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Success Story

Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.: Creating Better Learning and Onboarding Processes

Based out of Maryland, Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. (ABH) offers outpatient mental health services to a wide array of clients. Focusing on family services, ABH serves children and adults across eight counties. With such a large client base, ABH has come to offer a variety of therapy services, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus (CBT+)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT)
  • Medication management
  • Psychiatric treatment

To meet the needs of its clients and provide these services at a high level, ABH maintains a diverse base of staff members who have a wide array of specialties like stress and anxiety, childhood depression, couples therapy, and more.

While such a variety of services and specialties enables ABH to provide better care to clients, it can make training difficult. To help staff members get the training they need, all within one learning platform, the organization turned to Relias.

Using Relias to offer quality and convenient CEUs

With so many different services and specialties, ABH needed an effective way to deliver a multitude of training options. The variety of training modules offered by Relias filled this need perfectly.
For Christina McDermott, MHRM, Human Resources Manager, and Vera Kurdian, CEO, this was the initial draw of Relias and its Learning and Development Solutions.

positive woman sitting at computer

One of the most impactful ways ABH has used Relias to generate positive outcomes for the organization is through continuing education units (CEUs). Traditionally, ABH’s clinicians have had to enroll in external, in-person training to meet their individual CEU requirements, often paying out of pocket for their training.

With Relias, ABH has brought this process in-house. Through Relias’ Learning and Development Solutions, ABH staff members can take their CEUs via the Relias Platform at no additional cost to themselves.

The convenience of this continuing education process has led ABH to integrate Relias into its recruitment processes as well.

“I can say to new staff members, ‘You don’t have to go anywhere to get your CEUs. You could take it right from your couch or in your office.’” — Vera Kurdian, CEO

The convenience of Relias has allowed ABH to evolve its training processes in other ways. Using Relias’ Course Authoring tool, ABH has created custom trainings around proprietary organizational processes and procedures.

And by combining this tool with training content created by Relias, ABH has delivered timely trainings on important topics such as LGBTQ+ mental health and working with clients’ anxieties over mass shootings. “The material isn’t just about teaching,” Kurdian said. “It’s also about increasing awareness.”

Creating better accreditation processes

As an outpatient mental health clinic, maintaining various accreditation standards has become a key part of ABH’s training programs. One such standard that stands out is the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). McDermott and Kuridan noted that Relias plays a central role in the way ABH delivers training to staff to maintain CARF accreditation.

“In order for us to get accredited, we need to have a partnership with a company that provides these trainings,” Kurdian said.

One of the ways ABH has streamlined the accreditation process is by using the administrative features of the Relias Platform to easily assign trainings to staff. “I love being able to tag people to different roles,” McDermott said.

“When we are assigning out the courses and we’re looking at which courses apply to each department and each role, it’s really easy to pick up the training plan and just assign it out.” — Christina McDermott, MHRM, Human Resources Manager

By creating groups of training modules within Relias, and then assigning these groupings to the appropriate staff members, ABH can quickly and easily deliver necessary trainings to staff.

After CARF-required trainings are assigned, ABH can then use the Relias Platform to report on the outcomes. By using Relias’ reporting feature, ABH can pull compliance records from the same system used to deliver the training. This makes it easier for administrators and saves ABH from having to integrate multiple platforms.

This also allows ABH to gain insight into which staff members have yet to complete their CARF trainings and work with those individuals to help them move past any roadblocks they’ve encountered.

Working with Relias to optimize onboarding

Impressed by the results Relias content has helped staff members achieve, ABH has worked to integrate Relias into the entire employee lifecycle. Beginning with new hire orientation, ABH dedicates an entire day of orientation to getting new staff members acquainted with Relias.

“We have a whole day devoted to trainings in Relias that we think are important for our new hires coming on board.” — Christina McDermott, MHRM, Human Resources Manager

This process cuts down on the time it takes to get new hires the training they need, allowing them to begin meeting with, and helping, clients much faster.

ABH does not restrict this onboarding process to full-time staff. When interns come on board, ABH assigns them Relias trainings as well. With an intern retention rate of 50%, this early introduction to Relias makes it easier for ABH to transition successful interns into full-time staff.

woman in blue shirt sitting at computer

By using Relias’ Learning and Development Solutions with interns as well as full-time staff, ABH has created essential continuity in training that accommodates bringing new staff members in who are already well acquainted with in-house training systems.

But onboarding at ABH does not stop with orientation. After completing their new hire orientation, all new staff members are enrolled in ABH Academy, a program where they receive more in-depth training on the topics covered during orientation. Moving forward, ABH hopes to integrate other features of the Relias Platform, such as virtual classrooms, into their ABH Academy program to facilitate better training processes.

“I’m trying to use Relias for that classroom piece and setting up those life-like classrooms,” McDermott said. In this way, ABH hopes to give a dispersed workforce the ability to gather and learn together via a virtual platform.


+ Met all individual CEU requirements in-house.

+ Created custom trainings around proprietary organizational processes and procedures.

+ Single source for CARF training and compliance records.

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