Mental Health Focus Area

The Mental Health focus area in the Part-Time MSW Program prepares social workers for advanced practice roles in community mental health and substance abuse services organizations, particularly those that address the needs of the most marginalized, oppressed, and disadvantaged members of our communities. A recovery orientation, consumer empowerment, and cultural competence are woven into the mental health focus area curriculum.


Although the focus area embraces a life course perspective, it primarily focuses on clinical social work practice with children, youth, and adults who are living with, or at risk for, serious mental health and substance abuse problems. Students must become familiar with conceptual and theoretical frameworks for understanding the nature, etiology, course, and consequences of major mental disorders, and both evidence-based and emerging models of clinical social work practice. Effective social work practice also requires an understanding of how social policies and mental health and substance abuse funding streams affect service delivery systems and consumers of service and their families, particularly members of marginalized, oppressed and underserved populations.


To learn more about opportunities in field education, check out these videos:

Heidi Frank, Field Faculty Associate (Eau Claire); Mental Health

Amanda Neckar, Adjunct Field Lecturer (Eau Claire); Mental Health

Holly Pagel, Field Faculty Associate; Mental Health

Naomi Takahashi, Adjunct Field Lecturer; Mental Health


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Focus Area Chairs: Tally Moses, Ph.D. and Angela Willits, MSW, LCSW


Mental Health Faculty

Field Faculty

Classroom Faculty


Links to Mental Health Information


Return to Advanced Generalist Specialization.

Last edited by jmlee29 on Thursday, January 11, 2018 | Printer Friendly Version