Updated January 2023
Does your work bring you into close contact with individuals who may suffer from mental health issues? Want to equip yourself with practical mental health knowledge and skills so you can better support the well-being of others?
It sounds like you are a strong candidate for community mental health training.
And if you work full time, you're probably looking for an online course. The good news is there are plenty of options out there!
The downside is it can overwhelming to sort through all those options and find the right training for your needs.
As you compare your top choices, take some time to consider these four points.
1. Look Closely at the Coursework
There are many online community mental courses out there. Some focus on very specific areas of practice, such as diagnosis and treatment, particular kinds of disorders, or mental health first aid techniques.
Before you begin your search, make a list of your own learning goals. What challenges are you facing? What skills and knowledge would truly enhance your performance at work and help you serve others better?
Are you looking for a general overview of mental health issues and practices? Techniques to better assist people with addiction? A deeper understanding of common mood disorders or how to cope with youth suffering from depression?
Look closely at the courses that come with the certificates you find online.
There should be detailed descriptions of each learning goal. Read through them carefully and follow up with questions if need be to ensure the training has the breadth and scope you want.
2. Is the online course interactive and personalized?
Online training is undeniably the most convenient option for working professionals.
However, there can be drawbacks to some online learning formats. For example, courses that include little or no "live" interaction with the instructor or classmates leave many students feeling bored and unmotivated.
Look carefully at the approach each training provider is using. Are there regular opportunities for group discussions and one-to-one time with the instructor? Does the training strike a good balance between independent study and collaboration?
It's also key to examine the timeframe of the program. Are there limits to how long you have to complete the certificate? Are there ways to extend your study time, if needed?
Always check for interactivity and personalization options before making your final decision.
3. What is the instructor's background?
A community mental health certificate is only as good as its instructor.
One of the first things prospective students should investigate is the background, credentials, and professional experience of the person teaching the course.
Ideally, this information should be readily available on the training provider's website. Take the time to read through the instructor bio. Look at the number of years they've been teaching in the field and the scope of their mental health work experience.
Is the instructor a true expert you would be inspired to learn from?
4. Reputation of the training provider
When selecting any kind of training, you'll want to prioritize colleges or professional associations that have established track records as educators.
To dig deeper, review the "history" or "about" sections of the trainer's website.
Look for easy access to additional information about the institution, how long they've been operating, and what distinguishes them as a leading provider of professional development training.
Is there someone you can chat with live to ask questions about how long the organization has been in business and how they go about selecting instructors for the community mental health certificate?
If live chat isn't an option, look for email and phone alternatives. Get in touch with a prepared set of questions in order to validate the authenticity and reliability of the program.
At Kompass, the Community Mental Health and Addictions certificate focuses on practical skills for front-line professionals. Is this course a good fit for you?
Click below to explore the program, learn about the instructor, and chat live with admissions. We're here to help.