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AlaskaX: Mental Health History and Treatment

This course will explore the history and treatment of individuals with mental health disorders in the United States. Learners will be introduced to diagnoses, current treatment, and social impacts to care.

Mental Health History and Treatment
6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Nov 30

About this course

Skip About this course

As humans, we are continuously faced with challenges in our lives and in our society, depending on the severity of the challenge and the resources we have to cope with that challenge, it is essential to grow a trauma informed, and culturally grounded workforce of helpers that can provide support in navigating these challenges.

This course will explore the history and treatment of individuals with mental health disorders in the United States. This course will also highlight the historical and present day societal views of mental health services and the criminalization of mental health.

Learners will also have exposure to the importance of re-entry support from a variety of institutions. Throughout this course we will use person-first language around mental health with the understanding that mental health is not just mental illness. You will, however, see the use of the term "mental illness" in a lot of course materials, and will see that some resources will still use only the term "mental illness" or separate "mental health" and "mental illness". Understand that some of these terms are interchangeable in the field, however the focus in this course will be on mental health as a whole, viewing "mental illness" instead as mental health disorders or mental health challenges. It is important to acknowledge that many learners may have, or had in their lifetime, mental health disorders, challenges, and/or have had traumatic events occur in their lifetimes. The instructor will attempt to give content warnings around more sensitive material that will be covered, and learners are encouraged to utilize self-care strategies and reach out to your support system if there is material that is especially difficult for you.

The field of mental health is both challenging and rewarding, this course will give you insight into an important, and often stigmatized, topic that impacts our society on multiple levels, and requires compassionate and competent professionals to meet the increasing demand of jobs for mental health professionals in the United States and the world.

At a glance

  • Institution: AlaskaX
  • Subject: Social Sciences
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    SWK1x: Introduction to Social Work and SWK2x: Areas of Social Work Practice on edX are recommended prerequisites for this course.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills: Mental Health, Trauma Care, Mental Diseases, Compassion, Community Mental Health Services

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Learners will gain an understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice in the context of mental health services at the individual and system levels.
  • Learners will be able to discuss the history of mental health in the United States including deinstitutionalization, basic symptoms of mental health disorders, and the impact of stigma surrounding mental health disorders and care.
  • Learners will demonstrate self-awareness of their own mental health, and recognize their own biases and personal assumptions about mental health disorders in order to better serve unique and vulnerable populations.
  • Learners will demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and challenges of diverse groups, as well as how life situations and societal factors affect symptoms of mental health disorders and access to services.
  • Week 1: Introduction to Mental Health
  • Week 2: Policies and Deinstitutionalization
  • Week 3: Societal Views and Criminalization
  • Week 4: Etiology, Diagnosis, Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Week 5: Social Determinants and Mental Health Across the Life Span
  • Week 6: Indigenous Mental Health & Cultural Considerations

This course is part of Mental Health in Social Work Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
2 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
3 months
4 - 6 hours per week

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