As you make the decision to move into a Master's in Social Work program, you should consider what group within society you would most like to work with.

In a lot of communities, social workers may be well-known for intervening in instances of child abuse and neglect, as well as situations that involve mental illness and trauma. A popular MSW program for individuals interested in assisting people that have been affected by psychological illness is the MSW in Mental Health and Trauma.

What Is an Online MSW in Mental Health and Trauma?

This degree program can enlighten students on the effects of mental illness and trauma on those that have been diagnosed as well as families or others directly associated with them. Coursework for the MSW in Mental Health and Trauma may provide students with an in-depth look at mental illness from start to end.

Students may have the opportunity to learn more about the genetic characteristics of these illnesses, as well as how human behavior can change as a result. Students may also be involved in coursework that can introduce the trauma perspective, which is important for upcoming professionals planning to work with people that have experienced trauma. The effects of both mental illness and trauma on brain development may be a large component of this degree program.

The purpose of providing such an invasive look on these factors within this degree program is to further educated students on the factors that may become more apparent when working in the field. Learning about how people are affected by these occurrences can help social work professionals make better decisions for people that are unable to make decisions due to mental illness or make wellness decisions for people that have experienced varying levels of trauma.

Coursework to Expect

Theories of Human Behavior and Development

MSW programs that focus on trauma and mental health may contain courses that can extend a student’s learning into the psychological perspectives of human development. In this course, students can take a look at the relationship between behavior development and the environment, the effects of trauma on personality and behavior development and methods to encourage positive behaviors in people that have developed maladaptive behaviors.

Perspectives on Trauma

Studies of trauma may be dense and provide learners with new perspectives to use when working with their clients. Students taking this class may review case studies from trauma survivors in order to learn more about how they have adjusted to their lifestyles, planning programs that have been effective and services with society that can increase their success. This course can help students connect their clients with resources that can benefit their growth from traumatic experiences.

Social Work Topic Analysis

Since the field of social work can be filled with a wide variety of situations and circumstances, degree programs often try to integrate learning activities with relevant courses to help students make decisions based on individual needs. This course can provide students with specific studies in different topics of social work in order to test their abilities in program planning. Students may investigate a certain topic, research potential improvement plans and submit an idea in response to the given topic. The goal of this course is to prepare students for diverse work environments and working with diverse clients.

What Traits Are Good for Social Workers to Possess?

In the field of social work, professionals are often guided into being determined social advocates for the people that they serve. If you are considering a move into the field of social work or are simply wanting to add to your existing portfolio, you should have a willingness to adapt to social change, as well as the ability to create unique program plans for your clients.

In this field, it may be common to find that different types of individuals may require very different programming. This can make creativity an extremely important personality trait for upcoming professionals.

Professionals within the field of social work may also require a great deal of patience throughout their career. In this field, it may be commonplace to work with various agencies responsible for providing services and supports for your clients. Waiting on returned calls or for programs to be implemented can be a difficult task, unless you can engage in patience throughout the process.

Balancing a daily schedule filled with many different scenarios and responsibilities can be strenuous regardless of what type of field you work in. For social workers that have specialized in mental health and trauma, the added pressure of working with a vulnerable population can increase the need for strengths in multi-tasking and communication.

Multi-tasking skills can assist you when working with large numbers of clients at one time. Each of your clients may have different services or needs that you must address, making organization an important factor throughout the process. Communication skills can come in handy when contacting agencies for services, speaking up on your client’s behalf in court or even building a relationship with the people you serve. All of these skills together can provide a solid back bone for a successful career within this field.

What types of careers and responsibilities can I expect?

Mental Health Social Worker

In mental health facilities, patients entering into treatment plans may need assistance from social workers employed to help them make the best decisions. If you take a position in this field, you can use your expertise in mental health and trauma to ensure that your clients are receiving the best care and have access to the services they need to improve their health. Professionals in these areas can work in hospitals, mental health facilities or even private organizations that provide advocacy to people diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Rehabilitation Counselor

One aspect of trauma that may often be overlooked is its effect on a person’s moral development. People that experience trauma may be more likely to be involved with drug and alcohol abuse, which can be detrimental to their overall health. In the event that a person seeks help for addiction, he or she may spend some time in rehabilitation facilities in order to get themselves back on track to a healthy lifestyle. In this field, you can work with individuals that are in rehabilitation centers to help them come in contact with psychological and mental health resources, support groups and even medical support systems to address their problems.

Foster Care Case Manager

In the Children’s Division of the Department of Human Services, foster care systems may be responsible for ensuring safe homes and lifestyles for children that have experienced trauma. Case managers at this level may work with children to ensure that their needs are being met, they are receiving any relevant therapy or other behavior services and partner with families during the reunification process. Having an extensive knowledge of mental health and trauma can be beneficial when working with children within this field.

How Much Does An Online MSW in Mental Health and Trauma Degree Cost?

Starting your journey towards master’s-level education should begin with thoughtful and dense planning. If you are like a lot of other students considering the online MSW program, you might be interested to learn more about how much this program costs and how long it can take you to finish from start to end.

Our team of educational experts has reviewed a current program offered by the University of Denver in order to help you better plan for your future. Read more in the guide below to see what types of investments can be expected throughout the program.

The University of Denver’s current provides a great online MSW program for students with varying professional and educational backgrounds. Students that have already obtained their BSW can take advantage of an accelerated MSW program designed specifically for experienced professionals.

If you are coming from a different degree program, you can enroll in the standard online MSW program at this university, which can be completed in as little as 27 months. Students interested in taking classes at a part-time rate can complete their degree program anywhere between 2-4 years, depending on how many courses they can take at a time.

This school also provides students with information regarding tuition and fees on their website. Currently, students enrolled in the traditional online MSW program can expect to pay $947 per credit hours, which totals out to $85,230 for the entire program.

Those enrolled in the advanced standing MSW program can pay the same rate per hour, but $56,820 for the entire degree program since it contains less credit requirements for graduation. As you search through available programs, you should compare the prices of each in order to make the best financial decision.

Potential Salaries for MSW in Mental Health and Trauma Graduates

CSWE Accredited Programs

Accredited Programs

CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) is the top accrediting board for Master of Social Work programs. Below, you will find a list of all of the CSWE accredited social work programs.

Widener University
Program: Online MSW: Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health
Specialized Area: Advanced Clinical with focus on trauma and its impact on mental health
Coursework: Online program with mostly asynchronous content
Open to students anywhere in the United States, as well as service members stationed around the world
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Fully Online
  • Available: Part Time
Temple University
Program: Online MSW: Areas of Specialist Practice: Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work
Specialized Area: Areas of Specialist Practice: Trauma, Health/Mental Health, Children and Families, Humanitarian Social Work, and Military Social Work
Coursework: Mix of synchronous and asynchronous classes, with synchronous classes, advising, and group work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Open to students in most states
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Online with Campus Visit
  • Available: Part Time
University of Denver
Program: Online MSW: Mental Health and Trauma
Specialized Area: Mental Health and Trauma
Coursework: Primarily asynchronous content with the exception of weekly 90-minute collaborate learning sessions
Open to students anywhere in the United States, except Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, and North Carolina
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Fully Online
  • Available: Full Time
University at Buffalo (State University of New York)
Program: Online MSW: Trauma-Informed and Human Rights Perspective
Specialized Area: Trauma-Informed and Human Rights Perspective
Coursework: Fully online program with courses delivered through both asynchronous and synchronous methods
Open to students anywhere in the United States and Canada
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Fully Online
  • Available: Part Time
  • Advanced Standing
Simmons College
Program: Online MSW: Clinical Social Work specialized areas in Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Child and Family Welfare; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; and Health and Aging
Specialized Area: Clinical Social Work specialized areas in Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Child and Family Welfare; Trauma and Interpersonal Violence; and Health and Aging
Coursework: Online program with both weekly 90-minute synchronous sessions and asynchronous course work
Open to students from all states except New Hampshire and some districts in Maryland
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Fully Online
  • Available: Full Time
  • Advanced Standing
Case Western Reserve University
Program: Online MSW: Community Practice & Social Change and Direct Practice (Child, Youth, & Families) or (Mental Health/Adults)
Specialized Area: Community Practice & Social Change and Direct Practice (Child, Youth, & Families) or (Mental Health/Adults)
Coursework: Online program
Open to students anywhere in the United States
CSWE Accredited
  • Status:
  • Available: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing
University of Texas at Arlington
Program: Online MSW: Direct Practice with Children & Families and Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse
Specialized Area: Direct Practice with Children & Families and Direct Practice in Mental Health & Substance Abuse
Coursework: Fully online program with no campus visit required
Open to Texas residents
CSWE Accredited
  • Status:
  • Available: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing
University of Louisville
Program: Online MSW: Military Social Work (MIL); Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS); Gerontology (GER); Mental Health Counseling (MH); and Psychology Oncology (ONC)
Specialized Area: Military Social Work (MIL); Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADCS); Gerontology (GER); Mental Health Counseling (MH); and Psychology Oncology (ONC)
Coursework: Online or hybrid optionswith no campus visit required
Open to students anywhere in the United States
CSWE Accredited
  • Status: Fully Online
  • Available: Full Time and Part Time Options
  • Advanced Standing