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Prevention of Mental Disorders: Public Health Interventions

3rd term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Rashelle Musci

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses. No prerequisites. However, knowledge of basic epidemiologic and developmental principles will be helpful in interpreting the research presented.


Introduces the basic principles and methods that guide research on the prevention of and early intervention with mental disorders. Includes public health interventions that operate at multiple ecological levels, including the community (e.g., mobilization, media), school (e.g., changes in classroom management and organization), family (e.g., parent training strategies), and individual (e.g., social competence strategies). Focuses on specific topics in prevention and intervention trial design, community and institutional base building, intervention theory and monitoring, and data analysis techniques and findings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe a public health approach to the prevention and control of mental disorders and substance abuse
  2. Apply concepts learned to the development and evaluation of preventive interventions for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities
  3. Utilize conceptual models for the development, implementation, and evaluation of intervention strategies aimed at the prevention or control of mental disorders or substance use
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 60% Final Paper
  • 10% LiveTalks
  • 30% Discussion Board

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for undergraduates.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

1. Discussion board participation (30% of grade, 80 points): Students will post two (4 points per question) discussion questions on the discussion board prior to each session and respond to at least one peer’s question (2 points per session) 2. Final Paper (60% of grade, 60 points): Students will complete a final paper that is due on Friday, March 19, 2021; must be submitted to the DropBox in the CoursePlus website by 11:59 pm. Paper should be no more than 10 pages total. Due Dates: 1/29/21 - Study title and topic 2/5/21 – Descriptive epidemiology and risk/protective factors section (15pts) 2/19/21- An intervention to prevent the problem in your target population (15 pts) 3/5/21-- Gaps in knowledge and useful next steps for the field (15 pts) 3/19/21 Final Paper (15 pts.) 3. Live-talk Participation (10% of grade, 2 points per live-talk): Students will be expected to attend OR listen to live-talks and participate when given the opportunity.