The Student Mental Health Certificate (SMHC) program was created by a team of experts to address the most-needed training topics for special education and general education teachers, as well as paraprofessionals. The goal of the certification and training is to provide critical information about common mental health needs, signs, and related behavior to non-clinical professionals who can use that knowledge to identify students in need and assist them in accessing available supports.

Certification Competencies

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Oppositional Defiance Disorder Icon

Oppositional Defiance Disorders

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Behavior Modification

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IEP & Program Development

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Early Childhood Identification icon

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Traumatic Brain Injury

*Registration fee includes 14 CE hours of online training, application fee, exam, and credential.

Benefits of Certification

Improve Student Outcomes, Behavior & Learning

Gain Confidence To Identify Students Struggling With Mental Health Issues

Improve Sense Of Security In Classroom Setting

Become A Resource & Support System For Students To Enhance Their Safety

Certification Requirements

Requirements Student Mental Health Certificate
Degree + Experience Must currently (or soon will) work in an education setting with students
CE hours (training content included with program) 14
Certification Fee (includes training, exam + credential) $295
Renewal Fee
(every 2 years)

Female Student dealing with mental health issues - vector

For more information on how to maintain your certification, please review our Certification Renewal Policy and Code of Ethics and Standards.


SMHC Eligibility Requirements

  • Two Years of Experience:
    Applicants must have two years of experience working in a field that treats or supports individuals with cognitive disorders.
  • 14 CE hours:
    Applicants must have earned 14 hours of continuing education that directly relate to mental health disorders within the last two years. These CEs can be earned through IBCCES University as part of the application process.
  • Registry Fee:
  • Competency Exam:
    Applicants must pass the Competency Exam. The exam is taken online and is included in the price of your application.

Renewal Requirements:

  • Renewal fee: $149 every two years
  • 14 Additional (CEU) in competency areas
  • Maintain active status and Compliance with Code of Ethics

Registration fees include application review by IBCCES board and access to the Student Mental Health Certification Exams.

*Registration fee will be refunded if the applicant is not approved by the board for any reason during the application process (minus $150 to cover processing and exam fee). Otherwise, all sales are final. Registration indicates that you have read and agreed to the IBCCES Financial Terms and Conditions, Ethical Responsibilities and Standards of Practice.

  • Special & General Education Teachers
  • Special Education Directors
  • Student Services Directors
  • Principals & Administrators
  • Behavior Specialists
  • Deans/Disciplinary Staff
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • School Counselors
  • School Psychologists
  • Behavior Therapists
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Administrative Personnel
  • Support Staff
  • Behavior Therapists
  • School Nurses
  • Learning Center Staff
  • Tutors

Individual Benefits

Our Student Mental Health Certifications will:

  • Allow you to provide support and resources to families and students to enhance their school experience, safety and learning outcomes
  • Expose you to best practices and current research
  • Provide credibility and recognition for staff, school and district
  • Recognize your voluntary effort to meet rigorous professional standards in ongoing professional development.

Once you have completed the requirements for the certification:

  • You will be issued an official Certification Number;
  • Your name will be listed in the International Registry as an Student Mental Health Specialist or Student Mental Health Certificate Holder;
  • You will receive an official certificate printed on diploma stock to display in your classroom or office;
  • You will also receive an authorized wallet ID card to demonstrate your new credentials to parents, employers, insurance professionals and others;
  • digital badge is available upon request for use on digital resumes and social media;
  • Your credential number can be verified by employers at

School Benefits

Having a staff member with an Student Mental Health Certification:

  • Reduces the chance of litigation in your district.
  • Differentiates your school from your competitors.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to on-going training in student mental health to parents and clients.
  • Improves your grant qualifications.
  • Assists in demonstrating compliance with local and state guidelines for professional development.

Still Have Questions? Visit Our FAQs here

  • Michelle, School Counselor, PA

    Honestly, I’ve had more students this year hospitalized for anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues than ever. There’s just so much going on in this day and age, the pressures to fit in, the pressure to achieve, the pressure of social media.

  • Isabel, School Superintendent, CA

    In most schools, mental health certification is reserved for a social worker or guidance counselor. Yet 99.9% of student contact time every day is with a teacher, bus driver or coach. Our number one priority should be to train and equip or front line staff to deal with this crisis.

  • Martha, Special Education Director, TX

    We can’t wait until a student is in a crisis state to take action. Like diabetes or cancer, you should never wait until stage 4 to intervene.

Find Out More About Earning A Student Mental Health Certification

Fill out the form below to connect with a Certification Advisor for more information