Associates Degree in Mental Health: Program Overview

Read about an associate's degree program in mental health. See prerequisites, coursework and employment prospects. Explore the continuing education options available.

View 4 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Many individuals who choose to work in the mental health field as counselors, technicians, practitioners or administrators have 4-year degrees, at minimum. However, some associate's degree programs can either segue into baccalaureate programs or prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the mental health field. One such degree program is an Associate of Science in Mental Health. Such programs are often made available through the human services, health sciences or social services departments of universities or community colleges.

They are designed to introduce students to the field of mental health and human services studies. Students are often required to fulfill internship experiences at clinics, rehabilitation centers or other mental health facilities. Some might go on to become entry-level mental health or nursing home assistants, family services case workers or human services assistants.

Educational Prerequisites

Before high school graduates begin core courses in a mental health associate's degree program, they're often required to complete or concurrently enroll in college-level courses in English, reading and mathematics. Students who are interested in studying mental health should also have solid communication skills and be interested in helping others.

Program Coursework

Some associate's degree programs in mental health allow students to pick a specialization. Others are tailored towards a specific career, such as mental health treatment, gerontology, rehabilitation technology, substance abuse treatment or child services.

Associate's degree programs in mental health contain foundational and theory-based courses, along with specific training courses in the mental health field. Examples of each include:

  • Community mental health
  • Child mental health care
  • Human development
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Mental and developmental disabilities
  • Case management skills
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Drug and alcohol treatment

Employment Prospects and Salary Info

Graduates of an associate's degree program in mental health go on to earn baccalaureate degrees that will guide them toward specific vocations, such as mental health technology or mental health nursing. Some associate's degree recipients can go directly into positions such as these:

  • Shelter manager or director
  • Family support services case worker
  • Mental health rehabilitation assistant
  • Nursing home administration assistant
  • Group facilitator

Earning an associate's degree could also prepare students for jobs as social and human service assistants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of these professionals was projected to increase 28% from 2010-2020, which is significantly faster than the national average of 14%. As of 2012, social and human service assistants made median hourly wages of roughly $14.00 per hour, as noted by the BLS.

Continuing Education

Many baccalaureate degree programs are available within the field of mental health. Some of these include a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services, a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Addiction Studies. Aspiring psychologists and substance abuse counselors must complete even more advanced academic programs at the master's degree level and above. More advanced programs in the mental health field often contain clinical and research components in addition to regular coursework.

Show me popular schools

Related to Associates Degree in Mental Health: Program Overview

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
How Students Can Maintain Mental Health at College

Many students experience anxiety and depression as they transition into college due to the unfamiliar school setting and the...

Mental Health Specialist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Mental health specialists often have both counseling and social work skills. They work with individuals who have mental...

Online Courses in Mental Health: Course Descriptions

Students and working professionals may enroll in online mental health courses, which are available through many colleges and...

Mental Health Therapist Career Requirements

Learn about the educational requirements for a mental health therapist. Explore job duties and necessary skills in addition to...

Online Mental Health Counseling Courses and Classes

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Texas (3 campuses)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
        • Mental Health Services Technician
      • Nursing Professions
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
        • Mental Health Services Technician
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Indiana Wesleyan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
        • Community Health Services
        • Marriage and Family Counseling
        • Substance Abuse Counseling
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
        • Substance Abuse Counseling
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
  • School locations:
    • Nebraska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vatterott College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Mental Health Services
        • Mental Health Services Technician
        • Substance Abuse Counseling

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright