PSY 642 Mental Health Systems, Practice, and Advocacy

3 units

This course is designed to explore the evolving professional and economic climate for mental health professionals. Opportunities for practice are examined, including private and group practice, the workplace, medical settings, mediation, managed care, and community mental health, together with preferred treatment modalities. Exercises designed to help students prepare for the licensing process are included. This course also addresses community involvement, engagement of consumers of mental health services, and advocacy.

The foundation for this course translates into recognizing the skills students have gained while pursuing their degree and effectively applying these skills in practical ways in a highly competitive, shifting mental health system of care. The skills necessary to be a successful mental health professional shift every year and continue to evolve. What once was the avenue to successful transitions from graduate school into the profession has expanded into a more complex skill set. This course aims to remediate the deficiency in student instruction by teaching skills necessary to function more creatively and competitively as a mental health professional.

The class will explore professional development issues, including hearing from guest speakers, creating niches, the business of practice, and ethical and legal issues in students’ professional work. It is also necessary, and an ethical responsibility, that all graduates become responsive providers in all areas of diversity including, but not limited to, gender, class, religion/spirituality, culture, ability, and age. In addition, emphasis will be placed on furthering the student’s clinical skills as a licensed professional.