Mental Health Foundations Electives

The mental health foundations electives consist of three, 2-credit courses, focusing on the foundational understanding of mental health. The courses provide students with awareness of mental health conditions, referral strategies, and basic communication/support skills for those in crisis. The goal of each mental health foundations elective is to provide health care and social science professionals with foundational understanding of different mental health needs and how best to support clients and patients in seeking additional care, as appropriate.

Students in the master’s in sports medicine, master’s in human nutrition and functional medicine, and doctor of chiropractic programs are eligible to complete some or all of these electives as part of their degree program.

  • All courses offered online.
  • Faculty are licensed mental health professionals.
  • A minimum of seven students is required for each course to be held.

Courses Available:

MHF5003 Identifying Mental Illness: This course helps health care, education, and social science professionals recognize signs and symptoms of the most common mental and behavioral health diagnoses (mood, anxiety, psychotic, substance use, and sleep disorders) and identify suicide risk. It also covers the impact of trauma and the ways mental illnesses co-occur with other medical illnesses and injuries. (Elective available to students in MS SM, MS HNFM, DC programs in fall and spring terms, beginning fall 2023).

MHF5103 Mental Health Referrals: This course will address how to find an appropriate referral for people in need, types of qualifications in the field and how they differ in types of supports offered/scope of practice, and how to make those referrals (e.g., counselor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist). (Elective available to students in MS SM and DC programs in winter and summer terms, beginning winter 2024).

MHF5203 Mental Health Communication Skills: This course describes a trauma-informed approach to effective communication strategies with people served and their families that helps health care, education, and social service professionals learn to convey empathy, encourage openness, emphasizes collaboration, respects patient choices, and improves commitment to treatment. (Elective available to students in MS SM, MS HNFM, DC programs in fall and spring terms, beginning spring 2024).


Current students in the college of graduate studies can register for these courses, as available, during the open registration window offered each term. Course registration opens during week 6 of the term. For additional support with program planning, please contact your student success advisor or [email protected]

Current students in the DC program: please email the registrar’s office at [email protected] from your UWS email account and request registration for whichever course you select.

Students in eligible programs may request to audit these courses. Students interested in auditing the course should contact the registrar’s office at [email protected] to request a course audit.