New Jersey Mental Health Screener
Certification and Recertification Program

The Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care Technical Assistance Center (UBHC-TAC) provides the Basic Screener Certification Training Series and the Mental Health Screener Recertification Training Series. The Basic Certification Series is designed to serve New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) funded designated screening centers with staff who wish to obtain their initial mental health screener certification.  The Mental Health Screener Recertification Training Series offers the trainings necessary for the recertification of previously certified mental health screeners. Certified screeners need to complete 15 credits every two years in order to obtain their recertification. Six of those 15 credits must be from a state approved source which includes the trainings offered by the UBHC-TAC. Both the Basic and the Recertification series occur twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. The trainings are offered in a variety of locations in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state.

Please click on the link below for the Spring 2017 Basic Screener Certification Training Schedule.

Basic_Screener_Certification_Training_Series_Spring 2017

The Spring 2017 Screener Recertification Training Schedule.
Screener Recertification Training Schedule Spring 2017

Qualifying to become a Mental Health Screener: We frequently receive questions about how someone becomes a New Jersey Certified Mental Health Screener. New Jersey regulations (N.J.A.C 10:31) list the qualifications for becoming a screener which we have copied below.  The process can at times seem confusing because the person who is seeking to become certified does not apply directly to attend the Basic Certification Training Series.  It is a New Jersey designated screening center that submits the application on their behalf.  This means that the person already needs to be working at a designated screening center in order to have an application submitted for them.  Once we receive a complete application, we review the documents to determine whether or not the applicant meets the state’s criteria for eligibility (below).  If the individual does qualify, the UBHC-TAC assigns that person a temporary certification number which is valid for one year.  The applicant then has that one year to complete the Basic Certification Training Series courses and pass the certification exam.  The trainings are free of charge thanks to a DMHAS grant.   There are other contingencies but these are the basics. 

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The standards listed below which outline the criteria for qualifying for temporary mental health screener certification are taken directly from N.J.A.C. 10:31 - Screening and Screening Outreach Standards (Pages 23, 24). These standards expire on 07/21/2017

Individuals who apply for status as a certified screener after (the effective date of these amendments), shall possess at least one of the following educational credentials, which shall serve as prerequisites to admission to the Division's screener certification course and to subsequent status as a temporary or fully certified screener:

1. A master's degree in a mental-health-related field from an accredited institution, plus one year of post-master's, full-time, professional experience in a psychiatric setting;

2. A bachelor's degree in a mental-health-related field from an accredited institution, plus three years post-bachelor's, full-time, professional experience in the mental health field, one of which is in a crisis setting;

3. A bachelor's degree in a mental-health-related field from an accredited institution, plus two years post-bachelor's, full-time, professional experience in the mental health field, one of which is in a crisis setting and currently enrolled in a master's program; or

4. A licensed registered nurse with three years full-time, post-RN, professional experience in the mental health field, one of which is in a crisis setting.

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For additional information, please feel free to contact us at (732) 235-9290 or at tac_screening@ubhc.rutgers.edu.

We gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship and support of the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services for this project.

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