Barry Ackerson

Educational Background

Professor Ackerson received his bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1975. He earned his MSW in 1978 and his PhD in 1998, both from the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama. He is also licensed as an LCSW, which he has maintained since making the transition from social work practice to his current academic position.

Dr. Ackerson has over twenty years of experience as both a clinician and administrator in the mental health field. His practice background is reflected in his research interests, which focus primarily on mental health services and policies. He has presented at state and national conferences including: Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting, the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and both the Alabama and Illinois chapters of the National Association of Social Work (NASW). He has published in a variety of social work and mental health journals including: Families in Society, Social Work, Health and Social Work, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Journal of Family Social Work, and Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal. He has also written several book chapters on mental health and is currently working as a co-author on a mental health policy textbook.

Dr. Ackerson teaches SOCW 552 “HBSE II: Mental Disorders” and the doctoral teaching seminar, SOCW 575. He is a member of the Mental Health concentration committee. He advises MSW students in Mental Health and he advises students in the joint MSW-PhD program.

Dr. Ackerson is an active member of several professional organizations on the local, state and national level. He is President of the Board of Directors for Community Elements, a local behavioral health agency. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the NASW-Illinois chapter where he serves as Treasurer. His national affiliations include the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE), for which he serves as a site visitor, and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) for whom he serves as a reviewer.

Research and Practice Interests

Mental health services: parents with severe and persistent mental illness, assertive community treatment (ACT), harm reduction and integrated treatment for mental illness and substance abuse (MISA), effects of organizational climate on mental health service outcomes.

Back to Faculty & Staff Directory