Listening and/or participating in various webinars, webcasts or podcasts is one way of doing so. Webinars (or webcasts) are essentially presentations given live online, via the web and teleconference.
Webcasts are often recorded to allow you subsequent access at any time. Many of the hosting mental health organizations will also provide you with continuing education units (CEUs).
You may want to check out Mental Health Webinars for You, March 2014 for this month's list of specific free webcasts.
20+ Organizations that Offer Free Webinars to Mental Health Professionals:
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 's mission is to promote the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders through education, practice, and research.
Battered Women's Justice Project offers training, technical assistance, and consultation on the most promising practices of the criminal and civil justice system in addressing domestic violence.
Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability - its aim is to be a mediator between researchers, health professionals and patients to improve communication about chronic pain, it's prevention, management and treatment.
Center for Financial Social Work - its mission is to empower individuals to make long-term financial behavioral changes and to educate, assist and support professionals who wish to provide a strength based, psychosocial approach to financial empowerment for their clients.
Children's Environmental Health Network 's mission is to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment.
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury - the DCoE offers monthly webinars on Thursdays from 1PM to 2:30PM EST to provide information and facilitate discussion on a variety of topics related to psychological health and traumatic brain injury.
Family Caregiver Alliance - address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home.
The Institute of HeartMath - is a nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives.
Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions - focuses on providing information, technical assistance, and educational resources for policymakers, providers (prevention, treatment, recovery, and non-specialized healthcare workers who also provide substance use disorder care), educators, consumers and their families, and administrators.
The Job Accommodation Network - helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
Magellan Health Services, Inc. - offers a variety of informational and educational e-courses and webinars for providers (such as social workers, counselors, certified drug and alcohol counselors, and psychologists); consumers of mental health services; family members and other interested parties. These include courses on building resiliency, recovery, whole health and more.
Mental Health Recovery - develop, distribute, and make available to everyone, the recovery and wellness skills and strategies, including the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, that Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland discovered through her research.
The National Association of Social Workers - is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. It works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. NASW offers both free and fee-based CEU classes.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health - provides training, support, and consultation to advocates, mental health and substance abuse providers, legal professionals, and policymakers as they work to improve agency and systems-level responses to survivors and their children.
The National Center for Responsible Gaming - helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute - derives promising practices in workforce development, delivers child welfare leadership training for middle managers and supervisors, facilitates BSW and MSW traineeships... and advances knowledge through collaboration and evaluation.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network - provides up-to-date, science-based information in the areas of assessment, treatment and services, training and more for traumatized children, adolescents and their families.
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare - coordinates the Mental Health First Aid program across the USA and operates the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions to provide nationwide technical assistance in integrating primary and behavioral health.
The National HealthCare Council for the Homeless - help bring about reform of the health care system to best serve the needs of people who are homeless, to work in alliance with others whose broader purpose is to eliminate homelessness, and to provide support to Council members.
The National Eating Disorders Association - advocates on behalf of and supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders...work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.
The Office of Mental Health - The Bureau of Cultural Competence (BCC) provides specific cultural and linguistic competence webinars for OMH facilities to meet the changing needs of the diverse populations served in the New York State behavioral health system.
1in6 org - its mission is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.
Pathways to Positive Futures - The RTC for Pathways to Positive Futures aims to improve the lives of youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions through rigorous research and effective training and dissemination.
Reclaiming Futures - helps young people in trouble with drugs, alcohol, and crime.
SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions - promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center - provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide.
The Center for Strengthening Youth Prevention Paradigms - SYPP provides monthly webinars designed to increase knowledge and skills related to preventing HIV among youth, with an emphasis on young gay men and transgender youth of color.
In addition to the above listed institutions, there are two invaluable series of podcasts to expand your horizons:
Living Proof is the biweekly podcast series of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. It features conversations with prominent social work professionals, interviews with cutting-edge researchers, and information on emerging trends and best practices in the field of social work.
The Social Work Podcast - Jonathan B. Singer, Ph.D., LCSW, interviews other expert social workers on on various social work topics, including direct practice (both clinical and community organizing), research, policy, education... and everything in between.
To make it easier for you to plan which webinars you'd like to attend, I was thinking of putting together a monthly post of upcoming webcasts...
Would a monthly listing of upcoming mental health webinars be useful to you? Also, do you know of additional reputable providers that offer several psychotherapy or social work related webinars per year ? If yes, please add their names in the comments section.
Update: As of September 2012, I started posting a monthly roundup of free mental health webinars! So if you're interested, just search at the beginning of each month for that month's listings :)
You May Also Enjoy:
Continuing Education: Optional or Obligatory?
Social Media and Social Work Education: Like Oil & Water?
Mental Health Webinars for You, March 2014
Mental Health Webinars for You, February 2014
Photo credit: Grunge Hearts by webtreats