Introduction to Public Mental Health

Explore emerging issues in public mental health. 



July 29 to August 9, 2024 (asynchronous course modules available)

The course will meet synchronously via Zoom on the following dates:

  • August 5, 4:30 - 6:30pm EST
  • August 8, 4:30 - 6:30pm EST
RHEDI Format


Online (asynchronous with 2 synchronous sessions)




1 Course credit

*Current Rollins students, please register through OPUS

*Professionals currently with special standing status at Rollins may register by contacting

  • Researchers who want to explore the integration of mental and physical health.
  • Public health practitioners who want to examine best practices for mental health prevention intervention approaches.
  • Public health practitioners who want to understand various mental health treatment frameworks at the population level.
  • Professionals seeking to understand current issues related to access to mental health services

Mental and behavioral health affect all members of society and all aspects of life. It is estimated that 1 in 4 adults in the US suffer from a mental or behavioral disorder in a given year, and mental and neurological disorders reflect many of the top causes of disability worldwide. Unfortunately, suicide is among the leading causes of death for adolescents and emerging adults in the US. Further, physical health challenges can lead to mental health challenges, and vice versa. Thus, it is critical that approaches to public health are informed by public mental health.

This course will cover questions of prevalence, specific communities affected, causal frameworks, prevention and treatment intervention strategies, and services and policy considerations, through a public health frame with emphasis on a life course perspective and health equity.

  • Explore mental disorder constructs, classification systems, and measurable features.
  • Define ways to measure and communicate population burden estimates for mental disorders.
  • Describe the populations most affected by mental and behavioral health issues.
  • Examine how different etiologic frameworks in mental health inform prevention intervention, and policy.
  • Examine social determinants of mental health.
  • Review prominent treatment strategies for mental health disorders.
  • Explore the design, evaluation, and implementation of preventive interventions.
  • Examine the types of mental health service provision, barriers to care, and the role of policy.


M. Danielle Fallin, PhD

M. Daniele Fallin, PhD
James W. Curran Dean of Public Health Professor, Epidemiology

Delia Lang, PhD, MPH
Delia Lang, PhD, MPH
Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs
Professor, Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences 



Guest Lecturers 

Benjamin Druss, MD, MPH 
Rosalynn Carter Chair in Mental Health and Professor, Health Policy and Management 

Don Operario, PhD 
Rollins Distinguished Professor and Chair Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences 
Elizabeth Walker, PhD, MPH, MAT
Teaching Associate Professor, Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences 
Director of Graduate Studies Director and Office of Evidence Based Learning

*Current Rollins students, please register through OPUS

*Professionals currently with special standing status at Rollins may register by contacting

Questions? Contact us at