Information and Referral: Serving People with Mental Health Disorders

Information and Referral: Serving People with Mental Health Disorders 

Despite increased awareness, there remains a stigma about mental illness and a lack of understanding of what exactly a “mental illness” is. This interactive course provides general, introductory information on the nature and types of mental health issues and the services that are available to affected individuals. It is primarily intended for staff at Information & Referral (I&R) organizations that need the ability to handle a wide range of clients and issues, including those involving mental health concerns. Some material within this module was drawn, according to permission guidelines, from the website of the Canadian Mental Health Association at This course is not suitable for specialized professionals working within the mental health sector. It also does not cover crisis calls or crisis intervention. This course was written by AIRS staff member, Clive Jones, a former President of InformCanada, who is responsible for the AIRS Certification Program, in addition to assisting with training and standards development. It was adapted from material within The ABCs of I&R (copyright AIRS). AIRS is the nonprofit Alliance of Information and Referral Systems at


Hours: 1.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Alliance of Information and Referral Systems Certificate of Completion

1.25 HOURS

Course Details

Hours: 1.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 9/30/2023
Learning Objectives:
Describe the nature and types of major mental illnesses (for example, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, etc.).
Communicate more effectively with persons who have a mental illness/disorder.
Explain the basic structure of services available to persons with mental illnesses.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives C. Introduction to Mental Health Issues D. More About Mental Illnesses E. Let’s Review F. More About Mental Illnesses Section 2: Nature and Types of Mental Illnesses A. Nature and Types of Mental Illnesses B. Contributing Factors Review C. Common Mental Illnesses D. Depression E. Bipolar Disorder F. Schizophrenia G. Review Session H. Anxiety Disorders I. Let’s Review Section 3: Communicating with Persons with Mental Illnesses Section 4: Services Available for Persons with Mental Illness A. Mental Health Evaluations B. Counseling C. Other Examples of Counseling D. Psychiatric Hospitals E. Outpatient Mental Health Services F. Helplines/Distress Lines/Crisis Lines G. Crisis Intervention Services H. Psychiatric Case Management I. Psychiatric Medication Services J. Supportive Therapies K. Family Support Services L. Note on Suicide M. Note on Consumer/Survivors Section 5: Summary A. Let’s Review B. Course Review C. Congratulations

Instructor: Clive Jones, B.A.

Clive Jones is a former President of InformCanada, and is responsible for I&R training, credentialing, and standards development.

Disclosure: Clive Jones, B.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Naju Madra, M.A.

Naju Madra, M.A. is an internal subject matter expert and clinical content writer for Relias' Behavioral Healthcare library. She earned her Master's degree in Psychology with specific study in neuropsychological assessment for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She brings with her a wealth of experience in clinical assessment, along with expertise in large-scale clinical research project management, recruitment, training, as well as in-person and web-based curriculum development.

In addition to scholarly activities such as writing manuals and preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, Ms. Madra has over 15 years of behavioral healthcare experience ranging from crisis counseling and job coaching for individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders, to community college instruction, and trauma specialist at the Veterans Health Administration. In her current role, Ms. Madra has contributed authorship to over 100 behavioral healthcare course offerings for both licensed and non-licensed professionals in the Health & Human Services market.

Disclosure: Naju Madra, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Entry, Intermediate level General Staff; in the following settings: Health and Human Services.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.