Graduate Program in Community Mental Health & Mental Health Counseling

The Graduate Programs in Community Mental Health and Mental Health Counseling are competency-based, multidisciplinary programs, with a unique emphasis in both clinical mental health and substance abuse counseling, including both clinical and leadership skills in community-based behavioral health care. The programs are specifically designed to prepare individuals to perform a wide variety of clinical counseling and administrative roles in integrated community mental health and substance abuse services for children, youth, families, and adults. 

Degree Specializations

Integrated Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services For Children, Youth, and Families
The curriculum in the children’s specialization includes attention to clinical mental health counseling, strengths-based family-centered work, individualized service planning, home based services, parents as partners, cultural competence, issues of early childhood through transition age youth, evidence-based treatment models, and service systems that are integrated and trauma informed. The curriculum also contains coursework focused on program evaluation, mental health policy, behavioral health care administration, advocacy, systems change, and professional ethics.

Integrated Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services For Adults
The curriculum pertaining to work with adults includes attention to clinical mental health counseling, community support and rehabilitation services, recovery, empowerment, community integration, 12-step recovery, harm reduction models, motivational strategies and stages of change-based interventions, and other evidence-based strategies for treatment and support.  The curriculum also contains coursework focused on program evaluation, mental health policy, behavioral health care administration, advocacy, systems change, and professional ethics.

Master of Science Degree and Graduate Certificate Options:

The Graduate Program in Community Mental Health and Mental Health Counseling offers graduate level certificates and master’s degree options.  Requirements vary according to specialization and site specific offerings.  Individuals may also enroll in graduate course work as non-degree / continuing education course credit for professional development and/or licensure preparation. 

Certificate in Community Mental Health:  (minimum 22 graduate credits). The certificates consist of courses that constitute the first year of the master’s degree programs.  Focus is on one of two specializations (work with children, youth and families or adults).

Master of Science in Community Mental Health: (minimum 48 graduate credits). The master of science degree includes foundation courses, specialization courses, internships and advanced course work in clinical practice and management of integrated services.  Students earn a certificate within the master’s degree sequence.

Master of Science in Community Mental Health & Mental Health Counseling: (Minimum 60 graduate credits). For students pursuing licensure as clinical professional counselors, or clinical mental health counselors with coursework and internship requirements to prepare graduates for licensure in clinical mental health counseling and substance abuse counseling. (Courses and total credits will depend on the state and local requirements. Totals range from 60 – 66 credits). 

Non-degree / Continuing Education course work:  Individuals may enroll in graduate level course offerings as non-degree / continuing education course credit for professional development or licensure preparation, with permission from the program. Up to six credits may be taken by permission of the program, without enrolling in a degree program, and in some cases more credits are permitted for individuals who already have a relevant master’s degree.

Mission

The Graduate Program in Community Mental health and Mental Health Counseling (PCMH) seeks to:

  • Increase the expertise of staff and managers working as clinical mental health counselors, with a specialization in integrated mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Develop new leaders skilled in innovative program development in response to emerging needs in community mental health and substance abuse treatment.
  • Improve outcomes for children, youth, adults, and families with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
  • Increase the number of people in recovery and family members who are prepared to work at the master’s level in the field of clinical mental health and substance abuse counseling.

The Graduate Program in Community Mental Health & Mental Health Counseling (PCMH) is targeted to a diverse group of students:

  • Mental health and substance abuse service staff who wish to advance to a master's level of practice and professional licensure as clinical mental health counselors.
  • Staff updating their education and understanding of state-of-the-art practices, service management, program development, program evaluation.
  • Individuals working in related human service, educational, medical, or corrections fields providing support to children and families or adults with mental health concerns and/or addictions.
  • Mental health and substance abuse service consumers in recovery and family members who are interested in becoming professional service providers.
  • Individuals interested in a career change to the mental health counseling and addictions prevention and treatment related fields.

Earn Your Graduate Degree with a Flexible Weekend Format:

Classes, held in Anchorage, AK; Burlington, VT; Manchester, NH; Brunswick, ME; and Summit and Wausau, WI, meet one weekend a month and are geared toward adult learners, most of whom work full time. The weekend format makes participation in the program feasible for students from a broad geographical area. Some students commute several hours to participate in weekend instruction. Most 3-credit classes run two months in succession.

A Competency Focused Graduate Program:

Nationally recognized competencies that are multidisciplinary and multicultural in nature are the core of the Graduate Program in Community Mental Health & Mental Health Counseling.  These are drawn from the research literature and best practices in model programs, with input from professionals, family members and people in recovery.

Graduate Program Faculty:

The cadre of PCMH faculty is comprised of national and local experts in integrated clinical practice, research, program development, and administration for adults, children, youth, and families. Faculty hiring and support is provided by the PCMH Program Director, Annamarie Cioffari, Ph.D. a.cioffari@snhu.edu

A Program with National Recognition:

The Graduate Program in Community Mental Health and Mental Health Counseling has been recognized by The Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce as an innovative practice in behavioral health workforce development under five categories, including consumer and family/adult mental health, child/adolescent and school-based mental health, leadership, rural mental health, and substance use disorders treatment and persons in recovery.

In addition, the program and its competencies have been cited as models for higher education by Meyers, Kaufman and Goldman (1999) in a monograph on promising practices in children’s mental health, and in two articles by Coursey, et al. (2000) in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.