College of DuPage

Human Services 1144:
Vocational and Community Living Skills

Adults place items on table for a community yard sale.


Course Information

Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older, about 1 in 5 adults, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 1998 U.S. Census residential population estimate, this figure translates to 44.3 million people. In addition, 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders-major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. What can be done to help those persons suffering from a Mental Illness? What careers and professions exist to serve this population? Answers to these and many more questions can be obtained by enrolling in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certification Program, offered by the Human Services Department at the College of DuPage.

Human Services Department at the College of DuPageThis course is the fourth in the series for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate.  Courses in the series focus on a rehabilitative approach to serving individuals with severe mental illness.  This approach is based on the premise that consumers set the goals for the rehabilitation team.

This Vocational and Community Living Skills course examines themes that address skills for working with community, state, and federal agencies that serve persons with severe mental illness.

The orientation of the course is more practical than theoretical, and there is considerable opportunity to observe and practice relevant skills.  Students will learn the fundamentals of vocational rehabilitation, including duties and tasks commonly required in vocational settings (e.g., mediation, negotiation, job coaching, job analysis) and the development of employment sites.  Practical application of current policies (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act) impacting employment sites are presented.  Networking skills, common state and federal benefit programs, and community-based service provision are presented in the Community Living Skills portion of the course.

This course is appropriate for students planning careers in mental health.

The orientation of the course is more practical and theoretical, and there is opportunity to observe and practice relevant skills.  Students will learn the fundamentals of physical wellness, including diet, nutrition, exercise, sanitation, disease prevention and control, and special health considerations for persons with severe mental illness.  The emotional dimension of wellness includes social support, physical and sensory accommodations, and geriatric and developmental disabilities considerations.  Students will learn the essentials of environmental safety including the use of safety equipment and proper body mechanics.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this class, students will be able to:


There are no course prerequisites to this class, however, it is recommended that the student has taken, or is concurrently taking Human Services 1141 to gain maximum value in the training. Additionally, to benefit from this Internet delivered class, you should have intermediate to advanced computer skills.

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