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Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals—Ohio

Core competencies for mental health professionals are intended to provide minimum expectations for all mental health professionals regardless of their areas of specialization.

To create a minimum standard of knowledge that all mental health professionals should receive in their basic training and continue to achieve throughout their careers, plus all future levels of knowledge set as the standard.

Making the Idea a Reality
The Ohio Department of Health worked for more than a year with representatives from mental health agencies and commissions in Ohio, sexual assault and domestic violence professionals, and other service providers to create the core competencies. These competencies are intended as a prerequisite for all generalist practitioners and are used to identify training needs. Individuals may seek additional training and specialize in sexual assault and domestic violence.

The competencies include—

  • Ethical and legal considerations.
  • Identification and assessment of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
  • Knowledge and proficiency for intervention.
  • Knowledge and proficiency for prevention and awareness.

Benefits to Victims
The Mental Health Competencies are designed to improve mental health services for victims.

Core competencies for mental health professionals have an indirect benefit to criminal justice. Core competencies could potentially decrease the likelihood for revictimization by giving mental health professionals skills that can decrease trauma to victims.

Lessons Learned
This is a large and ongoing project. Project staff find that the core competencies also apply to other health care providers and even rape crisis centers themselves. However, much work remains to be done to integrate rape crisis and mental health services.

Contact Information
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215