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FREE COMET Training in Washington

April 5 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

WRASAP is hosting COMET community training at the D.F. Allmendinger Center, WSU Puyallup Research
and Extension Center on Friday April 5th, 2024 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Lunch will be provided
for the first 20 registered participants!

Follow this link to Register for FREE COMET Training

Multiple challenges face rural communities in accessing mental health. Existing resources and trainings often focus on
crisis needs and immediate suicide risk. However, many people suffer from distress and moderate depression or
anxiety, sometimes acutely and/or undiagnosed, that significantly impact their health and well-being. COMET™ fills
that gap in resources for people in this “vulnerable space” and aims to prevent crisis.
COMET was developed by the High Plains Research Network (HPRN) Community Advisory Council (a grassroots group
of ranchers, teachers, small business managers, students, retirees in rural eastern Colorado), rural mental health
professionals, and health researchers. Supported by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, this
partnership conducted a rigorous exploration of mental health gaps and assets in rural communities.

What is COMET™?
Recognizing that mental health functions on a spectrum, COMET™ (Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory)
teaches people how to intervene when they encounter someone who is in a “vulnerable space” and help shift the
person’s mental health trajectory back to a place of wellness instead of proceeding towards a mental health crisis.
COMET™ helps fill a gap and is a strong complement to other strategies to reduce the suffering resulting from the
high levels of stress in rural, agricultural communities.

COMET aligns with rural cultural values of neighbor helping COMET empowers friends and
neighbors to be more prepared to support others’ mental health needs –especially before a crisis. COMET does not to
ask community members to “be the fix.” Rather, the program trains community members how to initiate a supportive
interaction for a potentially emotional conversation using a simple, conversational
seven-question guide. The seven questions/statements include: acknowledgment that someone “is not yourself,” asking
how they are, observation of behavior or other change, asking about family or social life, an invitation to engage
(continue the conversation then or later), optional self-disclosure, and next steps (help person more or exit). The
COMET Questions are built around evidence-based techniques of using lay educators, mindfulness, and motivational
interviewing approach.1-6 COMET is easy to teach and aims to
make these tools more accessible to a broader community.

COMET Community training includes experiential and didactic sections covering local mental health data,
shared examples of being “the other person,” the COMET questions, role-playing, and action planning. Ideally,
Trainees have included farmers/ranchers, law enforcement, coroners, health care professionals, teachers, and
retail workers. 78% reported they were likely to tell someone that they have noticed a change in their mood or
behavior after training compared to 50% before, and 81% were likely to invite an acquaintance or co-worker to
talk about a potentially emotional situation after training compared to 57% before. Further, 74% reported an
eight or higher on a scale of 1-10 for likelihood of using the COMET questions in the next 3 months.


April 5
10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT


D.F. Allmendinger Center, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
2606 W Pioneer Ave
Puyallup, WA 98371 United States