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Mental Health in Social Work

10 credit hours - 6 hours core plus a minimum of 4 required elective credit hours  


  • 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 their practice in mental health settings.


Fall Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW 6220 Diversity and Social Justice: Reflexive and Ethical Social Work Practice II 3.0
SW 6401 Mental Health Practice I: Children and Adolescents 3.0
SW 6521 Advanced Field Practicum I 4.0


Spring Semester

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
SW 6402 Mental Health Practice II: Adults and Aging 3.0
SW 6522 Advanced Field Practicum II 4.0

 Mental Health Course Checklist

Recommended Electives

  • Spirituality in Social Work - 2 credit hours
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • Intro to Couples Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • Marriage and Family Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • Advanced Cognitive Therapy – 2 credit hour
  • Advanced Group Practice – 2 credit hours
  • Mind, Body Bridging – 2 credit hours
  • Advanced Brief Therapy 2 – credit hours
  • Practice with Grief & Loss- 2 credit hours
  • Play Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • Animal Assisted Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • Human Sexuality in SW – 2 credit hours
  • SW Prac. With kids & Adolescents – 2 credit hours
  • Crisis Intervention – 2 credit hours
  • ACT Therapy and Mindfulness – 3 credit hours online
  • Family Violence across Life – 2 credit hours
  • Self Harm – 2 credit hours
  • Working with Trauma – 2 credit hours
  • Motivational Interviewing – 2 credit hours
  • Dialogue Models SW 6830 – 3 credit hours
  • Treatment of Trauma – 2 credit hours
  • Creative & Expressive Therapy 3 credit hours
  • Human Trafficking – 3 credit hours online
  • Global Issues in Women’s Health (online) -- 3 credits hours
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy – 2 credit hours
  • End of Life/Palliative Care – 2 credit hours
  • Dialogue Models SW 6830 – 3 credit hour


Note on electives for Area of Focus and proposed semester:

  • All students must take one practice class outside their Area of Focus as an elective.
  • 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 2-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.


For more information, please contact:
David Derezotes, PhD
Chair, Mental Health in Social Work Area of Focus

Last Updated: 9/19/19