[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Michael Sedler



Understanding the variety of disorders and diagnoses found within the student population is very confusing. Most educators are trained to understand basic behavioral approaches, but little about “mental health” issues. Today, our schools are filled with students who show characteristics of many complex disorders and educators are asked to effectively work with these children. The Harvard Medical Center has found that between 3% and 10% of girls and boys, prior to the age of 18, exhibit serious behavioral issues that fall within the Conduct Disorder range.  Another study shows that 3% to 5% of our school age children suffer from serious behavioral/emotional disorders. This class will simplify and explain many common disorders as well as intervention approaches.
Participants will learn about a myriad of disorders, signs and recognition aspects as well as effective strategies for helping children to be successful within our school settings. Topics such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attachment Disorders, and Self Injurious Behaviors will be explored. Definitions, explanations, and educational interventions will be discussed.
This is a course designed for all educators working within the school setting, Preschool through High School.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. The skills to identify various mental disorders and their significant characteristics.
  2. Studied key interventions that will help each child become more functional in our school setting.
  3. Developed an effective behavior plan for students.
  4. Identified resources within a community to help people in each disorder category.
  5. Developed plans for educational interventions for students.
  6. Explored ways to be a resource to parents and other educators in regards to disorder topics.
  7. Reviewed and designed their own assessment of a child case study.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Each student will choose their own textbook for this course which allows for personal areas of focus within the course information.  At the end of the course manual is a bibliography of potential books.  However, feel free to pick one not on the the list that is compatible with this course. 

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at without charge, once you have registered for this course. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Mental Health”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay in order to order a book from the bibliography. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read the entire manual and send a one page summary of what you hope to learn in this class. Everyone taking the class, including in groups, must complete this assignment. Download the current manual from my website.

Assignment #2: Read Your Chosen Book.

Read a book from the bibliography or one of student's choice. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 

Critique the book based on personal experiences and insights.  Write a 2-3 page paper.

Assignment #3: Complete Designated Manual Pages

Complete the following activities:

Self Injurious Behaviors (p. 21)
Attachment Disorder  (p. 36)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (p. 48)

(Choose one of these pages and write a 1-2 page summary of your thoughts and insights on this topic).

Assignment #4: Read Manual Article.

After reading the article “Understanding Mental Health Issues in Children,” (pages 11-15),  write a 2 page response.   

Assignment #5: Discussion With Colleague.

Discuss two specific disorders with a colleague.  Write a 2 to 3 page paper on the discussion.  

Assignment #6: Case Study Found In Manual.

Read the case study on page 41.  Answer the questions and write a 1-2 page summary of your answers. 

Assignment #7: Research Websites.

Review a minimum of three websites on mental health issues.  Write a 1-2 paper summarizing one or more sites. 

Assignment #8: Chosen Student

Select a specific student to evaluate based on information in this manual.  Choose one area of focus and share characteristics, behavior signs, and interventions approaches.   Write a 2 to 3 page summary. 



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #9: Choose A Specific Mental Health Issue

Which mental health issue do you see most often in your professional setting?  How does this impact the child and those around him/her?  How do others (adults and children) respond to this person? (2 pages) 

Assignment #10: Lesson Development.

Assignment #A:

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.


Assignment #B: 

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

Assignment #11: (500 Level only)

In addition to the 400 level assignments complete one (1) of the following options:

Option A)  Mentor another individual in the concepts of this class. Have them share two or three key concepts that they would like to implement within their work or social setting.  Develop a plan for the implementation of these ideas.  (1-2 pages).


Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Minimum of 15 slides.  Save this as a pdf.


Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with instructor prior approval.


Assignment #12: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, M.S.W., D. Min., brings over 40 year of educational experience as a special education director, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.   He provides consultation and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses. He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification. Mike has worked with children of all ages, specifically with children exhibiting behavioral challenges, mental health concerns, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In addition, he taught general education classes in the elementary school and middle school arenas.   All of Mikeʼs classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found success in implementing Mikeʼs clear and concise approaches. All of his course material may be immediately implemented into a school or a home.



You may choose a book from this list or one of your own choosing that is compatible to this course. Please let the instructor know if you choose a book that is not on this list.

Alter, Robin and Clarke, Crystal.  The Anxiety Workbook For Kids.  New Harbinger Publications, 2016. Illustrations and activities for children (grades P-6th.)    

Attached, Emily and Fernandez, Marzia.  Mental Health Workbook.  Audio book, 2020.  Amazon Books   This book helps ones to understand anxiety, attachment and recovery from struggles.  (P-12).

Campbell, Elizabeth.  Helping Skills Training for Nonprofessional Counselors.  Routledge Publications, 2019.  Skills for adults who work with children.  (P-12)

Cavanagh, Sarah.  Mind Over Monsters.  Beacon Press, 2023.  A compassionate approach to Youth Mental Health.

Cooley, Myles.  A Practical Guide to Mental Health and Learning Disorders for Every Educator.  The title says it all.  Free Spirit Publishing, 2018.

Dikel, William.  Student Mental Health.  W.W. Norton and Company, 2022.  Comprehensive book on disorders.  (P-12). 

Fitzell, Susan Gingras.  Transforming Anger to Personal Power. Research Press. 2019. Teaching anger management (grades 6 – 12). 

Hurley, Katie.  The Depression Workbook for Teens.  Althea Press, 2019.  .  A workbook to help teens work through feelings of depression  (grades 7-12).

Misher, Peter. For All You Do: Self Care and Encouragement for Teachers. 2021. Andrews McMeel Publishing.\

Phifer, Lisa and Sibbald, Laura.  Trauma-Informed Social Emotional Toolbox.  Pesi Publishing, 2020.  Empower children and adolescents to cope with trauma and build resiliency.  (P-12)