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Start your career in health care as a mental health technician


A career in mental health care can be rewarding for those who enjoy taking care of others and want to work in an industry that strives to make a positive impact.

The demand for mental health care is also on the rise. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness, while only 43 percent seek treatment.


Edmonds CC
Edmonds CC's mental health technician program is the first in Washington state of its kind, integrating both behavioral and physical health.

A new certificate offered by Edmonds Community College could be key for those looking to begin a career in mental health care. The Mental Health Technician Certificate program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in hospitals, group homes, dementia facilities, and other programs where monitoring of behavioral health is required.

“The response in the community to this certificate has been encouraging as providers have an immediate need for people with this skill set,” said Christina Coiro, an Edmonds Community College Social and Human Services instructor. “It’s also the first program in Washington state to integrate both behavioral and physical health.”

Mental health technicians are valuable members of treatment teams and provide continuous patient care, supervision, interaction, and role modeling to patients ranging in age from adult through geriatrics.

They also participate in the direct delivery of patient care by observation, involving patients in scheduled program activities, and assisting patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), which include tasks like eating, personal grooming, getting dressed, and mobility.

Edmonds CC’s Mental Health Technician Certificate program provides the foundational knowledge and skills to effectively work with individuals in behavioral environments. It requires a minimum of 41 credits and combines the following courses from the Social and Human Services and Allied Health programs:

• Introduction to Mental Health Technician | SHS 132

• Therapeutic Activities | SHS 151

• Survey of Mental Illness | SHS 218

• Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs | SHS 222

• Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – Basic Patient Care | AHE 162

• CNA: Clinical Externship | AHE 164

For more information, go to If you’d like to meet with an advisor, contact Christina Coiro at or 425.640.1981 or Karen Townsend at or 425.640.1595.

Registration for spring quarter is now open, and classes start Monday, April 1. Register early at to get the classes you want when you want them.

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Laura Daniali