As the US continues to adjust and advance in a post-pandemic world, the need for mental health professionals is growing. In a study last year by the American Psychological Association, nearly half (46%) of American mental health professionals said they have been unable to meet the demand for treatment in their area, and nearly three-quarters (72%) have longer waitlists than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oct. 10 is Mental Health Awareness Day and, while we’ve already shared the bevy of resources available for current students, today we’ll be taking a look at some of our degree programs that can set a path towards a career in mental health treatment.
Online Psychology – B.A. or B.S.
Psychologists are trained mental health professionals who use evaluations, therapy and other means to help individuals cope with stress and anxiety, manage illnesses or addictions and treat other mental health challenges by evaluating their client’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Georgia State provides students two different options for a psychology degree, allowing individuals to pick a path that sets them up for their preferred career. The online bachelor of arts in psychology program provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the field by focusing on social science topics including economics, political science and gerontology, while the differentiated online bachelor of science in psychology requires more math and science-heavy coursework work for students interested in more clinical applications or graduate studies.
Both programs integrate topics of psychological theory and research methods into their curriculum, and graduates of both programs are prepared to tackle tough topics, such as violence, substance abuse, education, intolerance, HIV, homelessness, physical health, debt and mental illness. After completing prerequisite and lower-level coursework, students can choose from upper-division courses in diversity, mind and development, community psychology and more.
Online Kinesiology and Health — Health Coach Pathway, A.S.
Often working in teams with professions including dieticians and primary care physicians, mental health coaches help patients develop self-awareness and learn effective tools to better manage their client’s life and help them meet their mental health goals. Most mental health coaches receive health coaching certifications in addition to their degrees.
The online associate’s in kinesiology and health – health coach pathway program sets students up for success in the health coaching field. The program can be completed in 70 hours of coursework consisting of Georgia State’s core curriculum, pathway courses including anatomy and physiology, and a final 10 hours of credit chosen by the student.
After completing coursework, students are eligible to sit for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Health Coach certification exam and receive credentials they can use in the future.
Online Social Work – B.S.W. or M.S.W
Social workers help individuals, groups and families prevent and deal with problems in their daily lives, while clinical social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral and emotional disorders. Social workers empower people and communities, and they can work for government organizations, nonprofits or run their own practices.
Georgia State offers two levels of degrees, giving interested students the chance to gain credentials or upgrade the ones they already have. The online bachelor’s of social work program focuses on nine core competencies to build a foundation for understanding human behavior.
Students can expect to learn critical thinking and ethics, discuss intervention approaches with diverse populations, gain an understanding of human functioning and the social environment, and practice evaluation and research. The 120-credit hour program can be completed in four years as a full-time student.
The online master’s of social work program provides three options for flexibility – students can choose from a full-time option, a part-time, hybrid option or an advanced standing option for individuals who have met the 30 credit hours of Social Work Generalist Practice course work as a result of their bachelor’s degree in social work. Coursework consists of a liberal arts core combined with humanities and social sciences, a course with human biology content, statistics, and research.
The master’s program focuses on community partnerships, which forces students to analyze social issues and develop solutions that are responsive to the broader community dynamics.
Mental health nurses work with a patient’s doctor and psychiatrist to focus on the individual’s needs and help develop a plan of care. Workers in this field can be employed in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric centers and more.
Georgia State’s online nursing programs meet individuals where they are and provide several options for growth – no matter your current level of credential. The online M.S. in nursing program prepares students for specialized care settings and leadership roles, and it offers a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specialty area. The online R.N. to B.S.N. program is designed for registered nurses with an associate’s degree, while online coursework prepares students to tackle real-world challenges with clinical rotations built into the program.
Additionally, the online R.N. to M.S. program bridges nurses with considerable practice experience with a streamlined approach to a graduate degree. It too offers a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty, and it can be completed in 48 semester credit hours of study. The post-master’s certificate program can add a second or third nursing specialty to your credentials after earning a graduate-level nursing degree.
Want to work in the mental health field? Email one of our enrollment coaches and see which program works best with your career goals.