TN Certified VIP

Virtual Information Portal for Faith Leaders

Empowered | Engaged | Equipped

The TDMHSAS Faith-Based Initiatives team is proud to offer this Virtual Information Portal (VIP) as a resource for faith and community leaders who are interested in learning more about opportunities to serve their neighbors who are facing behavioral health challenges. The VIP will feature on-demand trainings related to community ministry and will offer podcasts and videos of discussions with faith leaders and service providers across the state of Tennessee who are on the frontlines serving their communities and congregations even in the toughest situations!

Join us, and be empowered, engaged, and equipped to serve your community's needs!

Use the slider on the left to navigate between sections and view different trainings and resources.


Introduction to the Faith-Based Initiative and the Lifeline Peer Project

With more than 20,000 people referred to treatment and recovery resources, more than 9,000 trainings held, and more than 900 Certified Recovery Congregations, Tennessee's Faith-Based Initiative and Lifeline Peer Project are having a huge impact for good in our state.  In this presentation, Jaime Harper, Assistant Director of Faith-Based Initiatives and Lifeliner Kirk Johnson give basic introductions to their respective programs.


The Basics of Addiction

Addiction or Substance Use Disorder is a deep subject and it can be daunting to try to find where to dig in to start.  We hope this collection of training videos will provide you with a foundational level of knowledge to help you understand that substance use disorder isn't a choice or a moral failing.  It's a disease that can be treated.

The Addicted Mind

This presentation explores the basic brain science of addiction, how addictive substances rewire the brain, and how recovery helps the brain rebuild.

The Belief System and the Cycle of Addiction

A person's belief system has a huge influence on their ability to break out of addiction.  Little changes in our beliefs can produce big changes in the results of our life.


The Basics of Mental Health

Mental Health is an important and fascinating subject that's becoming more and more talked about in our world today.

Mental Health 101

In this presentation, Faith-Based Community Coordinator Amy Bechtol introduces mental health, talks about common diagnoses, and dispels some myths.

ACEs and Trauma Informed Care

This presentation provides an introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Care.  It also helps us reframe "What's wrong with you?" into "What happened to you?


Advanced Trainings in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Person-First Language and Stigma

In this presentation, Lifeline Peer Project Coordinator Lincoln Coffman talks about language, how our word choice either reinforces or breaks down stigma, and the concept known as person first language.

Motivational Interviewing

In this presentation, Assistant Director of Faith-Based Initiatives Jaime Harper describes the technique known as Motivational Interviewing and how it can be used to help someone work their way toward behavior change.

Applying the 12 Steps

In this presentation, East Tennessee Faith-Based Community Coordinator Eric Landry describes how the 12 Steps helped him in his recovery journey and how he continues to apply them in his daily life.

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

In this presentation, Assistant Director of Faith-Based Initiatives Jaime Harper describes Compassion Fatigue and Burnout, how they affect you personally and professionally, and strategies to manage.


Real Conversations About Real Ministry

In this series, faith leaders and community non-profit leaders discuss what service looks like in the area of meeting a community's mental health and substance use needs.  In real terms, they talk about what it's like to "Walk the Walk" and approach situations that might make some people uncomfortable.

Episode 1: Serving in Complicated Situations

In this first episode, participants discuss what it looks like to start a ministry that works in complicated situations.  Service providers who work with homeless individuals and teen girls facing addiction and mental health challenges talk about the unique aspects of what they do and how churches can be supportive.  A missions pastor helps set expectations through recounting his work with human trafficking.  And through it all, the panelists talk about how faith motivates and informs this often difficult but very rewarding work.

Episode 1: Bonus Discussion - The Importance of the Small Things

After we cut the cameras, our panelists from episode 1 just kept going! We captured their great comments about all of the different roles and "levels of service" that are needed at an agency or to make a ministry successful. They also discuss the unique needs they each have and how faith leaders can organize to provide support and meet those needs.

Episode 2: Serving Children and an Introduction to ACEs

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how can faith leaders best minister to the youngest members of the community both in the four walls and in the community?  This discussion features experts in early childhood development and a youth ministry leader who open the door to ACEs, brain development, and the role of nurturing adults and safe, stable relationships. 

Links to Learn More

Building Strong Brains TN: This resource from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth contains a look at ACEs in Tennessee, what the study of our state showed, and how supportive adults can respond and make a difference.  TCCY also has contact information for trainers who can conduct presentations, share information, and materials with your group.

Grow Well TN: In addition to the hospital-based services you would expect, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital offers a host of community based wellness services for children across West Tennessee.


Podcast: Hope Recovered

Real, stigma-busting conversations about living in recovery presented by the amazing team at the Jackson Madison Prevention Coalition. 


Let's Connect!

Reach out to the Faith-Based Community Coordinator for your region:

Shelby County 
Arsania Wright
(901) 632-8940

West Tennessee
Amy Bechtol
(731) 256-6886

Middle Tennessee
Will Taylor
(615) 203-9066

East Tennessee
Ashlee Crouse