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Mental Health in Social Work

6 core (required) credit hours 

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  • Competently engage, evaluate, intervene, and evaluate in mental health practice with individuals, couples, families, and groups, representing clients across the life span.
  • Employ a full life span practice perspective that recognizes the interrelated dimensions of human development including physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual.
  • Employ an ecological perspective in assessment and intervention which recognizes that individual development is influenced by the individual’s environment including family, culture, community, natural environment, and global contexts.
  • Assess and intervene from a strengths perspective that is sensitive to client diversity and issues of oppression and discrimination.
  • Recognize that clients face multiple challenges (e.g., mental health, physical health, occupational/educational, substance abuse, legal) that often require multiple-level responses from multidisciplinary teams of professionals and other community members.
  • Summarize the importance of professionals and other community members.
  • Select intervention strategies that differentially fit the needs and characteristics of the client system identified in assessment.
  • Develop and utilize conscious-use-of-self in establishing effective helping relationships.
  • Describe the role of culture, class, geography, and gender in access to and utilization of mental health services in Utah, the United States, and international settings.
  • Apply and critique the NASW Code of Ethics in assessment and interventions in mental health practice settings.
  • Effectively resolve ethical and value-based challenges in practice.
  • Utilize practice-based evidence and evidence-based practice strategies to inform practice in mental health settings.


  • Students must take one additional Practice class outside their primary Area of Focus (AOF) to meet graduation requirements. For example, if Mental Health is the student’s primary AOF, they would be required to take an additional Practice course in another AOF such as Aging in Social Work, Child Welfare in Social Work, Forensic Social Work, Global Social Work, Health in Social Work, or Substance Use in Social Work.
  • Mental Health is the only AOF available to students in the Three-Year or Online Programs.
  • Students may take up to 16 credit hours in any one semester without requiring pre-approval from the MSW Program Director.
  • Students in the Advanced Standing program must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours.
  • Students in the two-year program must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Students must earn a passing grade of C+ or better.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to be in good academic standing.

Types of Practicum Placements:
Inpatient, residential, and outpatient mental health programs serving children, adults, and/or older adults and their families.


Last Updated: 7/18/22