Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness

The proficiency in Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness (PDF, 261KB) is designed to provide professional psychologists with the specialized assessment and treatment expertise to help people who have serious mental illnesses (SMI) achieve their full functional capability and live productive, satisfying lives in the community.

SMI presents several unique challenges to the abilities and knowledge of psychological practitioners. These challenges include the persistence of SMI throughout the life span, profound functional disability associated with SMI, lack of awareness and insight associated with SMI, which may influence adherence to treatment, increased risk for chronic medical illness and premature death, and risk of victimization and potential criminal justice involvement.

The lack of appropriate services for people with serious mental illness is increasingly recognized as a systemic problem.

This proficiency is aimed at addressing this problem by:

  • identifying the skills and knowledge base required to provide effective psychological services related to SMI,

  • providing curriculum goals for training programs and personal development goals for psychologists in training, and

  • providing criteria for local credentialing and privileging of psychologists, as well as hiring guidelines for potential employers and contractors.