This elective Mental Health Concentration in Occupational Therapy is to help address the challenges in behavioral/ mental health care in North Carolina and in the US. It is a concentration for degree-seeking graduate students enrolled in the Department of Occupational Therapy (OT). This program guides OT students to take a track of courses that will build competencies for practice in mental health while going through the OT curriculum. The concentration also offers advantage for OT students to seek employment in behavioral health upon graduation and career advancement in their future practice.
The educational objective of the Mental Health Concentration in Occupational Therapy is to produce OT graduates with the entry-level competence to practice in mental health. The OT graduate will perform the beginning level OT evaluation and intervention for clients with mental and behavioral health issues, appropriate in the context of mental health practice settings.
The admission criteria for this Concentration program include:
- A graduate student enrolled in the WSSU occupational therapy program
- Has completed a minimum of one semester in the OT program
- In good academic standing with a GPA of 3.5 or higher at the time of application
- A grade of A or B on the required courses for this Concentration program (see Course Work section below) if any has been taken by the time of application
At this time, this Concentration program does not accept students who are not in the WSSU OT program.
To fulfill the Concentration requirements, students must take the following courses in the sequence listed below. The total credit number for this Concentration program is 13.
1. OCC 6308 - Psychosocial Basis of Occupation
In this course the students will apply theoretical foundations and frames of reference used when working with individuals with diverse psychosocial dysfunctions across the lifespan. Students will demonstrate competencies and critical thinking in evaluating, planning, and implementing intervention.
2. OCC 6118 - Level I Fieldwork-Community
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in various aspects of the occupational therapy process with a psychosocial emphasis across settings. This course is offered concurrently with OCC 6308 Psychosocial Basis of Occupation.
3. OCC 6601 - Fieldwork Level II A or OCC 6602 - Fieldwork Level II B
These courses are 12-week clinical affiliation under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. The primary purpose of Level II Fieldwork is to develop entry-level occupational therapists who possess: a) competency to deliver occupational therapy services across practice settings; and b) sound, logical, and ethical clinical reasoning.
4. A Course from Rehabilitation Counseling Program
Additionally, students must take one of the following online courses offered by the Rehabilitation Counseling program. This online course must be completed no later than the end of the semester when the student enrolls in OCC 6602 - Fieldwork Level II B .
• REH 5320 - Psychopathology and Treatment in Rehabilitation
This course will address individual, group, and family counseling theories and practices with the inclusion of diversity issues (e.g. multicultural, disability, and gender). Behavior, personality, and human growth will be included to enhance the different theoretical concepts.
• REH 6328 - Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Students are introduced to the history, philosophy, and theoretical foundations of the clinical mental health counseling profession, including the scope of practice, credentialing, professional roles, functions and relationships with other helpers. This course provides an overview of the clinical mental health counseling program, self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role; professional organizations and licensure; and the roles of professional counselors in advocacy and the promotion of social justice.
• REH 6319 - Psychopharmacology
This course provides an overview of psychotropic medications used in the management of mental, behavioral, and addictive disorders in children and adults. Student will explore basic anatomical, physiological, and chemical characteristics of the nervous system to understand the rationale for using medications, along with their limitations and side effects. Additionally, students will explore related historical, social, ethnic and cultural factors related to counseling and psychotropic medical treatment.
• REH 6320 - Addiction Counseling
This course is designed to provide graduate students with an orientation to and introductory framework for recognizing and treating addictions and abuses. This course will provide accurate and current knowledge base concerning addictions, addictive behaviors, addictive influences, and addictive substances as evidenced in the current professional literature. Theories of addiction counseling and application of these theories will comprise a significant part of this course, particularly, with how they apply to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Co-occurring disorders, such as process addictions and mental illnesses will also be addresssed. Students will develop conceptual knowledge, practical skills, and self-awareness concerning the etiology of addiction, assessment strategies and diagnosis and treatment planning.
• REH 6301 - Vocational Placement
This course examines theoretical concepts of vocational choices, labor market trends, job development, job placement, employer contacts, disability legislation, supported employment, post-employment through follow-up services, job coaching, and natural supports.
• REH 6302 - Vocational Rehabilitation Services Planning
This course examines case findings, service coordination, and involvement of the multidisciplinary approach for the provision of consumer services. Emphasis is placed on planning for the provision of employment, independent living services, and vocational rehabilitation planning. Technology for caseload management and the impact of managed care on service provision are addressed.
Retention and Progression Standards
To remain in and progress through this Concentration program, students must—
• Meet all the retention and progression standards of the OT degree program.
• Earn a grade of A or B for each of the required courses. A grade of C on any of the required courses automatically disqualify the student to remain in the program.
• Complete Course 4 in the Course Work section by the end of the semester when enrolling in OCC 6602 - Fieldwork Level II B .
Students who successfully complete the required course work within the specified timeframe will be awarded with the Mental Health Concentration in Occupational Therapy. Failure to meet any of the above standards will disqualify the student from remaining in the program. If a student takes a leave of absence from the OT program, the student must write a letter to the Chair of the OT Department upon return to request re-entering this Concentration program. The Chair may form a committee to determine whether the request will be granted.