Foundational Competencies in Older Adult Mental Health Certificate Program

The growing population of older adults presents a unique opportunity for mental health professionals to expand clinical practice and experience deeply meaningful clinical work. The E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging, in partnership with CATCH-ON, the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program based at Rush, and the Rush Center for Excellence in Aging has developed an online educational program that provides basic knowledge that every mental health clinician needs to work effectively with older adults.

This 14-hour certificate program can serve as a first step in developing competency in older adult mental health. Using the Pikes Peak geropsychology competencies as a foundation, experts in geriatric psychiatry, geropsychology, neuropsychology, and clinical social work contributed to the development of this program to ensure that the evidence-based content reflects the knowledge required by a broad range of mental health clinicians. Each module includes didactic content, videos of geriatric mental health experts, case vignettes, learning checks, and resources to enhance clinical practice with older adults. Completion of all modules will earn learners a certificate of completion from the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs.

The ideal learner for this program is a licensed mental health clinician, though this content may benefit a very wide variety of health disciplines and learning levels. These modules will be available to all learners without cost as long as grant funding allows. The cost for continuing education for the full 14 hour certificate program is $175; individual course CE credits are $15 (non-CE is free). Group discounts available – please contact for details. Current pricing reflects our program launch discount. Program rate pricing is subject to change.

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify and challenge systemic and personal stereotypes to promote positive attitudes toward aging
  • Conceptualize later life as part of a developmental process, with unique challenges and life issues that may impact mental health
  • Recognize unique risk factors for mental health problems in older adults and identify barriers to diagnosis and treatment
  • Characterize unique presentations of mental health disorders in older adults and employ evidence-based assessments and treatments
  • Distinguish normal cognitive aging from abnormal cognitive aging and differentiate Alzheimer’s disease presentation from other causes of cognitive decline

We are pleased to be able to offer continuing education for the following disciplines:

  • Audiologists
  • Advance practice nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists (APA accredited; not accredited by the State of NY)
  • Registered nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
In support of improving patient care, Rush University Medical Center is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. Please check with your accrediting body for specific questions. This course, along with many other modules on aging, is available: