SUU Offers New Ways to Explore a Meaningful Career in Behavioral Health

Published: January 05, 2024 | Read Time: 4 minutes

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Southern Utah University’s (SUU) Community & Workforce Development (CWD) is excited to offer a new certificate program in behavioral health designed for adults interested in making a positive impact on those facing mental health challenges. The three online short courses that make up the Behavioral Health Foundations Certificate include:

  1. Introduction to Behavioral Health Careers,
  2. Personal Preparation for a Behavioral Health Career,
  3. Virtual Job Shadowing.

The courses have been designed for busy adults by SUU faculty and informed by industry professionals due to the high demand for entry-level workers in this growing and meaningful field.Jack Hinman

“The foundation of quality residential treatment begins with our staff, and the foundation of quality staff begins with training,” said Dr. Jack Hinman, licensed clinical psychologist and executive director/co-founder at Engage Young Adult Transitions. “It’s such a critical time for training when it comes to residential treatment. Right now we are experiencing a mental health crisis. We’re seeing that clients are a lot more complex, and the sophistication of staff is critical.”

Any treatment facility, medical clinic or other mental health services organization may be interested in using the short courses as useful training for new staff, especially those new to working in this critical and evolving industry. Coursework will include essential skills to help students become more empathetic, boundaried, ethical and successful in addressing clients' behavioral, emotional and social concerns.

Each year, millions of individuals seek help and support for their mental health. Employment opportunities in mental health-related occupations continue to be on the rise, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for behavioral health technicians and aids is growing much faster than average occupations.

Short Courses–What You’ll Learn

The four-week Introduction to Behavioral Health Careers course begins on March 4, 2024, and dives into the world of mental health professions, exploring roles, functions and responsibilities in various mental health professions. This course will introduce you to common mental health issues, emphasizing the vital importance of mental health awareness. You'll also gain essential skills and strategies to support individuals facing mental health challenges, ensuring you're well-equipped for success.

The next available course, Personal Preparation for a Behavioral Health Career, starts on April 1 and takes six weeks to complete. You’ll learn the skills and self-awareness necessary to begin a rewarding career in behavioral health and social sciences. This course focuses on self-assessment, goal setting, cognitive and behavioral strategies for academic success, whole health integration, resilience-building, professional networking and career preparedness.

The pathway culminates with the Virtual Job Shadowing course starting on May 13. This immersive experience into the mental/behavioral health field will allow you to further explore career options, practice developmental skills and build career readiness through virtual exposure to industry experts. This course is your bridge from education to a dynamic and fulfilling career. By completing the three courses, you will earn digital credentials that can be added to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or a graduate school application. You may also consider transferring some of the course credits into degree programs at SUU.

Eponine Mcclellan - Girl smilingThe Behavioral Health Foundations Certificate serves as a starting point for entry-level staff and those new to the field. SUU is pleased to offer additional ways for you to continue learning and work toward educational and career goals.

“We’re excited to help educate the next wave of behavioral health care professionals,” said Dr. Grant Corser, Associate Dean and Professor of Psychology in SUU’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “The Behavioral Health Technician certificate represents a significant opportunity and milestone to current and future learners. It will help those who want to be employed with entry level qualifications and help those who want to continue their educational pathway whether it is bachelor’s degree in psychology, or even a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology.”

Those looking to prepare for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist exam from the National Healthcareer Association or the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians Level 1 certificate exam, may be interested in additional coursework offered through the CWD department in partnership with CareerStep. This course is all online and available to start anytime to prepare you for these industry-recognized certifications.

SUU’s Community and Workforce Development department offers opportunities for adults to elevate their careers, stay competitive in the workforce and develop as leaders. Located in the world’s best backyard, Southern Utah University is world renowned for its access to outdoor recreation and National Park Service. Reach your next career peak with SUU by visiting

For more information on ways to get started in behavioral health at SUU, visit, or call (435) 865-8259 for personal assistance.

Tags: FacStaff Community and Professional Development Community

Contact Information:

Susie Knudsen
(435) 865-7759