A therapist leading a group counseling session with a diverse group of people sitting in a circle

Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate

Help people with behavioral and mental health concerns by earning San Juan College's Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate. You will be a vital treatment team member as you interact with various populations in group settings and assist with therapeutic sessions.

Take in-person or online classes and complete our certificate program in one year. Get the training you need at SJC for this in-demand field.

Why Should I Earn a Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate?

Be ready to start a career as a behavioral health technician, mental health technician, or psychiatric technician. (Behavioral health technician, mental health technician, and psychiatric technician are often used interchangeably and describe similar roles.)

As a mental health technician, you may work with individuals who struggle with mental health disorders, including interacting with clients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. Demand for qualified behavioral/mental health workers is high as our society recognizes the importance of good mental health.

In this program, you will learn relevant psychology, human services, and sociology concepts and how to interact with patients and clients. Your duties will include:

  • Observing and recording patient behavior
  • Providing care to clients in group therapy settings
  • Collaborating and assisting licensed mental health professionals and behavior analysts
  • Co-facilitating therapeutic and recreational activities
  • Assisting in admitting and discharging patients
  • Ensuring the safety of all patients and healthcare workers

You will also learn how to interact with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, social workers, and counselors. Become a valuable part of a client care team with SJC's Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate.

Why Study to be a Behavioral Health or Mental Health Technician at San Juan College?

Fast and Convenient

Start your career in the mental health field in just one year. You can complete SJC's Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate in two semesters. All required certificate courses are offered in-person and online, so you can take the classes in a format and schedule that works for you.

Internship Opportunity

Get career-ready through a behavioral health/mental health technician practicum experience. We will connect you with behavioral health or mental health professionals so you can apply your learning in an agency working with clients. You will practice your skills in the real world under the guidance of licensed professionals. You will develop collaborative skills and professional ethics while gaining valuable work experience.

Affordable Option

Because of SJC's low tuition rates, our Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate is an excellent investment. You will get a rigorous education that will prepare you for the rest of your academic and career journey. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.

What You Will Learn in the Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate Curriculum

Study the principles, knowledge, and skills you need to begin a career in behavioral health. Through your courses, you will:

  • Develop interpersonal communication skills that are effective in behavioral/mental health-related situations.
  • Understand the relationships and cooperative efforts between different health professionals.
  • Demonstrate appropriate behaviors and techniques for the behavioral/mental health technician role.
  • Develop strong work habits and professional ethics.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in practice situations and in the field under professional direction.

You will also explore essential human services, psychology and sociology concepts through courses such as:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Contemporary Social Problems
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Group Dynamics
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Abuse or Drugs and Behavior
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology

You will also complete the Behavioral Health/Mental Health Technician Capstone course in which you will participate in a practicum experience where you will gain firsthand knowledge of the behavioral health profession.

Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate Curriculum

Transfer Options

If you wish to complete an associate degree or transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor's degree, we strongly encourage you to check with your advisor.

Careers and Outcomes

Our country is seeing a high demand for people working in the behavioral/mental health field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of behavioral health technicians and aides is projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031. This is faster than average for other occupations. Working as a behavioral/mental health technician is a great place to begin a career as you acquire meaningful field experience preparing you for higher learning or other related positions in the workforce. Our graduates have the opportunity to work for:

  • Behavioral and mental health facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Residential and outpatient addiction treatment facilities
  • Schools and universities

Next Steps

To enroll in our Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate, you must first apply to San Juan College. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!

Apply Now

If you are already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our online and in-person Behavioral Health/Mental Health Certificate program. You can also discuss your transfer options.

Find Your Advisor


Phone: (505) 566-3320

West Classroom Complex,
Room 1911

M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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