Staff In-Person Training

We offer an interactive, in-person training via Zoom. The training is two hours long, and is available free of charge to persons working in behavioral health facilities and programs throughout Arizona. Click the link to the right to sign up. We also offer a comprehensive, online training (see below) for persons who want a deeper dive into the techniques of helping and the science behind tobacco control.

Take the Helpers Online Course

In-depth training and resources. Browse topics of interest.

The right kind of help increases a person's chances of success in quitting tobacco.

Tobacco use has unfairly burdened persons with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. You can become an important part of the solution to this problem. Helpers for Behavioral Health was designed at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine. Our goal is to help behavioral health staff become better equipped to help persons who are interested in stopping or reducing their tobacco use.

What You Will Learn

You will gain the knowledge, skills and resources to help someone quit tobacco.

  • Become Aware

    Become aware of opportunities to talk about tobacco use and have practical ways for starting conversations about quitting tobacco.

  • Develop an Understanding

    Understand what motivates someone to consider quitting tobacco. Understand their readiness to take action. Learn active listening skills.

  • Learn HOW to Help

    Help people who have an interest in quitting by offering referrals, information and self-help resources.

Step up to Help!

The Helpers Program Courses

By following the steps, you advance in your learning and boost your resources as a Helper. By completing steps one and two, you will earn your Helpers Training Certification. You can then pursue your interests by signing up for one of our Mini-Courses to earn additional certificates.

Step up to Help!

Participating in the Helpers program empowers behavioral health staff to become more comfortable, knowledgeable, and skilled in helping persons who are interested take steps towards stopping their tobacco use. Get support and share your efforts with other behavioral health professionals by participating in our community.

Helpers Program Training Team

Senior Instructor

Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH

Dr. Muramoto is Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Myra is an internationally recognized leader in research on reducing the harms caused by tobacco use and has been the recipient of numerous grants to study the impact of the Helpers Program to empower concerned persons to offer help and assistance to persons interested in quitting tobacco.

Senior Instructor

Tim Connolly, RN, MN

Tim is a Senior Research Nurse at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine. Tim directs the training team for the Helpers Program. He has two decades of experience creating and evaluating training models for community based tobacco control projects including the development of adapted training for behavioral health providers.


Andy Bernstein, PhD, CPRP

Andy is a Clinical Professor in the U of A Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Clinical Director of Camp Wellness, a recovery-oriented, peer-delivered adult education program which teaches people with SMI diagnoses how to improve their health and wellness. As a community and clinical psychologist and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP), Andy has a long history of working in public and private behavioral health settings, with a special interest in serving marginalized and stigmatized populations. His interest in tobacco cessation stems from watching his mom die of COPD.


Jonathan Brinks, MPH

Jonathan is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson, Department of Family & Community Medicine. He has over 15 years of experience providing behavioral health counseling and education services, with focuses on substance use and co-occurring disorders. He has developed and managed numerous outpatient treatment service programs, along with research projects involving behavioral health treatment methodologies.