields St., A1-3, Fort Collins

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
"Teens and Substance Use"

Education and resources for parents regarding substance use and lower risk factors
Presenter: Mark Grebener, LCSW, LAC, CHT

Participants can attend single sessions or the whole series. There is no charge, but reservations are required.

For more information or to reserve a space, contact Ana Pasini, 970-530-2842, or