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The Best Mental Health Coach Certifications

Last updated on February 21, 2024

As a mental health coach, you can unlock the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and contribute to the promotion of mental well-being on a broader scale. Not only that, but you also have the opportunity to meet the increasing demand for mental health practitioners and build a successful business. 

The problem is that with the abundance of programs and certifications available, it can be challenging to determine where to begin. To make your search easier, we’ll introduce you to the best mental health coach certification programs. We’ll cover the various types of certifications, their specific requirements, their curriculum, and their reputation within the industry. 

Embark on a transformative journey by enrolling in one of the most reputable training programs.

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What Is a Mental Health Coach?

Mental health coaching is an emerging field in the life coaching industry. These coaches help individuals address mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation. This type of coaching aims to assist clients in boosting emotional well-being and rediscovering their purpose. 

What does a mental health coach do? By focusing on behavioral and cognitive techniques, mental health coaching provides structure, goal-setting, guidance, motivation, and support for making lifestyle changes. Coaches play a crucial role in promoting positive mental health, and mental health coaching can lead to improved productivity, creativity, relationships, and overall fulfillment in life.

In a mental health coaching journey, coaches help clients to:

  • Identify the underlying cause of their distress
  • Recognize and address negative thought patterns
  • Realize their untapped potential and strengths
  • Identify toxic habits and unhealthy behavioral patterns
  • Be held accountable for their actions and progress
  • Establish realistic milestones to track their growth
  • Regain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth
  • Explore and rediscover their passions and motivations
  • Seek meaningful purpose in their lives

What Is the Difference Between a Mental Health Coach and a Therapist?

Mental health coaching takes a holistic approach and helps individuals overcome mental health issues such as stress and anxiety, negative thoughts, lack of self-confidence, and lack of purpose. Coaching doesn’t involve treating mental illness or diagnosing specific disorders. 

Therapy, on the other hand, is a regulated practice that addresses mental illness through various therapeutic techniques and may involve diagnoses and medications. While mental health coaches can’t market themselves as therapists or counselors, they can provide integrative mental health support and guidance.

How To Become a Certified Mental Health Coach

The first step toward becoming a certified mental health coach is enrolling in a mental health coach certification program. This type of training opens the door to a world of knowledge and skills that enable you to deeply comprehend the complexities of mental health. 

These transformative certification programs will provide you with a powerful toolkit to guide clients toward cultivating resilience, nurturing coping mechanisms, and embracing holistic mental well-being.

Beyond the personal growth and expertise you’ll gain, certification also holds value for your clients. It assures them that you are a trusted and competent coach and solidifies your professional legitimacy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mental Health Life Coach Certification

Among the myriad options available, it is essential that you carefully weigh several key factors in your decision-making process. Considerations such as the program’s cost, duration, and the need for ICF-accredited training will ultimately lead you to the most suitable mental health coach certification program.

Program Cost

When choosing a mental health coaching certification program, the level of financial investment plays a significant role. Options range from around $500 to approximately $7,000. It’s crucial to carefully assess your budget and prioritize the value and depth of the program you want.

Course Length

Just like the cost, the duration of the program and its learning model are also relevant factors. Courses can last a couple of weeks, or you can engage in comprehensive full-year programs. If you wish to learn without any restrictions, you can opt for self-paced courses that allow you to take your time and reach the finish line as slowly or as quickly as you want. Overall, the chosen certification should align with your professional goals and the timeline you have in mind for achieving them.

Accreditation

If you’ve been exploring the realms of the coaching industry, you’ve probably come across the often-mentioned accreditation. As an entity that holds the gold standard in coaching, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the most sought-after credential. Still, other accrediting bodies, such as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Standards Agency, are also respected and valued. 

Best Mental Health Coach Certifications

Top Pick: iNLP Center

If you seek ICF mental health coach certification, robust curriculum, and a research- and science-based approach to coaching, iNLP’s Mental Health Coach Certification Training is the best solution and our top pick overall. 

iNLP Center – Mental Health Coach Certification Training

This is one of the most comprehensive coach training programs on the market since their mental health coach certification track consists of the full complement of training:

  • NLP-Integrated Life Coach Training (170 hours)
  • ICF Coach Mentoring (10 hours)
  • Master Coach Training (22 hours)
  • Mental Health Coach Training (40 hours)

This track will also enable you to meet the training and mentoring requirements for the ICF, Associate Certified Coach (ACC), and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentials.

Once you enroll, you will begin with NLP-Integrated Life Coach Training that sets the foundation for your coaching journey. After you complete this training, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue ICF Coach Mentoring and Master Coach Training and to join the Mental Health Coach Training cohort.

The mental health training program integrates psychology, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Inner Dynamic tools, and life coaching skills. The 10-week program includes live class sessions, partner homework, and independent study. You’ll learn how to create a supportive environment and coach clients to calm down, find their true selves, end self-sabotage, and always know how to grow.

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $7,500 (If you are already enrolled in the Master Coach Training, the cost of Mental Health Coach Training is $1,999)
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Holistic Coaching Option: Nickerson Institute

If you’re seeking a holistic approach to mental health care, Nickerson’s Integrative Health Coach Training Program is an excellent choice. This groundbreaking program consists of 15 modules and is the first in this niche to be accredited by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching. The course is thoughtfully designed to provide a solid foundation for aspiring mental health coaches and enable them to support a diverse range of clients.

Nickerson Institute – Integrative Health Coach Training

This training is focused on holistic mental health, and as you progress through the program, you will delve into awareness, emotional health, energy psychology, spirituality, nutrition, and other aspects that are crucial for achieving balance in life. 

The topics range from coping with stress to dealing with loss, from chronic illness to the effects of trauma, and much more. They will introduce you to various coaching tools, such as rational-emotive strategies, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and interviewing skills. 

Learning Flexibility Option: Quality Mind

Quality Mind’s Mental Health Certification training doesn’t have a defined length or cost for all candidates but offers several options. You need to schedule a discovery call, and after you discuss your wants and goals, you can opt for their ten-week, three-month, or one-year-long program, and they will inform you of the cost.

Quality Mind – Mental Health Certification

The training is suitable for individuals at all levels of expertise, including professionals who wish to enhance their coaching abilities. 

This program encompasses a blend of positive psychology, neuroscience, HeartMath Institute, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and ancient philosophies. Their Personal Activation System™ equips you with a deeper understanding of the human brain, belief systems, emotional patterns, and their influence on personality and behaviors. 

Besides the coaching training, you will benefit from a comprehensive business package and effective marketing tools. The program also includes weekly live online mentoring sessions with your dedicated Certified Mind Mentor as well as access to their app, which offers advanced tools to support you in your journey.

  • Course Length: Depends on your choice
  • Program Cost: Depends on the length of the course
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Christian Principles and Mental Health Option: Light University

Mental Health Coach First Responder Training Certification by Light University is for those who want to combine Christian principles and mental health coaching. You can apply for their full scholarship and earn mental health coach certification free of charge. The application is typically reviewed within 48 hours.

Light University – Mental Health Coach First Responder Training Certification

The training consists of three on-demand courses which cover various topics, including effective helping strategies, faith and spirituality, crisis intervention, suicide intervention, mental illnesses, and character disorders, as well as the role of psychiatric care and medication. On top of that, you will acquire essential coaching skills and explore the dynamics of small groups and spiritual teams in church-based counseling. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $2,400
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Wellness Option: Transformation Academy

If you want to introduce wellness coaching strategies to your mental health coaching, the Master Wellness Coach program by Transformation Academy is our top pick. The wellness approach will provide clients with a more holistic transformation since wellness coaching also uses physical fitness techniques to improve mental wellness.

Transformation Academy – Master Wellness Life Coach Certification

This Master Wellness Coach bundle encompasses four full-length courses and rewards you with four distinct certifications:

  • Health and Nutrition Life Coach
  • Diet Life Coach
  • Mindfulness Life Coach
  • You can choose one from the following: Ketogenic and Ketosis Coach, Yoga Life Coach, and BellyCore Fitness Trainer

Due to their affordable cost and self-paced learning model, Transformation Academy certifications are excellent for niche training and enhancing your coaching skills that can be applied to improving your mental health coaching practice. For example, you can gain skills in mindset coaching, forgiveness coaching, people-pleaser life coaching, and more, all of which can provide you with new techniques that can help your clients with specific challenges.

To find out more about Transformation Academy, refer to our review.

Alternatives (non-niche)

If you find it challenging to choose a specific coaching specialty or prefer to build a strong life coaching foundation with a broader skill set, there are numerous programs available. These programs will provide you with the necessary tools to support clients in various aspects of their personal and professional lives. 

Among the top choices for life coach certification is Coach Training Alliance. We recommend this program due to its robust curriculum and hands-on approach. Discover the reasons behind our selection in this in-depth review, and find out how CTA compares to other popular life coach training programs.

FAQs

  • How much does a mental health coach make?

Mental health coaches’ salary is $68,720 a year on average in the US, according to ZipRecruiter.

  • Do you need a certification to be a mental health coach?

Coaching certifications are professional certifications rather than legal certifications. Although obtaining a mental health certification is advantageous, it isn’t legally mandated in order to practice coaching. It’s worth mentioning that while anyone can offer coaching services without certification, it is generally not recommended. 

  • How much does a mental health coach certification cost?

There are a variety of choices to fit different budgets, so you can find courses that cost $500 and those whose price goes over $7,000.

  • Does accreditation matter in a mental health coach certification program?

If you’re wondering whether accreditation is worth it, the answer depends on your individual wants. While it’s not a mandatory step on your path to becoming a life coach, an accredited program will provide you with accountability among coaches and clients alike. 

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

With an abundance of certification programs available, it can be overwhelming for both coaches and clients to navigate and understand them all. That’s why accreditation becomes a key factor in recognition. The International Coach Federation (ICF) stands out as the most renowned accrediting body for coaching training. Therefore, certifications from reputable programs like Coach Training Alliance and iNLP Center carry weight and are recognized in the industry.

Conclusion

As a mental health coach, you have the profound opportunity to positively impact the lives of others by promoting self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and personal growth. Obtaining a recognized certification in mental health coaching not only enhances your expertise but also showcases your dedication to professional development and ethical practice. 

Whether your final choice falls on iNLP, Nickerson Institute, Transformation Academy, or any other program, this will open the path toward establishing yourself as a trusted and effective mental health coach.

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

Take the quiz

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