What is a QMHP and how does it impact my career eligibility?
In Virginia and other states, mental health service providers require new employees to be QMHP-credentialed. For graduates with only an undergraduate social science degree, such as psychology or family and child development, this requirement presents a challenge when applying for jobs in the field. When looking at entry level positions, one will often see “1 year of experience” as a requirement; this requirement usually refers to QMHP qualification.
How do I become QMHP Qualified?
If you have a human service related degree and have at least 2,000 hours (i.e., 1 year of full-time work experience) of paid or internship-related work you may be qualified as a QMHP.
QMHP-A (Qualified Mental Health Professional-Adult): A person in the human services field who is trained and experienced in providing psychiatric or mental health services to adults who have a mental illness. For a student with a bachelor’s degree in a social sciences field the requirements for QMHP-A include at least a bachelor’s degree in human services or related field from an accredited college and at least one year of clinical experience providing direct services to individuals with a diagnosis of mental illness.
QMHP-C (Qualified Mental Health Professional-Child): A person in the human services field who is trained and experienced in providing psychiatric or mental health services to children who have a mental illness. For a student with a bachelor’s degree in a social sciences field the requirements for QMHP-C include at least a bachelor’s degree in a human services field or in special education from an accredited college and at least one year of clinical experience with children and adolescents.
What qualifies as an appropriate degree and clinical experience?
Human services degree: Includes social work, psychology, psychiatric rehabilitation, sociology, counseling, vocational rehabilitation, human services counseling, or other degrees deemed equivalent to those described.
Clinical Experience: Includes providing direct behavioral mental health services and treatment to individuals. In addition, the supervising clinician must be appropriately credentialed for the field (for example, being licensed, QMHP qualified, or other having other relevant certifications). The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services determines this.