Social and Behavioral Sciences

Concentration in Community Response and Mental Health - Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Community Response and Mental Health concentration within the Social and Behavioral Sciences major is open to all SBS students, but is especially recommended for those entering public safety careers who wish to deepen relevant expertise and critical thinking skills, broaden career possibilities, and promote safety and understanding for all concerned. 

A concentration is simply a way for students to organize their six required SBS electives.

Courses in the three foundational disciplines of SBS - Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology -  build multilayered understanding of individual, social, and cultural factors that influence behavior, and explore the nature of deviance and social control. Students gain familiarity with social support systems and issues facing institutions and agencies, as well as families and individuals who encounter public safety personnel. They acquire knowledge and tools to draw upon in dealing with cultural differences, mental health issues, crisis situations and trauma, including deepened understanding of how cultural differences and sociocultural contexts can play out in behavior that may otherwise be misinterpreted or seem random and unpredictable. Finally, students develop a skill set for understanding perceptions, reasoning, and emotional adaptation under conditions of stress (for self and others) - which can be crucial for public safety personnel. Coursework relevant to understanding evidence and, when appropriate, influencing social policy fill out the SBS curriculum.

Students in this concentration (including those transferring into SBS with a Criminal Justice AAS) can also complete the Maine MHRT/C (Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community), or an undergraduate certificate or minor in Leadership Studies, within 120 credits by carefully selecting their courses. Students interested in these options should inform their advisor as early as possible. 

Students wanting to pursue the Community Response and Mental Health concentration should complete the necessary paperwork so that it appears on their MaineStreet academic plan.

Students meet all University and SBS requirements as listed in the BA.  For their six required SBS electives, students select one course from each category below.

Category 1:  Biological bases of behavior in health and illness 

  • SBS 303 Abnormal Psychology
  • SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence (for those planning to work with children/adolescents/juveniles)
  • SBS 390 Brain and Behavior

Category 2:  Responding to Trauma/Crisis

  • SBS 348 Responding to Mental Health Crisis in the Community
  • SBS 349 Trauma Narratives

Category 3:  Interfacing with Social Services

  • SBS 346 Intro to Social Services (required)

Category 4:  Substance Abuse

  • SBS 343 Substance Abuse (required)

Category 5:  Cognitive-Emotional Self-Regulation and Intervention

  • SBS 420 Mindfulness
  • An alternative University course offering or equivalent advanced workshop in: Stress Management, Conflict Resolution, Alternative Dispute Resolution, or Non-Violent Communication course (approved via the PLA - prior learning assessment - portfolio process for non-course options).

Category 6:  SBS Elective  (Selected based on student's intended career direction from the following list):

  • SBS 306 Adolescence
  • SBS 310 Childhood and Society
  • SBS 339 Immigration, Ethnicity, and Identity
  • SBS 341 The Family
  • SBS 344 Violence: Causes and Control
  • SBS 345 Diversity: Many Voices
  • SBS 347 Youth, Community, and Higher Education
  • SBS 367 Healthy Learners Project
  • SBS 399 Special Topics (e.g., Behavioral Forensics) 
  • Any course from categories 1 through 5 that was not selected to meet the category requirement.