Counseling and Mental Health Services

Counseling and Mental Health Services Course OverviewThis course introduces and exposes students to some topics, issues, and populations that are related to the counseling and mental health field. Students will first receive information about the history of the mental health system in the United States and about some common mental illnesses. They will then explore different counseling and mental health topics, populations, mental health needs of these populations, and workplace settings. This course will also introduce students to various careers in the mental health field. Some of the professions reviewed are, psychiatrists, psychologists, school counselors, social workers, social and human service assistants, dual diagnosis disorder counselors, recovery coaches, correctional counselors, forensic psychologists, crime victim advocates, geriatric psychiatrists, and recreational therapists. The roles, responsibilities, and duties of these workers along with the educational, licensure/certification, job outlook, and salaries of these professions are discussed. Lastly, the ethics and competencies important to these professions are presented.

  • Introduction to Careers in Mental Health and Counseling: In this unit, students learn about the history and progress of mental health in the United States. Students also study data that highlights the magnitude of mental illness sufferers in the United States, as well as some models of mental health that help professionals in the field understand and treat mental disorders. This unit also focuses on the role of the acute psychiatric hospital and the mental health workers within such a setting. Competencies and ethics important to the success of an acute psychiatric hospital are also presented.
  • Vulnerable Children: This unit begins with discussions about the many aspects of the vulnerable child. Students will learn about the various types of child abuse, their causes, symptoms, and treatment options, along with information on the profile of the abuser and child victim. The unit also covers the types of mental health workers who work with these minor victims and their families, the services they offer, and the competencies and ethics they require for their jobs.
  • Fields of Addictions and Dual Diagnosis: This unit presents information on addiction, dual diagnosis disorders, and some mental health workers who serve this population. Students also learn about the duties, roles, and responsibilities of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, dual diagnosis disorder counselors, and recovery coaches.
  • Criminal Justice Arena: In this unit, students learn about the relationships between the mental health and criminal justice systems, and the mental health workers who work with this population. Students also gain knowledge about the following mental health service providers who work in the criminal justice field: correctional counselors, forensic psychologists, and crime victim advocates.
  • Counseling and Mental Health Careers with Vulnerable Populations: This unit investigates vulnerable populations and the mental health service providers who work with these groups. Vulnerable populations are groups of individuals who are at a high risk of needing health care but are least likely to have access to health care. This also offers knowledge about geriatric psychiatrists, recreational therapists, and social and human service assistants, and the educational and licensing/certification requirements, job outlook, and ethics and competencies of these mental health workers.

State: National
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Human Services
Course Length: Semester