Counseling and Mental Health Services

The mental health field is diverse. There are many different options available to those interested in working in the counseling and mental health field. This course introduces and exposes the students to some topics, issues, and populations that are related to the counseling and mental health field. Students will first receive information about on 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 work place settings. Some topics and populations discussed are addiction, dual diagnosis disorders, vulnerable children, different vulnerable populations, and mental health issues in the criminal justice system. Some workplace settings of counseling and mental health workers analyzed are the criminal justice system, school systems, acute psychiatric care settings, community mental health centers, and child protective services.

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. Students are provided with resources in order that they may be able to conduct online research of schools and credential requirements of their individual states. This course will equip students with information and resources on counseling and mental health careers, and the coursework will give students the opportunity to apply some of this knowledge in practical scenarios.


  • Describe and compare careers in counseling and mental health in terms of academic preparation, skill sets, licensing, employment potential, and continuing education.
  • Describe the professional behaviors and skills required for human service occupations.
  • Analyze the role of mental health workers in asensuring fair and ethical treatment for human service clients.
  • Evaluate consequences of unethical behavior for both the clients and human service workers.
  • Identify personal qualities necessary for success in the field of counseling and mental health.
  • Demonstrate basic oral communications skills involved in interviewing and working with clients in a human services setting.
  • Demonstrate the ability to present information to various groups and audiences using appropriate technology.
  • Produce written documents of professional quality appropriate to the purpose of the communication and intended receiver.
  • Recognize the importance of inter- professional team work and communication in the human service arena.
  • Recognize the role that social problems play in the development of various mental and or behavior disorders.
  • Identify mental health models used by mental health workers to assist them in understanding client problems.
  • Describe selected interventions used by mental health professionals.
  • Recognize different work environments of mental health workers.

The Student should understand the following concepts about the counseling field:

  • A mental health system exists in the United States.
  • Basic understanding of the educational system in the United States.
  • Understand that the goal of mental health careers is to help others.
  • School counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychiatrists are some professionals who work in the mental health field.

To be successful in this course, the student should be comfortable with these technical expectations:

  • Access and navigate the Internet.
  • Access
  • Use word processor (Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, etc.).
  • Create PowerPoint Presentations.
  • Post to Discussion Thread

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Human Services
Course Length: Semester