Two free SBIRT trainings to be offered in March

Marshall University is hosting two free Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training sessions for helping professionals on the university’s Huntington campus. The first session will take place from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Dining Room, and the second is from 1 to 4pm, Friday, March 30,in room BE-5 in the Memorial Student Center.

SBIRT is an evidence-based, brief intervention that enables helping professionals to identify risk factors for substance use disorders effectively, briefly intervene and make appropriate referrals for those with risk factors or those who are currently struggling with a substance use dsorder, according to Lyn O’Connell, clinical coordinator for the SBIRT grant.

“This training can assist health care and behavioral health care providers, community health care workers, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, school counselors, recovery coach specialists and other health care providers to empathically and effectively identify and engage with individuals, while using stigma-free and person-first language to improve our community response,” O’Connell said. “When we share a common language and skill set we are better able to collaboratively respond.”

Amy Saunders, director of the Marshall University Wellness Center, and  eight other departments at Marshall received the SBIRT grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2015.  Now students in ten departments at Marshall have SBIRT and substance use disorder training embedded in their curriculum. SBIRT staff have offered this training in the surrounding region and around the state of West Virginia.

Prior registration for the March sessions is required and tickets can be found on Eventbrite or through MUSBIRT’s Facebook event at To learn more, contact  For more information about SBIRT, visit