woman meditating at sunset

Mental Health Recovery and Trauma-Informed Care

Graduate Certificate

Undergraduate Program Graduate Program Concentration Focus Online Hybrid

The Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Recovery and Trauma-Informed Care is a 12-unit online certificate program designed to educate professionals in contemporary mental health practices that focus on mental health recovery and trauma-informed care in schools, social agencies, and community.

The certificate draws upon integrated recovery and strength-based approaches and emphasizes the role of trauma-informed treatment models in understanding the causes of mental ill-health and practices to address human suffering caused by familial and environmental trauma. Students will learn about the latest knowledge and practices used to work with people experiencing severe mental illness. The certificate explores applications of trauma-informed care in education and community settings.

  • Online: The certificate is offered in an online format to cater to healthcare professionals and counselors residing in locations all over the world.
  • Flexible Courses: While courses are situated within the traditional SDSU semester structure, assignments and lectures are designed to be accessible at your convenience, and completed at a pace that fits your lifestyle.
  • Short Program: The certificate program starts in August and ends in December (5 months).
  • Class Size: 30 students admitted into the program.
  • Transferability: All 12 units of the certificate courses transfer to the Master of Arts Education (Counseling) degree.
  • Low Cost: Certificate in Mental Health Recovery & Trauma-informed Care costs approximately $6,000.
  • Knowledge of theories, models, and methods within systemic and social constructionist paradigms
  • Application of theories, models, and methods to produce effective clinical practice with diverse populations
  • Understanding of mental health recovery-oriented care
  • Effective practice in public mental health settings
  • Use of research to inform clinical practice
  • Conceptualization and practice in the therapist role from a position of social responsibility and/or social change
  • Use of self-of-therapist and personal growth to become effective therapist

Evidenced-based Analysis of the Value of Online and Hybrid Learning

  • Students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.*
  • Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.*
  • The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types.*

* U.S. Department of Education (2010). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service (September).

Our Core Emphases

  • Provide a culturally-infused curriculum focused on socially responsible and resiliency-based perspectives that promote diversity education and social justice.
  • Implement culturally-responsive, trauma-oriented practices with diverse families, schools, and communities by which students consider complex problem situations that do not pathologize individuals and families.
  • Apply innovative restorative practices in homes, schools and communities as alternatives to traditional discipline and retributive punishment.
  • Employ contemporary technology to deliver high quality online accelerated learning for counseling and counseling related fields to students and professionals working full time and who wish to continue their education and advance their career.
  • Advance the clinical training of counselors by providing clinical supervision in more than 10 languages to local and international students serving populations with little or no access to mental health services.

See Our Faculty for information about and contact information for our faculty and lecturers.

Learn More About the Program

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Certificate Program.
  • Coursework

    See the complete listing of required coursework for the Graduate Certificate Program in Mental Health Recovery & Trauma Care and the online-hybrid M.A. in Education with a Concentration in Counseling.

Important Resources

  • Tuition cost
    The 12-unit certificate cost is approximately $6,000, however, unit prices are subject to change. Visit the Office of Admissions Estimated Cost of Attendance page for the latest information.
  • Financial aid
    All courses are eligible for Financial Aid. Contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office and speak to a financial aid officer familiar with loans for special programs.