Behavioral Health Career Exploration


  • Essential Question: What are the skills, career and educational opportunities that align with my  strengths, interests and goals for life after high schoo,l and how will I get there?
  • Areas of study: Behavioral Health
  • Type and amount of credit earned: elective credit
  • Community partners: New Hampshire Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Office of Health Equity, UNH IOD


  • Cultural competence leadership and personal values
  • Adventure based therapy
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid: Risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders and substance use disorder.
  • Substance Misuse
  • Community Engagement and Strategic Sharing: How to reframe life experiences or challenges as expertise and lessened lessons learned using a strength-based perspective.
  • Suicide Education and Prevention
  • Non-suicidal Self Injury Prevention
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
  • Art & music therapy
  • Career Exploration: Identify individual preferences and interests that can influence career choices. Identify coursework, volunteer, and other opportunities that will help in achieving career goals.
  • Mindfulness: Explore the role of mindfulness for behavioral health workers in self-care and with clients.

See the detailed ELO description for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

  • Engage in a personal Future’s Planning process to identify your strengths, preferences, what works and doesn’t work to learn and perform at your best, identify goals and next steps in your career planning process.
  • Research five career options in behavioral health including education level, skills and resources needed. Identify a career goal they would like to pursue upon graduation and what training, education, skills and resources are needed.
  • Maintain a daily journal of experiences and reflections on your learning, growth, personal values and interactions with the larger group.
  • Identify career interests, evaluate, and revise your goals as needed, and justify changes made along the way, explaining how your research, knowledge and field experience helped to shape your long term goals.
  • Engage in fundamentals of confidentiality, wellness and ethics, diversity and cultural competence and participate in field experiences in adventure-based therapy, equine-assisted therapy, music therapy, and mindfulness.
  • Learn about substance abuse treatment and prevention activities.
  • Identify individual cultural attitudes and engage in self-reflection, examination of individual experiences, values and beliefs and how these impact your communication with others.


  • Two reflection papers
  • Career Exploration Presenter Background Sheets
  • Student Action Plan
  • Portfolio, journal, interview, art or music therapy project, project, career brochure, career research, stand up display board, or poster
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Certificate
  • Signs of Suicide Prevention Certificate
  • Behavioral Health Career Exploration Program Certificate of Completion

Student will present their work, goals, next steps and action plan for achieving the goals and reflection on their experience to their ELO Coordinator, Qualified Teacher or other designated school representative.

More information

This ELO was a one week of field and class-based work, and 30 seat hours at Manchester Community College. Throughout the week students learned about the various healthcare providers and behavioral health professionals, training and degree options within the field and met with the Director of Student Success from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester to learn about career pathways and skill building options to pursue a career in behavioral health.

This ELO was submitted by Heidi Cloutier from the UNH Institute on Disability. Email Heidi for more information

Behavioral Health Exploration Resources