Mental Health

Social workers encounter clients with mental health needs and concerns in a variety of social service settings necessitating specific skills and experience to provide effective social work practice.  The majority of mental health practitioners in mental health settings are social workers indicating the need for well-trained mental health professional with a strong commitment to social work values and practices. If you anticipate entering the mental health field, the mental health specialization will provide the necessary preparation.

The Mental Health specialization prepares students to enter into the mental health field by focusing on theoretical perspectives regarding the course and etiology of mental illness, diagnostic and assessment skills, evidence-based approaches, knowledge of mental health services, policies, and programs in the context of social work practice and values.

Students complete their advance practicum rotation in a mental health setting providing the opportunity to build collaborative and interdisciplinary skills and professional identity by integrating knowledge with an intricate understanding of mental health practice, policy and service delivery.

Admissions Process

  • Applicants must submit a three page professional development paper discussing their interest in the specialization, past experience with mental health, need for professional development, and potential contribution to specialization if selected, and plans following graduation.
  • Submit an updated resume.
  • Must be in good standing with Kent School MSSW Program and completed foundation MSSW curriculum requirements or will be entering the program as an advanced standing student.
  • 60-hr current students:  Complete the Application for Specializations during the December before your Advanced year.
  • 30-hr students: Submit specialization essay to Graduate Admissions Service Account when applying to the program.

Students must apply to specializations by December 15th during the December before their Advanced (final) year of study.

*Please be aware that some courses required for the specialization may only be available online during certain semesters.

Program Requirements

Required elective courses:

  • SW 615 Mental Health
  • SW 642 Psychopathology
  • Choose one from the following electives: SW 657 Group Methods, SW 659 Intro to Family Therapy Practice, SW 660 Motivation and Change, SW 636 Death & Grief, OR SW 664 Social Work & Law
  • SW 691/692 Mental Health Specialization Integrative Seminar I & II (1 credit hour each)
  • Must complete six credit hours of field education (672 & 673) or 18 hrs/wk in an approved mental health agency as part of the advance practicum rotation

 For more information contact:

Dr. Adrian Archuleta, Coordinator/Chair

Email Dr. Archuleta