Certificate in Mental Health

Mental health is integral to and inseparable from public health. Mental and substance abuse disorders impose large and growing lifestyle and financial burdens on the United States as well as globally. These impacts are felt not only directly, but also indirectly through adverse medical conditions and health behaviors. The life circumstances of individuals, their families, and their communities are altered and often radically so.

The certificate in mental health program was developed to address these integral relationships between mental health and public health. Its purpose is to bring together faculty, students, and practicing health professionals to foster enhanced research and learning experiences through interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and inter-school activities. Students completing the program will be able to: 

  • Epidemiologically describe the burden of mental illness on society
  • Apply theories and evaluate empirical evidence on determinants of mental health
  • Design and critique interventions intended to promote mental health
  • Identify the sources of financing and public policies that affect mental health services

This certificate program builds upon existing classes and faculty expertise and is open to all master's students at Rollins. It is anticipated that the certificate in mental health program will build a community of interest from across the school and from other units at Emory University and the larger community. Affiliated faculty and professionals that are drawn together for this concentration may contribute to a growing set of research activities available to students and may provide students with the capacity to contribute to improving mental health and associated public health policies. 

Students with a certificate in mental health will be able to:

  • Apply and critically evaluate epidemiological methods establishing case definitions and determining the incidence and prevalence of mental illness and related disability
  • Describe the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders, related disabilities, and their social correlates
  • Identify how culture influences the expression of symptoms, seeking of care, and response to treatment
  • Describe how the U.S. currently finances mental health services and its cost burden for individuals and society
  • Describe proposed policies for improving access to and quality of mental health services in the U.S. and assess their strengths and weaknesses
  • Describe the mental health advocacy community and their avenues for influencing mental health policy
  • Integrate mental health into a comprehensive view of public health
  • Apply expertise for the major program of study to mental health or mental health services

A.  A minimum of 8 credit hours of coursework in Public Mental Health from the list below:

  • REQUIRED BSHE 585 - Introduction to Public Mental Health (1 unit; ½ Fall semester)
  • REQUIRED BSHE/HPM 592 - Case Studies in Public Mental Health (2 units; Spring)

    Mental Health Electives

  • RECOMMENDED BSHE 586 - Prevention of Mental & Behavioral Disorders (2 units; Fall)
  • RECOMMENDED BSHE 584/HPM 577 - Mental Health/Medical Interface in the US (2 units; Fall)
  • BSHE 516 Behavioral Epidemiology (3 units; Fall)
  • BSHE 565 Violence as a Public Health Problem (2 units; Spring)
  • BSHE 583 Mindfulness and Health (1 unit; Spring)
  • EPI 589 Psychosocial Epi (2 units; Fall)
  • GH 531 Mental Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (1 unit; weekend course) special permission required.
  • GH 583 Introduction to Global Mental Health (2 units; Fall)

B.  Applied Practice Experience in Public Mental Health (200 hour minimum).
C.  Integrative Learning Experience: Thesis or Capstone project focusing on Public Mental Health.

If the topic of the capstone or thesis cannot relate to public mental health, four additional credits of electives may be substituted with the permission of the certificate coordinator. Permission for the substitution must be obtained early in the second year of the program.


For inquiries about the Certificate in Mental Health, please contact:

Rachell Corbett, MA, Certificate Coordinator