MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A few dozen University of Minnesota faculty members have started receiving training through a pilot program that organizers say can help promote mental health.

The new "mental health advocates" program teaches faculty and staff how to look for signs of mental health issues, primarily in students.

Advocates received a folder in their November training with tips on identifying distressed students, as well as best practices for responding to threatening or disruptive classroom behavior.

Disability Resource Center Director Donna Johnson says these advocates are not meant to serve as therapists, but rather people who can provide students with a variety of mental health resources on campus.

The advocates will partake in another training session in February, and the program will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester.