Mental Health Classes and Courses Overview

Mental health courses are part of master's and doctorate programs in mental health, behavioral health, counseling and psychology. Students in these majors generally explore mental health disorders and ethics, while building counseling and research skills.

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Mental Health Disorders Courses

The study of mental health disorders, known as epidemiology, is at the core of most mental health master's and doctorate programs. Students learn about various mental health disorders and their effects on the afflicted and their families. Courses in epidemiology usually start at the beginning of a mental health program and continue throughout its duration.

Counseling Courses

Mental health counseling courses teach students techniques to identify patients' mental disorders. They address the best ways to talk to patients and to take notes on their responses. Mental health counseling is usually introduced in a student's first semester and expounded upon later in a mental health degree program.

Research Course

A mental health research course introduces students to various research methods and discusses ways to utilize findings in mental health treatment. Some schools include statistical elements in their mental health research courses so that students can spot trends and triggers for disorders more easily.

Ethics Course

A course in mental health ethics teaches future counselors to convey trust, which is an important component of mental health treatment. Students learn to use ethics in treating patients and in building a psychological practice. In most cases, particular attention is paid to the ethical treatment of people of different cultures and lifestyles. A mental ethics course is often one of the first courses taken in a mental health program.

Internship Course

A mental health internship, which often spans from 2-3 semesters in length, allows students to get hands-on counseling experience by working with patients in psychological settings. Internship sites can range from university counseling services and children's homes to hospitals and hospices, depending on a student's area of specialization. As part of a mental health internship, students may be required to meet and share their experiences, thus learning from each other. Internships in mental health are generally completed toward the end of master's and doctorate programs.

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