Mental Health Care Career Prep

310 Hours / 12 Months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Mental Health Technicians are in high demand right now!  This certification program will prepare individuals to enter this growing field with the skills and experience necessary to be a successful Mental Health Technician.  This course provides a comprehensive overview of mental health care and the special needs of mental health patients.  The full spectrum of mental health disorders will be discussed, along with information about the therapeutic interventions for each disorder.  In addition, students will learn how external factors such as substance abuse, poverty, and culture impact a patient’s willingness to seek and participate in treatment.  Upon completion of this course, students will have a thorough understanding of mental health care and will be fully prepared to begin working in the field.

About ProTrain:

ProTrain is committed to offering world class interactive online courses that provide training and learning support for the student in a number of ways during their experience. The ProTrain course structure has been developed to provide activities to guide students throughout the entire process of learning. Learning activities include hands-on assignments that allow students to use what they are learning to allow better transferable skills within their work environments; and collaborative assignments, like wikis and discussion groups that allow them to share what they have learned with others in the same course.

While a student learns, they are not alone. Each student will receive guidance and support from his or her assigned Training Assessment Manager (TAM) and Student Services Specialist (SSS) representative. In addition, we will offer live monthly webinars and feedback sessions for various subject categories. Throughout the entire course, students are monitored by the SSS representative using progress reporting from the ProTrain Registration System (PRS).

ProTrain will provide Students who successfully complete their online certification programs and pass their industry level certification exams the access to the new ProTrain Education-2-Employment Career Tracker system. The Career Tracker will allow our students who pass exams to load their own resumes at no additional cost, and letting industry employers find their talent through the same database.

Curriculum Developer Biography:

Willow Nolland is an expert in education and eLearning, with more than ten years of experience in curriculum development and instructional design. She has worked in higher education for over twelve years, and has developed numerous courses and has been involved in curriculum development across disciplines. She has experience with academic program development and coordination, curriculum development, student learning outcomes, educational partnerships, and student development. In addition, she has developed and administered professional development programs for various groups, including teachers, counselors, healthcare workers and members of private industry. She is a certified Quality Matters Reviewer and has taken graduate courses in online course development. She designs and teaches online courses at the college level and is proficient in a variety of course management systems. She has helped educators redesign their courses to transition them from a face-to-face format to an online format, and has provided course editing assistance to others. As a freelance instructional designer and curriculum developer, her projects have included course editing and redesign of online continuing education courses for nurses, CEU curriculum development for healthcare workers and teachers, and course review and editing for various colleges and universities.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: The History of Mental Health Care

In this lesson, you will learn about the history of mental health care. The focus will be on the early views and treatment of individuals with mental health concerns, as well as the development and evolution of a comprehensive mental health system.

Lesson 2: Current Mental Health Care Systems

In this lesson, you will learn about the current mental health care system in Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.  You will learn the difference between inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, and gain an understanding of the community support systems model of care.You will also learn about the case management method of mental health care.

Lesson 3: Ethical and Legal Issues

In this lesson, you will learn about the ethical and legal issues surrounding mental health care.  You will begin to understand the legal responsibilities of mental health workers and will be introduced to the six steps for making ethical decisions.  By the end of this lesson, you will understand the four areas of potential legal liability for mental health care providers.

Lesson 4: Sociocultural Issues

In this lesson, you will learn about the sociocultural issues surrounding mental health care in the US.  You will consider the concepts of culture, ethnicity and religion.  You will learn about stereotypes in the mental health community and will learn the components of a cultural assessment.

Lesson 5: Theories and Therapies

In this lesson, you will learn about the various theories and how they can be applied to mental health.  You will learn how many of these theories are used to develop mental health therapies. This lesson will also describe the kinds of psychotherapy used in the treatment of mental disorders and explain the difference between psychotherapies and somatic therapies.

Lesson 6: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In this lesson, you will learn about the various alternative and complementary therapies used in mental health care.  You will be provided with definitions of each type and, as well as examples of how they are used to treat patients with mental health concerns.  You will learn how holistic care relates to integrative medicine and develop an understanding of the concept of whole medical systems.

Lesson 7: Psychotherapeutic Drug Therapy

In this lesson, you will learn about psychotherapeutic drug therapy and its role in mental health care.  You will gain an understanding of the different types of drugs and their affect on the body and mind. You will learn the benefits and negative aspects of the different forms of psychotherapeutic drug therapy and the strategies you will need to use when working with patients who are using these therapies.  

Lesson 8: Skills and Principles of Mental Health Care

In this lesson, you will learn the skills and principles that are key to mental health care. You will learn the definition of a mentally healthy adult, and you will develop an understanding of the role of the mental health professional in helping an individual work toward that status. The guidelines for crisis intervention will be provided, and you will also learn how to apply the seven key principles of mental health care to client care.

Lesson 9: Mental Health Assessment Skills

In this lesson, you will learn how to conduct a mental health assessment.  You will also learn about mental health treatment plans and how and why they should be followed.  Once you complete this lesson, you will have a solid understanding of the assessment and treatment process.

Lesson 10: Therapeutic Communication

In this lesson, you will learn about therapeutic communication and its role in mental health care.  You will examine theories of communication and develop an understanding of the different components of communication.  You will also compare therapeutic and non-therapeutic communication.  By the end of this lesson you will have a thorough understanding of the role of communication in mental health care.

Lesson 11: The Therapeutic Relationship

In this lesson, you will learn about the therapeutic relationship.  The five dynamics of the therapeutic relationship will be discussed, as well as the four characteristics of the therapeutic relationship. You will also learn about the ways in which therapeutic rapport is developed.  This lesson will also provide an overview of the four roles of the caregiver in the therapeutic relationship, as well as provide examples of problems that may be encountered in the therapeutic relationship.

Lesson 12: The Therapeutic Environment

In this lesson, you will learn about the therapeutic environment.  The term therapeutic environment describes certain settings or environments designed to help clients replace inappropriate behaviors with more effective personal and psychosocial skills. Principles of treatment are based on the concept that every interaction within the client’s environment has therapeutic potential.  In this lesson, you will learn how to establish a therapeutic environment, and the differences between an inpatient and outpatient environment.

Lesson 13: Problems of Childhood

In this lesson, you will learn all about the mental health problems that are specific to childhood.  First, you will receive an overview of normal childhood development to serve as a baseline.  From there, you will receive an overview of the different types of mental health problems that children experience, such as Environmental problems; Problems with parent-child interaction; Emotional problems; Behavioral problems; Problems with eating and elimination; Developmental problems; Pervasive developmental disorders; and Schizophrenia.  Finally, you will receive an overview of the therapeutic actions used with children with mental health concerns.

Lesson 14: Problems of Adolescence

In this lesson, you will learn about problems of adolescence.  First, you will learn about the normal growth and development of adolescents.  After that, we will discuss common problems of adolescence.  Finally, you will learn about mental health problems of adolescence and common therapeutic interventions.  Once you complete this lesson, you will have a solid understanding of the normal and abnormal growth and development of adolescence.

Lesson 15: Problems of Adulthood

In this lesson, you will learn about the problems of adulthood.  First, you will learn about adult growth and development.  Then, you will learn about common problems of adulthood and mental health problems of adults.  Once you complete this lesson, you will have a better understanding of the mental health problems facing adults, which will prepare you to begin learning about treatment and therapeutic strategies.

Lesson 16: Problems of Late Adulthood

In this lesson, you will learn about the problems of late adulthood.  This lesson will address issues surrounding aging and the mental health problems common in the aging population.  After completing this lesson, you will have a better understanding of the aging population and their mental health care concerns and needs.

Lesson 17: Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

In this lesson, you will learn about cognitive impairments, Alzheimer's disease, and dementia.  You will learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of these conditions, as well as how to work with patients who have already been diagnosed.  This lesson will provide information on therapeutic treatment options and will present strategies for ensuring patients receive the appropriate care.

Lesson 18: Managing Anxiety

In this lesson, you will learn about managing anxiety.  You will learn how anxiety is experienced and expressed.  You will also learn therapeutic strategies to help patients who are struggling with anxiety.  Finally, you will learn how to identify and prevent anxiety in patients.

Lesson 19: Illness and Hospitalization

In this lesson, you will learn about illness and hospitalization.  You will learn about the nature of illness and the hospitalization experience.  At the conclusion of this lesson, you will have a better understanding of hospitalization and its role in healthcare.

Lesson 20: Loss and Grief

In this lesson, you will learn about loss and grief.  You will learn about the characteristics of loss and the dying process.  You will also gain an understanding of the nature of grief and loss, and the role of therapeutic interventions.  This lesson offers several suggestions for assisting clients and their loved ones through the emotions of loss, and it encourages you to consider a “ client- centered peaceful death” as an appropriate therapeutic goal.

Lesson 21: Depression and Other Mood Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about depression and other mood disorders.  You will learn the characteristics of mood disorders and the therapeutic interventions that are used with individuals with mood disorders.  You will learn how emotions are experienced and evolve throughout the life cycle.  Once you complete this lesson, you will have a better understanding of the concerns of patients with depression and other mood disorders, and you will be better prepared to provide the appropriate mental health care.

Lesson 22: Physical Problems, Psychological Sources

This lesson explores the connection between the physical and psychological aspects of people. It is an important lesson because clients with psychologically based physical problems are encountered in every practice setting. Health care providers who understand the role emotions play in the development of health problems are better able to assess client needs and plan more effective care.

Lesson 23: Eating and Sleep Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about the different eating and sleep disorders. As with everything in life, an occasional skipped meal or overindulgence is not a problem, but when behaviors associated with eating or sleeping interfere with an individual’s quality of daily life, they become mental health disorders.

Lesson 24: Dissociative Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about dissociative disorders.  You will examine the meaning of the term self-concept, and gain an understanding of the development of self-concept throughout the life cycle.  You will also learn about the characteristics of dissociative disorders and the four types of dissociative disorders.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a better understanding of patients with dissociative disorders and will be better prepared to provide them with the appropriate mental health care.

Lesson 25: Anger and Aggression

In this lesson, you will learn about anger and aggression.  The differences between anger, aggression, and assertiveness will be provided.  You will also learn about the ways in which anger is expressed throughout the life cycle, and examine the impact of anger and aggression on society.  In addition, the main characteristics for the three mental health disorders that relate to anger and aggression will be provided.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to assess clients who show signs of anger and aggression, as well as provide the appropriate therapeutic interventions.

Lesson 26: Outward Focused Emotions: Violence

In this lesson, you will learn about outward facing emotions: violence.  The purpose of this lesson is twofold: (1) to help you understand the many ways in which violence is present in society, and (2) to provide you with the tools to effectively assess, intervene in, reduce, and prevent aggressive incidents.

Lesson 27: Inward-Focused Emotions: Suicide

In this lesson, you will learn about suicide.  The initial focus will be on the impact of suicide on society.  From there, you will learn about the dynamics of suicide and therapeutic interventions.  After completing this lesson, you will have the appropriate skills necessary to work with clients who are in need of mental health care relating to suicide.

Lesson 28: Substance-Related Disorders

The focus of this lesson is to provide an understanding of substance use, abuse, and addiction; its effects on society; and the current interventions used to treat and educate clients.

Lesson 29: Sexual Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about sexual disorders and their impact on individuals and society.  You will learn about the continuum of sexual response, the modes of sexual expression, and the characteristics of sexual disorders.

Lesson 30: Personality Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about the development of personality throughout life and the characteristics of personality disorders.  You will learn the ten classifications for personality disorders and will identify treatment options for patients with personality disorders.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will be fully prepared to work with patients with personality disorders.

Lesson 31: Schizophrenia and other Psychoses

In this lesson, you will learn about schizophrenia and other psychoses. Most people with mental health problems are able to think and act logically, even when their behaviors are maladaptive. However, for a certain group of people, reality is distorted and disturbed. These individuals suffer from a psychosis: the inability to recognize reality, relate to others, and cope with life’s demands.  This lesson will provide an overview of psychoses throughout the life cycle, as well as information regarding specific psychotic disorders.  Finally, you will learn about the most effective therapeutic interventions for individuals with psychotic disorders.

Lesson 32: Chronic Mental Health Disorders

In this lesson, you will learn about chronic mental health disorders.  Chronic mental illness is the presence of one or more recurring psychiatric disorders that result in significantly impaired functional abilities.  This lesson will provide an overview of the scope of chronic mental illness, the characteristics of chronic mental illness, and the therapeutic interventions used for individuals with chronic mental illness.  

All necessary materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**