Mental Health Specialist
About four million 9 to 17 year olds have a major mental health disorder resulting in significant impairment at home, at school and with peers, according to a report of the Surgeon General’s Conference on Children’s Mental Health. At least one in five children and adolescents has a mental health disorder, and one in 10 has a serious disorder. Mental health disorders affect students’ ability to succeed in school both academically and socially.
People with mental disorcers account for more than 90 percent of deaths by suicide. Most alarming, the Centers for Disease Control ranks suicide as the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults (ages 10-19), and for every young person who dies by suicide another 100–200 make a suicide attempt. This translates to an estimated count of three students in a typical high school who will attempt suicide each year. Due to this disturbing statistic, it’s crucial that school districts have policies and procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to youth suicidal behavior.
These staggering statistics underscore the importance of being cognizant of students’ mental well-being. School counselors, along with other specialized instruction support personnel, are often on the forefront of identifying behaviors that could signal something fore serious. School counselors should also play a key role in implementing suicide-prevention and mental-health policies that are critical to creating a safe school environment for everyone.
Upon completion of this training, participants should be able to:
- Recognize the warning signs of various mental health disorders
- Describe how to address the mental health needs of students by providing direct services, accessing community resources, and working with school staff and community service providers
- Recognize when to collaborate with parents/guardians, teachers, administrators or involve outside help
- Implement suicide-prevention policies
- Identify best practices for schools to follow to protect the mental health and safety of all students
Earn the Mental Health Specialist designation to be best prepared to support students with mental health issues. The Mental Health Specialist training is $99 ($249 for nonmembers) and is equal to 5 CEUs/50 Contact Hours.
To earn the Mental Health Specialist certificate, you will read/view the following materials and take a short quiz online about each to indicate mastery of the subject matter. Once you have passed all the quizzes, the CEUs will be posted to your CEU records online, and you’ll receive a certificate suitable for framing in the mail. It can take up to three weeks for your certificate to arrive. Please note, access to all webinars, journal article, magazine articles and quizzes is included in the registration price. Books must be purchased separately.
How to Get Started
- Book: "The School Counselor's Mental Health Sourcebook: Strategies to Help Students Succeed, first edition"
- Resource: Depression
- Resource: Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary and Resources
- Journal article: The Role of School Counselors in Meeting Students' Mental Health Needs: Examining Issues of Professional Identity, Vol. 16, No. 5
- Journal article: Mental Health Services in Public Schools: A Preliminary Study of School Counselor Perceptions, Vol. 16, No. 4
- Journal article: Addressing Student Mental Health Needs by Providing Direct and Indirect Services and Building Alliances in the Community, Vol. 16, No. 5
- Journal article: School Counselors Serving Students with Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Vol. 16, No. 4
- Journal article: A High School Counselor's Leadership in Providing School-wide Screenings for Depression and Enhancing Suicide Awareness, Vol. 15, No. 5
- Journal article: Bringing Mental Health Needs into Focus Through School Counseling Program Transformation, Vol. 16, No. 5
- Magazine article: Cause for Concern?
- Magazine article: Lead Mental Health Efforts
- Magazine article: Students With Depression: Help Them Find Their Way Out
- Magazine article: Take Action, Save Lives
- ASCA Position Statement: The School Counselor and Student Mental Health
- Webinar: Aevidum: A Culture of Caring for Mental Health Awareness
- Podcast: TedTalk -- The bridge between suicide and life
- Podcast: TedTalk -- The secret we all share
1. Register here
to sign up for the Mental Health Specialist training.
2, Read/view the above assignments. For the webinars and presentations some users may need to download the g2m4 codec
to play archived webinar recordings.
3. Take the quizzes. Once you've registered for the training, log into the ASCA website, click on "My ASCA" and then click on "ASCA Quizzes." You must score 100 percent on each quiz to pass. You may take each quiz as many times as necessary. Please note, if you're working on a Mac, we recommend using Firefox or Google Chrome rather than Safari for best interface with the quiz software. And if you're working on a PC and the quizzes aren't showing up properly, make sure your Internet browser is the most up-to-date version.