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Direct Support Professional Technician Certificate Program

This training program combines a two course training track:

  • Direct Support Professional
  • Mental Health Technician

Direct Support Professionals provide care for individuals with developmental and or physical disabilities in a number of settings including group homes, day programs, home & community based services, and vocational rehabilitation. Students will learn methods for providing assistance with living skills development, health maintenance, medication administration, personal care, and behavioral development. This course will teach current and future Direct Support Professionals methods for developing individuals’ basic living and social skills with the primary goal of integrating them into the community to the best of their ability. This course is designed for entry-level Direct Support Professionals.

The Job Outlook

Employment of home health aides and is expected to grow by 69 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of personal care aides is expected to grow by 70 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Direct Support Professional

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the role of the Direct Support Professional
  • Identify methods for supporting activities of daily living
  • Identify methods for empowering clients and providing the care they prefer
  • Comprehend the importance of supporting community inclusion as much as possible
  • Identify methods for providing care to support clients’ physical and mental health

Mental Health Technician

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Comprehend the history and current trends of mental healthcare
  • Identify the characteristics of common psychiatric disorders
  • Comprehend legalities related to the mental health office
  • Define human behavior and different elements affecting it
  • Identify methods for assisting those suffering from loss of life

Direct Support Professional Module 1

Intro to Direct Support

  • The Role of the DSP
  • Self-Care and Personal Care (Personal Hygiene)
  • Community Health Care

Direct Support Professional Module 2

Ethics and Consumer Rights

  • Consumer Rights & Responsibilities in Health Care
  • Ethical & Legal Issues Affecting the DSP
  • Basic Medical Terminology & Body Organization

Direct Support Professional Module 3

Communication & Documentation

  • Classification of Disease
  • Communication Skills for the Health Care Professional
  • Observation, Reporting, & Documentation

Direct Support Professional Module 4

Meeting Client Needs

  • Meeting Basic Human Needs
  • Comfort, Pain, Rest, & Sleep
  • Developing Cultural Sensitivity

Direct Support Professional Module 5

Health & Job Safety

  • Understanding Infections
  • Infection Control
  • Environmental & Job Safety

Direct Support Professional Module 6

Client Movement & Safety

  • Client Safety & Positioning
  • The Client’s Mobility & Transfer Skills
  • The Client’s Mobility & Ambulation

Direct Support Professional Module 7

Supporting Mental and Physical Health

  • Nutritional Needs & Diet Modifications
  • Taking Vital Signs
  • Caring for Clients with Emotional Illnesses

Direct Support Professional Module 8

End-of-Life Care

  • Death & Dying Care
  • Caring for Clients who are Terminally Ill
  • Caring for Clients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Direct Support Professional Module 9

Caring for Special Populations

  • Care of the Elderly & Chronically Ill
  • Caring for the Clients with Cancer
  • Alternative, Complementary, & Integrative Approaches

Mental Health Technician Module 1

Mental Health Care: Past and Present

  • History of Mental Healthcare
  • Defining Mental Health
  • Community Mental Health Care
  • Current Mental Health Care
  • Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care
  • High-risk Populations
  • Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Values, Rights, and Ethics
  • Legal Liability
  • Sociocultural Issues
  • Culture, Ethnicity, and Religion
  • Cultural Assessment
  • Theories and Therapies
  • Psychoanalytic Therapies
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Psychobiology

Mental Health Technician Module 2

Therapeutic Skills

  • Complementary and Alternative Therapies
  • Whole Medical Systems
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Psychotherapeutic Drug Therapy
  • Antianxiety Agents
  • Medication Education
  • Skills and Principles of Mental Health Care
  • Components of Behavior
  • Setting Limits
  • Mental Health Assessment Skills
  • Mental Health Treatment Plan
  • Holistic Nursing Assessment
  • Therapeutic Communication
  • Theories and Types of Communication
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
  • Therapeutic Relationship
  • Therapeutic Use of Self
  • Therapeutic Environment

Mental Health Technician Module 3

Problems Through the Life Cycle

  • Problems of Childhood
  • ADHD
  • Conduct Disorders
  • Problems of Adolescence
  • Behavioral Disorders
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Problems of Adulthood
  • Personal Identity
  • Developing Coping Skills
  • Problems of Late Adulthood
  • Finances
  • Drug Abuse
  • Geriatric Nursing Care
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Dementia

Mental Health Technician Module 4

Anxiety and Depression

  • Managing Anxiety
  • Normal Anxiety
  • Phobic Behaviors
  • Obsessive-compulsivity
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Illness
  • Hospitalization
  • Denial During Illness
  • Discharge Planning
  • Loss and Grief
  • Good Death
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Stages of Grieving Process
  • Depression
  • Depressive Episode vs. Disorder
  • Seasonal Effective Disorder
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Mood Disorders

Mental Health Technician Module 5

Eating, Sleeping and Aggression Disorders

  • Physical Problems, Psychological Sources
  • Physiological Stress Response
  • Conversion Disorders vs. Somatization Disorders
  • Hypochondria
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia
  • Functions of Sleep
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Self-concept
  • Multiple Personality Disorder
  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Stages of the Assault Cycle
  • Coping with Anger
  • Aggression Theories

Mental Health Technician Module 6

Outward and Inward-Focused Emotions

  • Outward-focused Emotions
  • Dysfunctional Family
  • Abuse During Pregnancy
  • Rape-trauma Syndrome
  • Special Assessments for Suspected Victims
  • Developing Self-awareness
  • Violence
  • Inward-focused Emotions
  • Suicidal Behaviors
  • Self-protective Behavioral Response
  • Suicide Through Each Life Cycle
  • Substance-related Disorders
  • Chemical Dependency in Different Age Groups
  • Abused Substances
  • Consequences of Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Relapse
  • Inhalants
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Psychosexual Problems
  • Modes of Sexual Expression
  • Sexual Addiction

Mental Health Technician Module 7

Personality Disorders and Schizophrenia

  • Personality Disorders
  • Continuum of Social Responses
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Subtypes of Schizophrenia
  • Continuum of Neurobiological Responses
  • Antipsychotic Medications
  • Psychoses
  • Chronic Mental Health Disorders
  • Effect of Deinstitutionalization
  • Basic Interventions for Disorders
  • HIV/AIDS and Mental Illness
  • Challenges for the Future
  • Old vs. New Homeless Person
  • Right of Self-Determination
  • Coping with Information Overload
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

**Outlines are subject to change,as courses are always under improvement for your benefit**

Required Materials:

  • Foundations of Mental Health Care by Michelle Morrison-Valfre


Upon successful completion of our Mental Health Technician course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position in a mental health setting and will be prepared to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Mental Health Technician (CMHT).