New online Advanced Studies Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling helps address state's mental health concerns

School counselors from across Iowa have a new educational pathway to serve the mental health needs of school districts and communities with the addition of a new online Advanced Studies Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered by the University of Northern Iowa.

Designed with working professionals in mind, this program provides a flexible, dynamic experience for school counselors from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited programs with at least two years of experience to complete the educational requirements to obtain licensure as a clinical mental health counselor. Offered entirely online, students will gain extensive training in brain-based, evidence-based, and holistic mental health counseling interventions.

New online Advanced Studies Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling helps address state’s mental health concerns

"We have heard from many school counselors about the need for additional training in mental health counseling," said Darcie Davis-Gage, division chair and program coordinator of counseling and associate professor in UNI's School of Applied Human Sciences. "Through this post-master's certificate, my colleagues and I are committed to providing rigorous mental health training to help address Iowa's high-level need of mental health services in our schools and communities."

Graduates of the program will gain valuable skills and training related to mental health diagnosis and treatment planning, and utilize the needed skills in developmental theory, wellness and prevention practices. Students can complete the program in just 15 months, allowing them to advance their skills and/or connect to high-demand career opportunities.

Additionally, with the current national shortage of mental health professionals, this program will aim to address a need for additional mental health counselors in schools, and help graduates improve access to mental health services in rural and local communities.