John F. Kennedy University

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Mental Health for Aging Adults

All Continuing Education Certificate courses may be taken as either certificate courses or as stand-alone Continuing Education courses. Prerequisites must be observed.

By 2030, older adults will account for 20 percent of the US population, making this our nation’s fastest growing group. It is estimated that one in five adults aged 55 and over experiences a significant mental health concern. Research shows that there is an insufficient supply of trained health and mental health professionals to meet this emerging need. Additionally, for the first time in history, most middle-aged adults will have living parents for whom they will provide care. As a result, clinicians are expected to see an increase in their elderly clientele, as well as family members who need support and guidance when providing care.

This new certificate program will teach you what you need to know when working with older adults. Participants will gain increased knowledge of the unique needs of the elderly, learn techniques for identifying normal age-related changes from non-normal changes, and practice evidence-based strategies for responding to the mental health concerns of this rapidly growing population. This program is useful for mental health professionals, family members, caregivers, Geriatric Care Managers and other advocates of the elderly.

Certificate Requirements: A minimum of 50 hours is required. This includes four core courses and at least five electives

Core Courses

  1. Foundations of Adult Development, Aging & the Older Adult Population
  2. Screening & Assessment of Cognition & the Dementias
  3. Assessment & Treatment of Mental Illness in Older Adults
  4. Applying Evidence-Based Psychological Treatments with Older Adults

Courses Currently Offered

Elective Course
Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity in Older Adults

Elective Course
Working with Alzheimer's: Humanizing the Face of Dementia

Core Course
Foundations of Adult Development: Aging and the Older Adult Population

Elective Course
Ethical Issues in Working with Older Adults

Elective Course
Helping Clients with Chronic and Life-Threatening Illness

Elective Course
Death and Dying: Facilitating the Transition

Core Course
Screening and Assessment of Cognition and the Dementias

Core Course
Assessment and Treatment of Illness in Older Adults

Discount Available
Enroll in three onsite classes together and receive 10 percent off each class. Call (800) 557-1384 to register.

Certificate Series Enrollment
The certificate program enrollment fee is $35. Please submit a Certificate Program Enrollment form on or before registering for your third course in the series. You will have three years to complete your course work from the date of your enrollment. Click here to submit your Certificate Program Enrollment online or use the downloadable enrollment form available under "Related Downloads" on the right side of this page.

Certificate Series Completion
After you have completed the all the courses needed to fulfill the certificate requirements, please complete and submit a Certificate Verification form, available under “Related Downloads” on the right side of this page or send an email to Please allow six weeks for your course work to be reviewed and a certificate to be issued to you.

Frequently Asked Questions are available under "Related Downloads" on the right side of this page.