10 Skills CHWs Can Learn from Home — for Free (or Cheap!) Resources for Distance Learning

Is your community health worker team studying or working from home? Try these free new skills to learn from home.

As we head into the next year of distance learning and remote work — which might be the new normal — you and your team may be feeling ready for re-energizing with new skills.

If you’re not sure what kind of training your CHWs need, start here with a full lesson of how to start assembling a community health worker team.

10 Skills You Can Learn from Home for Free (or Cheaply)

CHWs, promotores, and similar health workers have plenty of opportunities to upgrade their training for low or no cost. That might be building language skills, or want to build self-care skills to keep resilient, this list has options. Read on to find 10 valuable skills to start working on ASAP. No matter where you are.

  1. Try Meditation and Mindfulness Techniques
  2. Cope with Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
  3. Understand COVID-19 (and Help Prevent Misinformation)
  4. Sharpen Your Core CHW Skills
  5. Learn About Chronic Illness
  6. Get Informed About Immunizations
  7. Practice Motivational Interviewing interventions
  8. Hone In on Your Healthy Cooking At Home
  9. Brush Up On Hygiene Knowledge
  10. Pick Up A New Language

1. Learn Meditation and Mindfulness Techniques

Many people have found themselves in a dark place throughout the pandemic. Anxiety and depression are soaring and, with little distraction available, everyday stress can quickly escalate and take a toll on your health.

Relaxation and mindfulness are skills that can help you everyone in their personal and professional life — especially in times of uncertainty.

Mindfulness practices are a stress management tool that can deal with serious illness and reduce anxiety and depression, according to the NIH. These are helpful skills to pass on to clients, employees, and the people around you.

“The most important thing to know when starting a meditation or mindfulness practice is that there is no right or wrong way to ‘do’ it,” says Laura Wells, a facilitator and coach who works with individuals, teams, and organizations to increase focus and build compassionate leadership.

“It is simply about learning to relax into the present moment — there’s nothing we have to, or can, ‘do’ to make the present moment happen. This is about allowing the space for a minute or two or five to not be in charge of what’s occurring. Simply breathing and bringing attention to what is already here in our experience.”

2. Cope with Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

As you likely picked up by now, mental health during covid is kind of a big deal. Nearly everyone is feeling depression, anxiety, and stress right now, so it helps you and anyone you work with if you can pick up stress management skills. Start by recognizing the symptoms of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Then what to do if you see them in yourself or in another. This guide will help you understand when it’s time to make a behavioral health referral.

Supervisors and program managers supporting a community health team with limited resources can easily feel overwhelmed. You have to think about self-care strategies to share, how to help them control stress, and spot signs of burnout and compassion fatigue.

Sign up for Supporting Mental Wellness in CHW Teams, a free on-demand session on improving your team’s mental wellness, identify signs that an employee is at risk for depression, anxiety, or secondary trauma, and show you how you can help your team improve their personal and professional lives.

3. Understand COVID-19 (and Help Prevent Misinformation)

If you’re looking to learn more about coronavirus, then the WHO is the place to start for any health professional. The OpenWHO Massive Online Open Courses for COVID-19 provide learning resources for health professionals, decision-makers, and the public. As the pandemic continues to evolve, new resources will be added, additional language versions will continue to be rolled out, and existing courses will be updated to best reflect the changing context.

Looking for easy access to resources? Have a look at The Definitive Guide to the Coronavirus for CHWs for free downloads.

Related: What Can You Do After Your COVID-19 Vaccine? The CDC Just Released New Guidelines.

4. Sharpen Your Core CHW Skills

As a CHW, keeping your skills sharp and your training up to date is key in giving your community the care that they need. Luckily, it’s easy to update your CHW training online. Check out:

5. Learn About Chronic Illness

CHWs are vital to successfully managing and avoiding chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Since CHWs are health brokers who can connect providers with communities, take some time to learn more about the chronic diseases in your community and how CHWs can help.

If you’re a program manager or administrator new to CHWs, do some deep reading on building the policies and systems that support CHWs to see how they fit in with your organization. Start with the excellent document “Addressing Chronic Disease Through Community Health Workers: A Policy and Systems-Level Approach,” (PDF) from the CDC. Then take some time to watch Examining Community Health Worker Models in Managing Chronic Conditions.

If you’re a CHW, you can learn how chronic illness and mental health are closely linked. This video Ask an Expert – Depression and Chronic Illness Webinar (1:19) explores the relationship between depression and Nephrotic Syndrome, specifically, but the topic relates to people living with many chronic diseases.

CHWs can also save on CHWTraining’s chronic illness bundle. It helps you master working with clients with breast cancer (Breast Cancer Screening), cervical cancer (Cervical Cancer Screening and HPV), Diabetes and Prediabetes, and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Along the way, you’ll learn how to screen for disease, talk to clients, and connect to resources in your agency and community.

6. Get Informed About Immunizations

Parents and individuals are too reluctant to get vaccines, thanks in part to widely-spread misinformation. Patient education is an important way to let people know that vaccinations have an excellent safety record and are an important part of preventing serious diseases.

The AAP is an excellent resource for educating parents and any individual on immunizations. It includes the recommended immunization schedule, information for parents, and communication tips for the conversations you’ll have with parents.

Especially as COVID vaccines become widely available, it’s important to understand their differences, risk factors, and benefits against the coronavirus. You can learn more by clicking COVID-19 vaccines (WHO) and COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC).

7. Practice Motivational Interviewing interventions

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a technique you can use to help people discover their own reasons for positive change in a non-confrontational way. It was originally developed as a way to help people quit smoking, but MI techniques can be used for helping people make any kind of behavioral change.

Demonstration and practice are the best ways to learn and improve your MI skills, so spend some time reviewing some sample intervention videos, such as these:

8. Hone In on Your Healthy Cooking At Home

Nutrition and health are closely related, from a healthy diet helping children grow up to avoid chronic diseases to managing—and maybe even reversing—conditions like diabetes. Learning healthy cooking is an excellent skill you can pass on to your clients and your own family.

Try My Doctor – Kaiser Permanente, which has many how-to videos, ranging from short-and-sweet lessons, like Add Flavor Without Salt (2:33) for hypertension, to Tips for Cooking Healthier (2:01), to in-depth webinars like Fresh Food Ideas (1:01:00) for parents.

If you prefer reading, a few must-have resources include Taste of Home, Real Simple, and What’s Gaby Cooking.

9. Brush Up On Hygiene Knowledge

As we now know, proper hygiene is key in disease prevention, including coronavirus and many more common viruses and infections.

Now’s the time to get serious about at-home hygiene.

Here’s what to know about Running Essential Errands (CDC).

10. Pick Up A New Language

Communication is a key skill for CHWs, and being able to speak and understand more than English helps. Learning a foreign language, such as Spanish for English-speakers or English for Spanish-speakers, is a great way to unlock better employment options and connect clients to resources.

Smartphone apps like Duolingo are great vocabulary builders, and you can do them whenever you have a few free minutes. Another fun one is Lirica, which matches language with pop music. It takes the music from such musicians as Enrique Iglesias and turns it into Spanish vocabulary and grammar lessons.

What Skills Are You Working On?

Whenever you’re feeling unsure and anxious about the things you can’t control, it can be helpful to focus on the things you can control, such as your education. Plus, as a CHW, keeping sharp is key in providing the best service to your clients and patients.

All in all, this seems to be the perfect time to think about new skills to better market yourself, level up your career, or simply keep yourself occupied.

Originally published March 20, 2020, updated March 12, 2021.

November is American Diabetes Month – Here Are 3 Things CHWs Can Do To Help Prevent The Disease

Nearly every day, a new study shows that healthy habits are the ticket to living longer and feeling better while you do live by avoiding diseases like diabetes. Eating well, exercising often, stopping smoking, keeping to a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol pays off.

Diabetes among your community members and patients is probably one of your biggest concerns. The burden of diabetes is staggering, and it continues to climb. The total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion, when the cost was last examined, according to research from the American Diabetes Association.

The largest components of medical expenditures are:

  • hospital inpatient care (30% of the total medical cost),
  • prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes (30%),
  • anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies (15%), and
  • physician office visits (13%).

Diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight off infections, leading to skin conditions and other complications. Diabetes also makes circulation a challenge and takes a toll on the cardiovascular system. By now it’s also known that preexisting conditions like diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of getting infected with COVID and its severity.

With over 34 million Americans dealing with diabetes and up to 1 in 3 adults facing prediabetes, it’s clear that resources to prevent and treat this chronic disease are much needed. Community health initiatives can educate and help individuals keep diabetes at bay by promoting healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, a balanced diet with lots of produce, and limiting substance use, including tobacco and alcohol.

Providing this kind of diabetes education and motivating people to make lifestyle changes is exactly where community health workers (CHWs) excel. Health initiatives targeted at reducing incidence of diabetes are creating more CHW jobs, because it’s proven that CHWs help patients manage diabetes. It should be part of any CHW core competencies program.




Your program can be key in preventing diabetes and improving health outcomes for patients by training your team in outreach, peer education, and chronic disease management. The first step in training your team for diabetes interventions is identifying which skills you need to develop. From there, you can set up a training plan to best position CHWs for helping people to make changes.

The following three areas are a must for any diabetes education program:

[Add Diabetes and Prediabetes to any subscription—read more]

1. Tobacco cessation

CHWs need skills in tobacco cessation—including Motivational Interviewing—to address many health problems caused by smoking and using tobacco. Tobacco cessation skills are also critical for diabetes prevention and control programs.

Smokers are more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers, and that risk goes up along with the number of cigarettes smoked. Smoking damages cells in the body by increasing inflammation and mixing chemicals in cigarettes with oxygen, called oxidative stress. Smoking can also lead to more belly fat, itself linked with diabetes.

Smokers who already have type 2 diabetes have more serious health problems. Nicotine can make insulin less effective. They’re also more likely to have heart and kidney disease, poor circulation in the legs and feet, and blindness.

2. Physical activity

Americans sit too much and exercise too little, so CHWs who know how to get people up and moving are helping prevent a host of health problems in addition to diabetes. According to studies, moving around shows immediate health benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.

Read more: How I Started a Community Health Initiative and How It Can Make Your Clients Healthier

Physical activity fights diabetes on several fronts. It makes a body more sensitive to insulin and helps people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. It also helps control blood sugar levels.

CHWs who are trained in physical activity and active living are in a better position to make recommendations to people, no matter what their barriers are (physical, geographical, financial, etc.). They can also help patients and clients set and stick to goals and maintain an activity program that works.

3. Healthy eating

Finding a healthy eating strategy is probably at the top of a diabetes prevention and control program, and it may be one of the toughest strategies for people to follow. Following a diabetes diet means eating a plant-heavy diet that’s rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. People should add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their plates. That helps with weight loss and also controlling blood glucose.

Many people with diabetes work with a dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan, but CHWs can work with them to make food choices that work for each person’s preference, location and culture.

Training in healthy eating can also be matched with training in physical activity to offer more comprehensive support to clients.

Read more: Your Agency Needs Training for Food Insecurity

Suggested training curriculum

A comprehensive CHWtraining curriculum for a team of CHWs looking to control diabetes should start here:

  • Diabetes and Prediabetes
  • Supporting Tobacco Cessation
  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
  • Motivational Interviewing: Peer Support for Behavior Change

A useful expansion pack of diabetes education resources includes options for supporting clients on their journey:

  • Providing Social Support
  • Health Literacy: A Start
  • Substance Use

During National Diabetes Month, you can add Diabetes and Prediabetes to any subscription on CHWTraining. If you’re interested in building a diabetes education program for your team with these or other courses, click the button below to learn how to add certified training to your program. Our team will be in touch ASAP to schedule a time to chat.

Originally published November 15, 2019, updated November 20, 2020.

Smiling CHW Learner

12 Skills You Need To Build a CHW Career

Employment opportunities for community health workers (CHWs) are better than ever.  More organizations are looking for ways to include CHWs and provide more CHW core competency training for internal staff.

This has never been so true as now, while the world is fighting to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to give some relief to overtaxed health care systems. CHWs have an especially important role to play. The US Department of Homeland Security specifically called out CHWs as:

“Essential critical infrastructure workers who are imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for both public health and safety as well as community well-being.”

→ Enroll Now: CHW Core Competencies Online Training [Certificate]

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to put themselves on a CHW career path while improving health outcomes for their community.

Careful planning of a CHW career path can allow anyone who starts with an entry-level job to expand it into a rewarding career. As need for this role keeps growing, CHWs can not only increase the health knowledge of their community members but also increase their own reach to more people and other job opportunities.

CHW Job Outlook

The statistics are inspiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for CHWs are expected to rise 18.1% by 2026. That means that 10,400 jobs could open up. Also, salaries for already employed CHWs are increasing. Wages are good, about $19 per hour, or $39,540 every year.

Gaining the skills to become a CHW can open the door to a money-making and secure career.

Building a CHW career path–rather than just finding an entry-level job—involves understanding the core competencies and what kinds of skills are useful for growth into the future.

In order to earn a profitable job and build a lasting career, current CHWs and people who would like to be one need to keep their health and professional skills sharp. They need to take extra training and prove their knowledge and expertise through certification.

CHWTraining’s Core Competencies Training offers complete, up-to-date training for employers who want to provide staff with foundational skills and knowledge of specific health topics, such as diabetes or breast cancer.

We created the quick guide below as a tool for employers who want to build sustainable training programs and CHWs who want to understand the job qualifications.

CHW Core Competencies

CHWs are employed in every state of the US (except South Dakota, for which no data is available), according to the BLS. Each state has independent job requirements, which vary from college degrees that take multiple years to complete to on-the-job training. Some states require certification, and some employers require certificates of completion to show successful training.

CHW jobs by state

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, many core competencies training requirements are similar. The following are common skills required by many programs and advisory committees. Here are some CHW core competency training areas common among the Washington State Department of Health’s CHW program, the Roles and Competencies from the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project, the US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. You can compare more national requirements at State Community Health Worker Models from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) or from this guide.

12 Most Important Skills To Build a CHW Career Path

CHW Core Competency Example Skills
Advocacy Skills/Capacity Building Skills
  • empowering clients
  • motivating people to manage their own health and advocate for themselves
  • helping clients and patients set and reach their goals
  • supporting behavior change
  • identifying and overcome barriers
  • understanding community cultures and ways to reach members
Care Coordination or Service Coordination and System Navigation
  • navigating systems
  • collaborating with partners to connect clients and patients to resources
  • helping service providers work together
  • telling systems about needs of people
  • helping to develop and implement care plans
Communication Skills
  • listening skills
  • language skills
  • building rapport
  • using nonverbal communication
  • resolving and avoiding conflict
  • understanding and working within culturally diverse communities
Cultural Humility/Cultural Responsiveness
  • serve as a bridge between different cultures
  • translating healthy behaviors into culturally appropriate equivalents
  • understanding and working to reduce health disparities
  • using cultural sensitivities for all diverse groups
  • behaving respectfully
  • identifying biases
Education and Facilitation Skills
  • using various ways to deliver health information clearly
  • explaining terms in plain language
  • promoting healthy behavior change
  • finding and use resources to develop self-efficacy skills
Evaluation and Research
  • identifying issues in communities and their causes
  • conducting evaluation projects
  • collecting data
  • sharing results
  • communicating to stakeholders to make changes in services
Experience and Knowledge Base
  • fully understanding the community, including social determinants of health, health issues, ways to improve health and self-care, and basic public-health principles
  • understanding how US social-service systems work
Individual and Community Assessment and Direct Services
  • identifying needs, strengths and resources of communities
  • helping meet needs
  • helping clients understand their needs and overcome barriers
  • providing social and health support
Interpersonal and Relationship-Building Skills
  • establishing trust with people and in communities
  • being open-minded
  • using Motivational Interviewing techniques
Outreach Skills, Methods and Strategies
  • developing and implementing outreach plans
  • sharing information about programs and resources
  • creating and maintain relationships with community members and partners
Professional Skills and Conduct
  • understanding and handling legal and ethical challenges
  • respecting confidentiality and privacy rights
  • responding appropriately in complex situations
  • understanding and following agency rules

Originally published Oct 31, 2019, updated October 02, 2020.

What’s New for Navigating Health Insurance

By Monique Cuvelier

Health insurance is—if possible—even more important for Americans now than ever before. Everyone’s healthcare needs have been turned upside down, thanks to the coronavirus.

Some people are sicker, some are withholding their preventative care checkups, such as breast cancer screenings, until they feel comfortable visiting doctors, and others still have shifts—or gaps—in their coverage as their jobs change and as President Trump limits and threatens to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

→ Free Resource Guide: 10 Things To Fix in Women’s Health [Access Now]

It’s been more than 10 years since the ACA passed—and seven years after CHWTraining released the Navigating Health Insurance course–more Americans are insured. However, more people are under-insured. Plus, government funded education about the ACA has been either reduced or eliminated, which leaves many more people confused about coverage.

Avoiding Chronic Conditions

The simplest first step for anyone in navigating health insurance is to avoid the need for care. Preventive care, such as immunizations and cervical cancer screenings, can help individuals and their families stay healthy and reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease.

Lifestyle choices—exercising and eating healthfully—also contribute hugely to a person’s health and finances.

“1 in 3 US adults has pre-diabetes,” says Eric Hannah, the Chief Catalyst at Mode Health in East Lansing, MI. “That is an impending tsunami on the healthcare and insurance system.

“One point I preach is that health literacy needs to include how the insurance plan works, but also how [people can] care for themselves, for example avoid lifestyle-related chronic conditions, and navigate the healthcare system–when to go to the ER.”

Hannah refers to “food as medicine,” a technique of choosing the right foods to reduce or even avoid medication for conditions such as diabetes.

The impact of making smart lifestyle choices can save a great deal of money. Diabetes, for one, is expensive. The journal Diabetes Care revealed the cost for one single person with diabetes to be more than $13,000.

The average economic cost per person was projected to be $13,240 for diagnosed diabetes, $4,250 for undiagnosed diabetes, $500 for prediabetes, and $5,800 for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). –Diabetes Care, September 2019.

“When we empower people to be good health citizens and healthcare consumers, it can transform how and how much we pay for healthcare,” Hannah says.

CHWs and Health Insurance

Without the proper education about health insurance, patient populations will only decline if trends in insurance cover continue on the path they’re on.

This is why community health workers, promotores and other health promoters are so important in helping people become insured and also understand the basics of health insurance. CHWs can connect clients to professionals who can help them sign up for insurance, make payments and file claims.

That’s why we created Navigating Health Insurance and included it as part of our core competencies for CHWs learning track. As part of our latest updates to the course, we took a careful look at how things have changed in the last six years. The data reveal that confusion about health coverage in the U.S. has a strong impact on people’s overall health and well-being.

Trends in Navigating Health Insurance

According to the Commonwealth Fund, which conducts surveys of health insurance, today compared to 2010:

  • More people have insurance
  • More people are underinsured
  • People who are underinsured or uninsured have trouble getting care because of cost and paying medical bills

Here are some important highlights about health insurance we learned during our recent updates:

Low Health Insurance Literacy Stops People from Seeking Care

People who don’t understand how health insurance works are more likely to avoid care. People will skip treatment due to cost. This is a powerful case for health insurance literacy as well as general health literacy.

Noncitizens Are More Likely Than Citizens To Be Uninsured

Nearly a quarter of lawfully present immigrants and more than four in ten (45%) undocumented immigrants are uninsured compared to less than one in ten (9%) citizens.

 

The U.S. Spends More on Health Than Anywhere Else

On average, the U.S. spends twice as much as other wealthy countries per person on health., according to a KFF analysis of OECD and National Health Expenditure (NHE).

 

Many People Think They Don’t Need Travel Health Insurance

Serious problems when traveling in other countries are rare, many people do get hurt. People with chronic illnesses can also be at risk of a medical emergency. This decision can be an expensive mistake if they become sick or hurt while in other countries, and their main insurance doesn’t work. Request a copy of the Travel Health Insurance Toolkit to use with clients.   

 

Millions of People are Uninsured and Even More Are Underinsured

Around 25 million people don’t have health insurance at all, and for those who do, premiums on family policies have increased 54% in the last decade.

 

Not understanding health insurance is bad for people in the U.S. Government debates about ACA and Medicaid aren’t helping people know how their health is affected by coverage. Community health workers are more important than ever when it comes to navigating health insurance.

If you’re not including training about navigating health insurance in your CHW workforce, start now. If you’re interested in building a diabetes education program for your team with these or other courses, contact us to learn how to add certified training to your program. Our team will be in touch ASAP to schedule a time to chat.

Originally published Dec 15, 2019, updated July 24, 2020.

CHWs Can Improve Oral Health Disparities

People who work with people’s teeth understand what kind of view that provides to the whole body. They see first hand how the mouth can reflect problems around the body and how problems with the mouth can affect the rest of the body. Poor dental health can correlate to chronic conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes to brain degeneration—and more.

Almost all Americans understand this first-hand. Over 90% have at least one tooth that’s been treated for decay or needs to be. About a quarter of U.S. adults between 20 and 64 need a filling. Cavities are the most common chronic childhood infectious disease. Periodontal disease is also tragically undertreated in the States and affects about half of us. The problem there is that people with gum disease are 2 to 3 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems.

Oral Health Disparities

Access to health care and proper education helps address this gap, but there are stark disparities in the oral health of men, women, and children. These oral health disparities can have serious consequences, which we explore in depth in the CHWTraining course Oral Health Disparities.

Learn more about how CHWTraining Subscriptions can help increase CHW/promotora satisfaction, retention, and improve oral health outcomes

Some of the statistics from our course are unsettling.

“Blacks, non-Hispanics, and Mexican Americans aged 35–44 years experience untreated tooth decay nearly twice as much as white, non-Hispanics,” according to the CDC. Latino children have higher rates of tooth decay, rampant decay, and treatment need, compared to non-Latino white children.

Image: Pew Charitable Trusts

Education is widely lacking. I, for one, have never once in my life been told that women have unique oral health concerns, despite regular checkups and experience with recurring canker sores and inflamed gums. Are most pregnant women told they are far more likely to have gum disease or loose teeth or that morning sickness is a problem for teeth? I’m guessing not.

The trouble is that too few of the people in charge see it that way. Starting from the top with health policy all the way down to children who haven’t learned to brush regularly, too many people are tuned out to the connection between oral and overall health.

Many people can’t afford dental insurance or expensive electronic toothbrushes or a house where the water is fluoridated, especially in underserved rural and urban areas. Still, there isn’t much care coordination and patient navigation to support people.

Fortunately, this trend is reversable because relatively simple prevention goes a long way with oral and overall health.

CHWs Can Reverse Oral Health Disparities

Communities and health systems need to step up oral health by providing better access to dentists and education. Community health workers (CHWs), promotores de salud, and other lay educators are in a perfect position to help.

States and health systems should work to include oral health education as a part of CHW training. They can help people navigate such barriers as poverty, language, geography, and even transportation. And they can do it where people live, not necessarily in a clinical setting. This is a relatively low-cost way to engage families but can have a tremendous impact a person’s health, from childhood through the rest of their life.

Interested in educating your team in oral health disparities? Contact us to learn how.

 

7 Outreach Resources for National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.

[Lee este artículo en español aquí.]

HIV used to be a death sentence—and for many, it still is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that race and ethnicity have an effect on prevention and management of HIV/AIDS. Over the years, outreach campaigns have been essential to reducing such barriers as stigma and supporting the men and women who are at risk of HIV/AIDS or who are living with it.

The National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) on October 15 is a way to raise awareness of HIV in Latinx communities, including testing, prevention, and education. Stigma is a difficult barrier, which is part of what’s fueling NLAAD.

CHWTraining has educated people across the country and distributed resources to help health workers run successful awareness and outreach campaigns since developing HIV/AIDS: Supporting Community Members. Here are 7 free outreach tools and resources (in English and Spanish) that will help you and your team support National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on October 15 and all year around.

[This month, you can add HIV/AIDS: Supporting Community Members in English or Spanish to any learning subscription at no extra cost. Contact CHWTraining to get started.]

1. Expanding Your Reach To End the HIV Epidemic: Community Engagement Toolkit (PDF), Minority AIDS Council

Language: English

This in-depth toolkit is a step-by-step process for building and launching a community engagement program for reducing HIV in communities. This toolkit is for program coordinators or administrators rather than CHWs working alone, but it’s still a great educational tool loaded with ideas and examples. Anyone can review “Principles for Community Engagement” or templates for surveys and assessments. Many examples of projects targeting Latino communities.

2. Blueprint For Improving Hiv/Std Prevention And Care Outcomes For Black And Latino Gay Men, NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors)

Language: English

This downloadable toolkit zeroes in on one of the toughest areas of HIV prevention there is, especially in the Latino community: stigma. Stigma is an especially dangerous barrier because it stops people from taking action to protect themselves, get tested or get treated. The document helpfully talks about stigma and includes reflective questions that help guide administrators through setting up an HIV and STD outreach program to target the area. The “Recommended Steps for Removing Stigma from Public Health Practice” is a helpful guide to drive a campaign and offer services.

3. We Are Family or Somos Familia, Greater Than AIDS

Language: English and Spanish

Greater Than AIDS offers several documentaries in both English and Spanish that address relationships for Latinos living with HIV. Share these videos with clients and partners to show how important social support is for people with HIV. Strong support networks make it more likely that people will seek care and stick to treatment programs. Greater Than also offers community toolkits for on-the-ground outreach.

4. You Know Different Social Marketing Campaign Toolkit (PDF), The National Youth Advocacy Coalition

Language: English

This toolkit is made especially for anyone looking to use social marketing as an outreach strategy to encourage youth HIV testing. It is intended to help organizations plan and carry out the You Know Different social marketing campaign. That aims to boost counseling, testing, and referral services among and sexual minority youth of color aged 13–24. It’s incredibly detailed and useful with key messages that are useful in any campaign.

5. Detengamos Juntos el VIH, CDC

Language: Spanish

This web-based guide provides case studies with sample scripts to deal with the stigma around HIV and Latinos. It’s part of a larger campaign to address HIV. This short section is immediately useful for anyone who engages with clients in various situations.

6. Campanas para la movilizacion social (PDF), Ingeniería sin Fronteras Asociación para el Desarrollo

Language: Spanish

This Spanish social mobilization tool is made as a how-to guide for outreach in various sectors. It carefully plots out each step to creating and executing any outreach campaign, including several examples for HIV/AIDS campaigns. At 200 pages, it’s a weighty resource, but it’s a useful tool for engaging Spanish-speaking audiences.

7. Latinx People, The Body

Language: English

The Body is an outstanding resource for HIV/AIDS education. This collection of stories, news and reports on Latino populations dealing with HIV is inspirational and useful. For example, a story on HIV in Orange County, California, provides a snapshot about the LGBTQ-focused preventive and primary care organization and how they’re fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Another story “Fighting a Rising HIV Epidemic Among Latino Gay and Bisexual Men in Phoenix” is loaded with personal stories.

7 Recursos de Proyección Comunitaria para el Día de Concientización Latinx sobre el SIDA

[Read this post in English.]

El contagio por VIH solía ser una sentencia de muerte, y para muchos aún lo es. El Centro para el Control y prevención de Enfermedades Infecciosas (CDC) reporta que la raza y etnicidad tienen repercusiones sobre la prevención y manejo del VIH/SIDA.

El Día Nacional Latino para la Concientización del Sida (NLAAD), celebrado cada 15 de octubre, es una manera de despertar conciencia sobre el VIH en comunidades latinxs, incluyendo información sobre pruebas, prevención y educación al respecto.

Desde el desarrollo de Sida/VIH: Apoyando a los Miembros de la Comunidad, Talance ha educado a personas de todo el país y distribuido recursos para ayudar a que los trabajadores de salud comunitarios puedan llevar a cabo campañas de información y concientización exitosas. Contáctanos para saber más de nuestros servicios.

Para apoyar el Día Nacional Latino para la Concientización del Sida, aquí les mostramos 7 recursos (En inglés y en español) que le ayudarán a usted y su equipo a manejar la enfermedad en su comunidad.

1. Expandiendo tu alcance para terminar la epidemia de VIH: Kit de Herramientas para Involucrar a la Comunidad (PDF), Minority AIDS Council

Expandiendo tu alcance para terminar la epidemia de VIH: Kit de Herramientas para Involucrar a la Comunidad

Idioma: Inglés

Este completo juego de herramientas constituye un proceso paso a paso para elaborar y llevar a cabo un programa de integración comunitaria para reducir el VIH en una población. Está dirigido a coordinadores y administradores de los programas más que para los trabajadores comunitarios en sí, pero es una excelente herramienta educacional llena de ideas y ejemplos. Todos pueden aprender de “Principios para la Integración de la Comunidad” o los modelos para encuestas y listas de cotejo. También incluye muchos proyectos de ejemplo que tienen como objetivo comunidades latinas.

2. Plan de Acción para mejorar los resultados de la Prevención y Cuidado del VIH/ETS para Hombres Gay Latinos y Afroamericanos NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors)

Plan de Acción para mejorar los resultados de la Prevención y Cuidado del VIH/ETS para Hombres Gay Latinos y Afroamericanos

Idioma: Inglés

Este kit descargable se enfoca en uno de los puntos más difíciles para la prevención del VIH, especialmente en las comunidades latinas: El estigma. Esta es una barrera especialmente peligrosa, ya que hace que las personas no tomen ninguna acción para protegerse, hacerse exámenes de despistaje, o recibir tratamiento. Este documento ofrece información sobre el estigma e incluye preguntas y reflexiones que ayudarán a guiar a los administradores hacia la elaboración de programas de prevención contra el VIH y otras ETS para un área. Los “Pasos Recomendados para Eliminar el Estigma en las Prácticas de Salud Pública” es una excelente guía para impulsar una campaña y ofrecer servicios.

3. We Are Family o Somos Familia

We Are Family o Somos Familia

Idioma: Inglés y español

El sitio Greater than AIDS ofrece varios documentales, tanto en inglés como español, que hablan de las relaciones de los latinos que viven con VIH. Estos videos, que son sencillos de compartir con clientes y colegas, demuestran lo importante que es el apoyo social para las personas con VIH. Una red de apoyo fortalecida hace más probable que las personas busquen y sigan los programas de tratamiento. Greater than AIDS también ofrece herramientas comunitarias para campañas en la misma localidad.

4. Kit de Herramientas Para Marketing Social Tú Sabes Más (PDF), The National Youth Advocacy Coalition
Kit de Herramientas Para Marketing Social Tú Sabes Más

Idioma: Inglés

Este juego de herramientas está dirigido especialmente a quienes busquen usar las redes sociales como estrategia de acción para motivar a los jóvenes a hacerse pruebas de despistaje de VIH. La intención es ayudar a planificar y llevar a cabo la campaña de marketing social Tú Sabes Más, que busca fomentar la búsqueda de consejos, atención, pruebas y servicios referidos entre jóvenes de color y minorías sexuales de edades entre 13 y 24. Tiene mensajes útiles y detallados que pueden ser usados en cualquier campaña.

5. Detengamos Juntos el VIH, CDC

Detengamos Juntos el VIH

Idioma: Español

Esta guía web ofrece estudios de casos con libretos detallados acerca de cómo lidiar con el estigma alrededor del VIH en latinos. Es parte de una campaña más grande dirigida al VIH, la cual también resulta de gran ayuda, pero esta sección es de ayuda inmediata para quienes deben abordar a sus clientes de cualquier forma.

6. Campaña para la Movilización Social (PDF), Ingeniería sin Fronteras Asociación para el Desarrollo

Campaña para la Movilización Social

Idioma: Español

Esta herramienta de movilización social está escrita como una guía para hacer acercamientos en distintas comunidades. Da instrucciones detalladas paso a paso para la creación y ejecución de campañas comunitarias y también incluye ejemplos de campañas para el VIH/SIDA. Con más de 200 páginas es un recurso de peso, pero resulta una herramienta sumamente útil para alcanzar comunidades de habla hispana.

7. Gente Latinx, The Body

Gente Latinx

Idioma: Inglés

The Body es un extraordinario recurso para la educación acerca del VIH/SIDA. Esta colección de historias, noticias y reportes acerca de las poblaciones latinas que enfrentan el VIH es inspiradora y útil. Por ejemplo, la historia del VIH en Orange County, California, ofrece una visión sobre la prevención y el cuidado primario enfocado en poblaciones LGBTQ. Otra historia, “Luchando contra el surgimiento de la epidemia de VIH entre hombres latinos y bisexuales en Phoenix”, está cargada de anécdotas personales.

The ultimate list of CHW Conferences

I’m often asked, “Do you know of any upcoming conferences for CHWs in my area?” The answer used to be different, but these days, community health workers and others in a similar role are well represented at conferences. Here’s a list, so you can get planning. Know of others that aren’t here? Let me know!

Unity Conference

“Unity 2019 is a national conference designed for and about community health workers, community health representatives, and promotores.”  I’ll be presenting Mental Illnesses Are Epidemic: Helping Clients CopeSupervisor Support Skills for CHWs with Depression, Anxiety, and Secondary Trauma; and Burnout Prevention and Recovery for Community Health Workers. Unity 2019 will be held at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel and Casino on April 14-17, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Community Health Worker Conference

“A conference that will explore why a racial justice approach is integral to strengthening the CHW workforce.”Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers.May 16, 2019, Four Points Sheraton, Norwood

Hawai‘i Community Health Worker Leadership Conference

“Join us and your fellow CHWs and allies from across the state for a day of learning, sharing and networking. Be a part of the discussion on creating a Hawai’i-based CHW association.”Friday, June 28, 2019, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Ala Moana Hotel.

2019 Community Health Worker Conference: You are EPIC—Equitable, Passionate, Invested, and Collaborative

“The fifth annual Washington State Community Health Worker Conference is a two-day event that will engage, energize, and inspire CHWs and their allies to best support their communities.”April 11-12, 2019, Wenatchee Convention Center

Spectrum Health- Eleventh Annual Community Health Worker Conference

“Community Health Workers Leading Change at the Forefront of the Community: Being the Change You Want to See.  Conference Objectives; Discuss the effects of social injustice in our clients and communities, Creating educational opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the Community Health Worker (CHW) in their roles in the community, Develop techniques to assist Community Health Workers in motivating their clients to make positive life changes.”Aug. 23, 2018 Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2019 MNCHWA Statewide Conference

“The Annual Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance Statewide Conference brings together community health workers, supervisors, educators, providers, payers, policy makers and many others from across the state for a day of learning, exchange, networking and charting action on next-stage work.”May 2, 2019 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, MN

Oregon Community Health Workers Association Annual Conference – You  Are The Voice Of The Community – Use It!

“The annual conference is ORCHWA’s signature event, bringing together Community Health Workers (CHW), Peer Support Specialists (PSS), Personal Health Navigators (PHN), Peer Wellness Specialists (PWS), doulas, other Traditional Health Workers, and supervisory staff.  This event addresses relevant policy and sustainability issues including: training, certification, employment opportunities, and more.”August 16 & 17, 2019, Inn at the Commons, Medford, Oregon

Visión y Compromiso’s 17th Annual Conference “United We Rise for a Healthy Community!”

“The goal of the conference is to create a space where experiences and ideas can be exchanged among promotores and other participants that foster the learning of new skills, knowledge and advocacy for our communities. The annual conference for promotores and community health workers is organized by Visión y Compromiso in collaboration with a planning committee that is comprised of promotores and other leaders in the community and organizations.”Sept. 26-28, 2019, Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

42ndAnnual Rural Health Conference

“NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference is the nation’s largest rural health conference, created for anyone with an interest in rural health care, including rural health practitioners, hospital administrators, clinic directors and lay health workers, social workers, state and federal health employees, academics, community members and more.”May 7-10, 2019  Atlanta, Ga.

13th Annual CHW Conference – Houston, TX

“Who Should Attend: Community Health Workers / Promotores de Salud; CHW Instructors; Prospective CHW Employers; Community-based organization representatives.  CEUs: Combination of DSHS-certified and non-certified CHW and CHW-I CEUs.”Friday, May 10, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (CDT)Houston, TX

2019 Community Health Institute & EXPO

“The NACHC Com­mu­nity Health Institute (CHI) and EXPO is the largest annual gathering of health center clinicians, executives, consumer board members, along with State/Regional Primary Care Associations and Health Center Controlled Networks.”Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, IL, August 18-20, 2019

Indiana CHW/CRS Annual Conference

“The Indiana CHW/CRS Annual Conference is an opportunity for Community Health Workers and Certified Recovery Specialists to connect and network with other helping professionals and learn knowledge and skills beneficial to the important work that they do.”March 15, 2019, Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport

2019 National Conference,One Voice

“The ACHI National Conference, held each year in March, convenes 700 population and community health professionals to learn from experts and exchange the latest tools, approaches and ideas from the field.”March 19-21, 2019, Chicago

4th Annual Kentucky Community Health Worker Conference – Share Your Voice – Share Your Story

“Advocating and promoting the profession of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”September 19, 2019, Embassy Suites, Lexington, Kentucky

The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+)

“AONN+ will continue to advance the navigation profession by expanding the scope of educational sessions, networking opportunities, and industry-sponsored sessions through this conference. In addition, the Midyear Conference will address the evolving challenges of program improvement, the role of personalized medicine, and implementing best practices in navigation, survivorship, and psychosocial care.”San Diego, California May 16-19, 2019.

Read more about what we presented at the Unity Conference in our Resources

Is it time to make a Behavioral Health Referral?

In my session at the Unity 2019 Conference “Mental Illnesses Are Epidemic: Helping Clients Cope,” which I co-presented with Dr. Jeanine Joy from Happiness 1st, one of the hot questions for CHWs was: when is it time to make a referral?

It’s a great question, especially now at the beginning of Mental Health Month.

Even though community health workers can’t diagnose or directly treat a mental illness, there’s still a lot they can do. Making a referral for a mental illness like depression is an important step. Depression is like any chronic disease, which can be managed or avoided with early intervention.

This infographic is a short list of warning signs that should tip off a CHW that someone they’re working with might need a referral. Save and share with your CHW team.

Does your team need training in behavioral health? Read about our Healthy Living learning track.

Community Health Worker Models from Different States

Here is a link to find out what each state has in place for every Community Health Worker. You’ll find helpful information about CHW financing, education, certification, State CHW Legislation, and Organizations & Workgroup. You will also find every state’s information about CHW specific and defined roles.

We hope you’ll find this useful.