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The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Screening, Brief intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Competency and Dissemination Project is a project of the social work programs at the university. SBIRT is an approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment to people with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders.

Offered through the Worden School of Social Service, the SBIRT curricula will be integrated into programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. We also offer SBIRT training to the staff of community-based organizations and public and Catholic schools that serve as practicum and field education placement sites for OLLU students.

The OLLU SBIRT program has five goals:

  1. Enhance faculty participants’ SBIRT knowledge and confidence and ability to teach SBIRT practices,
  2. Enhance field supervisors’ knowledge and confidence in ability to incorporate SBIRT practices in supervision,
  3. Enhance learners’ knowledge of evidence-based SBIRT practices,
  4. Enhance learners’ readiness and perceived confidence to implement SBIRT with their clients/patients, and
  5. Increase learners’ implementation of SBIRT practices with their clients/patients

More than 600 faculty and practicum/field education supervisors will be provided with either on campus or distance learning, train-the-trainers workshops over three years, disseminating SBIRT practices to a broad range of mental health, social service, and health care organizations and public and Catholic schools in San Antonio, Houston and throughout the nation. Further dissemination will occur through faculty presentations to professional groups, onsite trainings for community-based organizations, and through an open access website.

Training for students will include knowledge-fusion, skills development and application. The SBIRT core curriculum will be embedded in required core courses that are completed by students early in their programs and reinforced and expanded in later courses. SBIRT implementation will occur in social work field education courses under the supervision of faculty or site supervisors who have completed the SBIRT training.

The OLLU SBIRT program will prepare students to recognize higher-risk alcohol and substance use, prevent escalation to substance abuse, and meet the needs of people with substance abuse issues. Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) graduates who receive the training in supervising SBIRT practices will be prepared to contribute to training of staff at their places of employment. The impact will be greatest in the San Antonio and Houston regions, though through the online Master of Social Work (MSW) program, we will be training students and field instructors nationally.