Chair: Michelle Tuten, PhD, MSW
The behavioral health specialization provides students with an understanding of mental health and substance abuse that recognizes the ongoing integration of mental health, substance abuse and somatic health taking place at multiple levels from clinical practice to social policy. Students will develop competencies in evidence-based practices in behavioral health as well as knowledge of current and emerging policies that impact the behavioral health of communities. This specialization places emphasis in training students macro and clinical practice competencies to carry out and support emerging best practices combined with a solid foundation in core social work prevention, intervention and policy. Specifically, students will be trained on core mental health approaches common in social work including, cognitive-behavioral treatments, interpersonal therapies, motivational interviewing, and other techniques. Students in the behavioral health specialization will explore the national, state and local policies that impact mental health such as the Affordable Care Act and the recent merger of mental health and addictions administrations in the State of Maryland. Importantly, students will understand behavioral health practice within a social justice perspective.
The specialization is available to students in both the Clinical and Macro concentrations.
A unique track offered within the Behavioral Health specialization, for Clinical or Macro concentrating students is the Social Work in the Workplace and Employee Assistance (SWW/EA) Sub-specialization. The SWW/EA sub-specialization prepares graduates for direct service or program management roles in the workplace focusing on employee mental health and well-being, substance use and recovery, stress, relationships, dependent care, financial and/or legal concerns and anything else that has the potential to impact work. SWW/EA sub-specialization also prepares social workers to assess and respond to behavioral health needs in the workplace through an equity lens, consult with managers and create and implement responsive workplace-based programs. The world of work and behavioral health are ever-changing.