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Community Mental Health Worker Certificate

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Our Vision:

  • Empower a diverse group of individuals to use their experiences to advocate for others.
  • Cultivate a shift in the perception and delivery of mental health.
  • Transform communities through a collaborative approach to mental health.

The Community Mental Health Worker Certificate (CMHC) at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is a 16 unit program based on the wellness and recovery model in mental health. The curriculum is designed to train a diverse group of front-line health workers to provide culturally responsive mental health and recovery services in San Francisco. The program is focused on engaging mental health consumers, their family members, and other interested individuals and communities. It is comprised of courses that promote the development of skills needed to become gainfully employed as a mental health worker and enhance the knowledge base of those already employed. As part of their education, students will complete an internship with a local agency serving consumers of mental health services and family members. Students may also apply for the CMHC Scholarships and Vouchers to help with tuition, supplies, transportation and child care.

The curriculum infuses the recovery model in behavioral health, motivational interviewing, cultural responsiveness, computer literacy, writing skills, career planning, and person-centered strength based restorative approaches intended to support health and wellness. Instruction is tailored to meet diverse learning styles and integrates an experiential approach. Academic readiness and skills are surveyed in the introductory course.

Admission to the program is based on the completion of the prerequisite course HLTH 91D, Introduction to Recovery Model in Mental Health (1 unit) with a grade of C or higher. Students who reveal a need to build their academic readiness skills will be referred to the appropriate college courses (such as English, writing, composition, etc…) or community based programs such as the Peer Specialist Program at RAMS or the MHSA Training Institute. Once these students complete the recommended coursework or programs, they may re-register in HLTH 91D to pursue admissions into the Community Mental Health Certificate Program.


Welcome Message from the Program Coordinator


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program students will be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. Summarize the impact of the social and consumer movements that have shaped the development and evolution of mental health wellness and recovery services along with related public policy.
  2. Describe key functions and approaches within the recovery movement, including consumer advocacy, self-help, intensive care management, peer counseling, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, person-centered counseling, strength based-approach, cultural humility, and wellness and recovery action planning.
  3. Formulate criteria for, and demonstrate competency in the applied practice of screening, intake, assessment, progress notes, behavioral health counseling, wellness and recovery action planning, and appropriate referrals with culturally diverse individuals, groups, and families.
  4. Plan, convene, and facilitate recovery and wellness based groups with diverse populations, including the development and presentation of educational materials.
  5. Appraise the effects of family concerns, rules, roles, values, beliefs, and cultural constructs, on emotional and relation health, interpersonal behavior, wellness, and substance abuse.
  6. Collaboratively support families in managing the effects of culture, environment, social systems, stigma, trauma, and human diversity in their recovery process.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in articulating medical model and wellness/recovery based terminology, concepts, and service delivery principles in multiple settings and work environments.
  8. Produce reliable documentation of service delivery, apply evidence-based and community defined evidence counseling strategies, promote consumer leadership, and manage referrals and system navigation in a collaborative manner.
  9. Compare and contrast the legal and ethical elements of service delivery, and summarize the expectations and responsibilities of professional conduct, field placement, multidisciplinary team practice, and supervision.
  10. Assemble a professional portfolio including a resume and design it in a manner that showcases employability competencies and professionalism.