Psychiatric Medications: An Overview for Paraprofessionals

Psychiatric Medications: An Overview for Paraprofessionals  

Many people with psychiatric disorders take medication to manage their symptoms. You will likely work with people who take one or more of these medications. It is important for you to know about the types of psychiatric medications. You should also know some common side effects of these medications. Your job duties may require that you know how to safely administer medications to those individuals you serve. You can also help individuals take their medications as prescribed. This course will teach you key information about how medications are used to treat people who have psychiatric disorders.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-BHC-0-PMAOP
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 8/31/2025
Learning Objectives:
Summarize how you can support the individuals you serve with their medication regimen.
List the major types of psychiatric medications.
Describe potential side effects of psychiatric medications.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Medications and Mental Illness

Meet Margot

Medications for Psychiatric Disorders

Why Do I Need to Know This?

Questions to Ask About Medications

Types of Psychiatric Medications

Reducing Errors

Safety Checks

What if There’s a Mistake?

Monitoring Clients

Urgent Signs

Stopping Medications

Multiple Medications

Medications and Pregnancy



Section 3: Antipsychotic and Mood Stabilizer Medications


Antipsychotic Medications

Side Effects of Antipsychotics

Serious Side Effects

Quick Check

Mood Stabilizers



Section 4: Medications that Treat Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD

Signs of Depression


Urgent Signs

Makeeda is Worried

Antianxiety Medications

Medications Used to Treat ADHD



Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributors




Instructor: Monique Kahn, Psy.D.
Monique Kahn, Psy.D. received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at Spokane Mental Health in Washington, which included specialty rotations in behavioral medicine and time-limited psychotherapies. She is licensed as a psychologist in Maine, where she was in private practice for 14 years, providing services to adult clients with varied presenting issues, but with particular emphasis on the treatment of anxiety disorders, the relationship between psychosocial stress and illness, insomnia, and coping with chronic illness. She has taught in the undergraduate psychology program at Husson University in Maine. In addition, she has worked as a content writer and psychology subject matter expert for several major educational publishing firms. She joined Relias as a clinical content writer and subject matter expert in 2016. Disclosure: Monique Kahn, Psy.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: John Cahill, MD, PhD
Dr. Cahill has experience in community psychiatry across both the UK and US healthcare systems. He specializes in building Learning Health Systems for early intervention and 'safety net' behavioral health services - towards better-value, person-centered, integrated care for individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. After completing medical school in the UK, Dr. Cahill undertook both psychiatry residency and advanced clinical research fellowships at Yale, with a focus on knowledge translation, from the community to the lab, and vice versa, particularly in the study and management of psychotic disorders and their complex interaction with cannabinoids. He is board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. His work is founded on respect for the patient and caregiver experience, addressing the whole person, judicious prescribing practices and embracing a complex adaptive system perspective. His research interests involve using unifying principles and translational approaches to develop novel biomarkers, treatments, technologies, clinical guidelines and resident curricula for the care of psychotic disorders. He is faculty of both Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Nursing. Disclosure: John Cahill, MD, PhD 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: Direct Support Professionals; 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.
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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.
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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.
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