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Mental Health Worker/Psychiatric Aide

Mental illness is treated in a variety of ways. Drug therapy is often used and significant progress has been made in other areas, such as group and individual therapy and the widespread use of support group therapy that enhances and promotes mental health.

The mental health worker will help care for the mentally ill, disabled, or sick patients confined to hospitals, mental health facilities, and residential care facilities. They work with a team of caregivers that include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and therapists.

Course Objectives:
The student will:

  • Have a basic knowledge of Mental Health
  • Have a knowledge of chemical dependency
  • Learn ways to develop trust with clients
  • Demonstrate knowledge of developmental disorders affecting adults and children
  • Have a basic knowledge of common psychiatric disorders
  • Communicate effectively with patients, staff, and family members.

Students must complete 130 clock hours. (Theory and Clinical)


Duties and Responsibilities.  Click to view

  • Maintaining strict confidentiality
  • Monitoring and controlling contraband
  • Working as part of the treatment team
  • Identifying and reporting problems
  • Interacting with patients
  • Assisting with admissions
  • Taking vital signs
  • Engaging in recreation with patients
  • Assisting in community gatherings
  • Performing activities of daily living for patients requiring help

Employment Opportunities.  Click to view

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for psychiatric aides in residential facilities will rise in response to the increase in the number of older people, many of whom will require mental health services.
Facilities that employ mental health workers:
  • Inpatient residential treatment centers
  • Halfway houses
  • Group homes
  • Homeless shelters
  • Outpatients clinics
  • Home health services
  • Prisons, jails, and detention centers
  • Hospitals

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