The goal of the Community Mental Health Specialization is to help decrease statewide workforce shortages and meet the State of California's need for competent mental health graduate-level social workers who are trained to work with diverse client systems at every service level. Participants in this Community Mental Health Specialization will be qualified for direct practice and/or administrative positions in community mental health agencies and organizations in the public mental health sector, thus strengthening their career possibilities.
This specialization is available to students in both the Children, Youth and Families (CYF) and Older Adults and Families (OAF) concentrations and is specifically designed for graduate social work (MSW) students within these established concentrations as it offers advanced training in multicultural practice with mental health issues and practice (micro, mezzo and macro) across the lifespan. The Community Mental Health Specialization draws from the existing curriculum and expands it to include the 2nd year field internship experience in a community mental health setting, the Thesis/Project with a mental/health focus, and a requirement that both electives have a mental health focus as well as additional skill building workshops.
Students in this specialization will be required to maintain good standing in the MSW program and complete the following: (a) take SW 677 "Social Work Practice in Mental Health" as this course covers the Recovery Paradigm as it applies to community mental health services and consumer-driven/focused services as required by the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA); (b) take a second mental health-focused elective of their choice; (c) complete and file thesis/project with a mental health focus; (d) complete a mental health field internship in their second year of field work, and (e) attend additional skill building workshops where they can further develop specific mental health practice competencies (CSULB Catalog, 2013-2014).
Nancy Meyer-Adams, Ph.D.