Foundational Competencies in Older Adult Mental Health

Certificate Program ONLINE




Online 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 16-hour self-paced 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 16 hour certificate program is $175; individual course CE credits are $15 (non-CE is free). Group discounts available – please contact [email protected] 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
This course, along with many other modules on aging, is available:

Continuing Education FAQ

Does the certificate program offer continuing education credits?

The Foundational Competencies in Older Adult Mental Health Certificate ONLINE Program offers up to 16 hours of CE, CNE, or CME for a fee ($175 for the full program, $15 per course – group discounts available). Continuing education credits for the in-person program are free. Please see below for the full accreditation statement from Rush University Medical Center.

What disciplines can receive credit?

  • Audiologists
  • Advance practice nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Registered nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers

Does the certificate program offer APA credits?

Our joint accreditation allows us to provide APA credit, but the APA is not the accreditor.

Is the certificate program accredited by NASW?

Currently, social work credit falls under the State of Illinois and a reciprocal agreement (state by state). We plan to offer credit through the NASW in the future.

What if I am licensed in the State of New York?

Rush is not accredited by the State of New York, so clinicians who have a license in the State of New York may not be able to utilize CEUs toward their state licensure requirements. Please confirm with your licensing body to confirm before purchasing.

Further questions?

Please consult with your licensing body to confirm these credits apply to your license before purchasing. The certificate program with no continuing education is available for free.

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.

Credit Designation Statements

For Medicine:

Rush University Medical Center designates enduring material for a maximum of 16.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For Nursing:

Rush University Medical Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of 16.00 nursing contact hour(s).

For Psychologists:

Rush University Medical Center designates this enduring material for 16.00 CE credits in psychology.

For Dieticians:

This enduring material has been approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for 16.00 CPEUs.

For Social Work:

As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Rush University Medical Center is approved to offer social work continuing education buy the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved continuing education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 16.00 general continuing education credits.