This is a REQUIRED assignment and is DUE by the date indicated in the Calendar of Activities.


This assignment is structured to evidence your personal resourcefulness. Locating a mental health agency to visit is a major component of the assignment. To complete this assignment, you are going to do the legwork to find a local mental health agency and you must make an actual in-person visit to the agency. There are two caveats: 1) If you are currently completing an internship, or 2) have already completed an internship, you are not allowed to use that agency for this assignment.

For this assignment, you are to complete the following process to locate an agency to visit:

A. Begin this assignment by thinking about what kind of mental health agency you would like to visit. For example, if you are interested in dual diagnosis agencies be sure to include this in your search. Additionally, research local agencies that provide mental health services of any description for any age group. These can include mental health counseling agencies, community agencies that provide services for mental health clients, hospitals, clinics, and drug treatment facilities that treat patients with dual diagnosis–mental health conditions in combination with substance abuse problems. (If you live in the FSCJ vicinity, you will research Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau Counties. If you live in another area, search for the agencies in your area.) Look up the UNITED WAY website and search for agencies serving community members in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau Counties. If you live in a different area, search for your local UNITED WAY website. Also, complete a web search to locate additional agencies.

  1. Once you find a minimum of three agencies you would like to visit that provide mental health and/or mental health/dual diagnosis treatment for any age group, search for each agency website and locate the phone number. You must call all three of these agencies directly to request an on-site visit. In the assignment, you will discuss the outcome of the phone calls and how you made your decision to visit a specific agency
  2. For local FSCJ students, visit the FSCJ student services/student activities office at any campus and request the list of service learning agencies available in the area. This list should include agencies that work with community members who struggle with mental health issues and or mental health/dual diagnosis issues. You may also be able to get a copy of local agencies from the HUS Academic Director.

B. Make an in-person visit to one of the local agencies that you contacted. As a reminder, the agency you visit can include a counseling agency or counseling office, free standing hospital, or other agency that works with clients/community members who struggle with a mental health challenge or mental health/dual diagnosis challenge (mental health and substance use/addiction challenge). The agency can work with any age group.

  1. When you call the agency, inform the person who answers the phone that you are a student at FSCJ who is completing an assignment for a Human Services class on diagnosis and treatment planning and mention that the assignment requires that you make an in-person visit to an agency that works with clients who have a mental health/ dual diagnosis issue.
  2. Set up an appointment with the agency that you want to visit. Please note, not all agencies will agree to a visit. That is not an issue because you are contacting a minimum of three agencies. If you have to call four to get permission to visit, then you have to call four, and so forth. If you are a local student, show your FSCJ student ID when you visit the agency and take a copy of the assignment with you. If you are not a local student and do not have a student ID, be sure to bring your driver’s license as well as a copy of this assignment.
  3. As a refresher, the agency: 
    1. must have a mental health component, including services such as counseling, support, referral, case management, medication management, detox, in-patient treatment, day treatment, etc.
    2. can be a public or private agency
    3. can work with any age group
    4. can be outpatient only, or can offer in-patient and out-patient services, counseling, medication management, case management
    5. can take insurance, and/or be self-pay
    6. You must actually make an in-person site visit. This means you will need to call the agency and ask if they allow visitors to the facility
    7. You must ask if you need to make an appointment to visit the agency
    8. You must ask if you can have blank copies of any agency paperwork that you can submit with the assignment. Any paperwork that is provided by the agency will be submitted as part of the PowerPoint, along with the reflection paper required for the assignment.

C. If possible, attempt to set up a short interview with any person staff member who works with clients at the agency. If possible, ask to speak to the agency director, explain the assignment and ask if there is a possibility to spend 10-15 minutes with a staff member who works directly with clients so you can ask questions about the agency purpose, who their clientele are, and what kind of services they offer. All of this information will be written about anonymously because you will not provide names of any staff members.

This assignment has two separate components: A PowerPoint presentation and a paper.

Part A: PowerPoint Presentation

The PowerPoint presentation must have a minimum of 10 slides, must be designed using a pleasing color format and type face, and must include the information below. The information for SLIDE 1 is specifically designated and it is recommended that students use the order outlined below to create the presentation. (Please note: if the staff declines to provide any information, just make a note of this. Hopefully this information is easily gathered from your visit, and that much of it can be obtained from the front office staff/website.)

  • Slide 1: The name of the agency with a complete address/location of the agency, hours of operation, website link, and mission statement of the agency (this may be on the website)
  • A slide/or slides are dedicated to:
    • A description of why you chose this particular agency to visit.
    • This/these slide(s) includes the reasons this particular area of mental health is of interest to you.
    • This/these slide(s) also includes a description of how you went about the process of locating the agency you visited, as well as how you located the two other agencies you did not visit.
  • An image/picture or pictures of the outside of the agency (if allowed, also include pictures of the inside. Some agencies will allow this, many will not). Additionally, you may include brochures and other paperwork that you obtain at the agency. Provided documents can be placed on additional slide(s) or submitted as separate pdf documents.
  • The services the agency offers, outlined in detail (this may require multiple slides). Is there currently a wait-list for services?
  • The population and age group(s) they serve
  • Payment options (Insurance and types accepted, private pay, self/pay, sliding scale)
  • Titles/qualifications/roles of agency staff and number of staff. Set this up in a way that makes the most sense (this may require multiple slides)
    • For example: Agency XX has 20 staff members who interact with agency clients. The staff members include:
      • 1 Psychiatrist: MD/in patient client care, medication management
      • 1 Nurse/ARNP/medication management
      • 3 Nurses: RN, AS/BS degree/in-patient client care
      • 3 Case Managers: Bachelors degree/housing and job placement
      • 2 Clinical Social Workers, LSCW: Masters degree, licensure required/counseling
      • 3 Mental Health Counselors, LMHC: Masters degree, licensure required/Counseling
      • Agency Director, Masters degree
      • Front desk staff member/checks-in clients/sets appointments/supports staff
  • The average number of clients served in one year and the number of years the agency has been in existence. Also include the number of offices and locations– if there is more than one office.
  • Detailed information about the other two agencies contacted, including:
    • the name of each agency with a complete address/location of the agency
    • hours of operation
    • population served
    • website link
    • mission statement of the agency (if available on the website)

Part B: Mental Health Agency Paper

Along with use of APA 6th edition guidelines, including running head, title page, abstract, reference page, in-text citations, the written component of the assignment requires 3 scholarly references. You may use your textbook as one reference.  The paper must be a MINIMUM of 750 words, double spaced, Times New Roman, size 12 font, and including what is noted on the rubric, must include ALL of the information below for an exemplary score.

Important: Present your information in the same order as outlined below.

A. (Minimum 250 words) Begin your paper by discussing the overall significance of mental health agencies in local communities and the value of the services they provide to mental health, dual diagnosis clients and their families. This should include the types of services they offer. Then outline, in detail, the reasons that it is important and necessary for HUS professionals to be able to locate and have direct experience making site visits at local mental health agencies—experience that is separate from their internship. Discuss the value of an agency like the one you visited and how this agency evidenced that they provide meaningful and important services to the community. Be sure to utilize your 3 scholarly references in this first component of the assignment. As 250 words is about one page, you may find that you need more than one page to discuss all of this information.

B. (Minimum 250 words) Describe in detail what you experienced as you walked into the agency and what kinds of experiences you had while there by:

  1. Describing the front office, including the shape of the furniture (looks clean and neat or is messy and unkempt?
  2. Did the waiting area feel inviting or uninviting?
  3. Was it clean and neat or not clean and neat?
  4. Did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable?
  5. Did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with your interactions with staff?
  6. Describe the interactions you had with any staff members (remember you ARE NOT to provide any names. Note: front office staff, etc.)
  7. Explain if you would refer a friend, family member, or client to the agency and explain why or why not.
  8. Discuss in detail the reasons this is or is not an agency you would like to volunteer for, intern with, work for.

C. (Minimum 250 words) Discuss the value of in-person agency visit and what an HUS student/professional can learn from engaging in the process of:

  1. Locating agencies that provide mental health services.
  2. Calling three agencies to discuss making an in-person visit.
  3. Describe in detail the aspects were most challenging about engaging in this process.
  4. Describe in detail what aspects were most enlightening about this process.
  5. Provide at least three detailed reasons HUS students/professionals need to make site visits to understand the kinds of agencies located in the community and that they may be working for, and the reasons they need to be cognizant of the kinds of mental health services that are available in their community.
  6. Discuss three important things you learned from engaging in this assignment.

A detailed rubric will be used to score this assignment. Students must fully address all aspects of the instructions, along with meeting the rubric requirements.

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