Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate (Live Online and In-Class)

  • Format:

    Live Online and In-Class

  • Duration:

    360 hours

  • Application fee:

    $40 (Domestic)

    $140 (International)

  • Tuition fee:

    $5,400 (Domestic)

    $6,750 (International)

    + textbook fee

    ~$200

Apply Now

Start Date

Term : Summer/Fall

Live Online live-logo

Full Time: September 12, 2022 – January 20, 2023

 

For the schedule, please refer to the dates section

In-Class

Full Time: September 12, 2022 – January 20, 2023

 

Download Brochure

 

 

Have questions about the program?

Please complete the form below and we will contact you shortly.

Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker: Program Overview

The Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate Program will provide entry-level competencies for employment in the field of mental health and addictions. There is an increasing demand for mental health and addictions support workers. The Certificate program aims to prepare students to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team focusing on client treatment and rehabilitation. Graduates of the program can choose to work in a variety of settings including institutional, community and residential.

CACCF Accreditation

The Ashton College Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate is proudly accredited by the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF), which is internationally recognized as the gold standard provider in addiction credentialing both in Canada and on the international stage. Accreditation means the program meets the criteria and competencies required for both Canadian and International Certifications. 

Graduates of the Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate will satisfy the education requirements to become a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor (CCAC) or an International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (ICADC). Graduates will also be able to count 120 hours from their studies towards part of their clinical supervision time required for certification. The CCAC and ICADC designation requires you as part of the process of obtaining your certification, to write and pass an exam through CACCF.

Topics Covered/Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Explore a broad range of perspectives that are applied to explain mental illness, substance use, substance use disorder and addictions
  • Identify the prevalence and distribution of mental illness and substance abuse within Canada
  • Explain the risk factors for mental illness and substance abuse
  • Recognize ways to reduce risk, especially relating to substance abuse
  • Appreciate the steps taken by the public health system in Canada to promote mental health
  • Identify public systems and organizations which exist both in Canada and internationally to assist with mental health issues and substance abuse
  • Recognize risk factors and warning signs of mental health issues, related disorders, ways to cope and tips to promote mental health
  • Identify key characteristics of various mental health disorders and their accompanying treatment options.
  • Outline treatment essentials and ways to access help
  • Explain concurrent disorders
  • Identify factors influencing treatments
  • Explore health promotion, prevention and harm reduction in Canada
  • Explain service delivery for individuals, families and communities
  • Identify ways to reduce risks and harm associated with mental health and addictions
  • Learn about screening, intaking, orienting, assessing, and educating clients
  • Understand key processes such as treatment planning, counselling case management, crisis intervention, referral, consultations with other professionals, reports and record keeping.

Career Options

  • Mental Health Support Worker
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Worker
  • Community Mental Health Worker
  • Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker

Course Descriptions

MHASW 01: Introduction to Mental Health (60 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course introduces students to the study of mental health, mental illnesses and substance use. A wide variety of issues will be explored including patterns of distribution, risk factors and efforts made by society to prevent and treat mental health issues

Course Prerequisites

None.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Explore a broad range of perspectives that are applied to explain mental illness, substance use, substance use disorder and addictions
  • Identify the prevalence and distribution of mental illness and substance abuse within Canada
  • Differentiate between the different types of mental health disorders
  • Identify the risk factors for mental illness and substance abuse
  • Identify the relationship between mental illness and substance use
  • Recognize ways to reduce risk especially relating to substance abuse
  • Appreciate steps taken by the public health system in Canada to promote mental health
  • Identify public systems and organizations which exist both in Canada and internationally to assist with mental health issues and substance abuse
  • Identify what the DSM-5 is and outline the mental health indexes listed within
  • Differentiate between substance use and abuse, as well as differentiate between mental health illnesses and addiction
  • Identify how mental health illness and addiction are diagnosed

Lessons

  1. What is Mental Health?
  2. Biological Foundations of Mental Health
  3. The Spectrum of Mental Health Problems
  4. Substance Use, Dependence, and Addictive Behaviour
  5. Stigma, Discrimination, and Mental Health in the Workplace
  6. Mental Health and Illness among Children and Youth
  7. Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  8. Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Health
  9. Mental Health and Illness in Older Adults
  10. Responding to Mental Health Crisis, Emergency, and Disaster
  11. Treatment for Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorder
  12. Mental Health Services in Canada
  13. Mental Health Professions and Practices
  14. Mental Health and Substance Use: Opportunities to Improve Population and Public Health
  15. Final Examination

 

MHASW 02: Mental Illness and Interventions (80 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course introduces students to the assessment and intervention of mental illnesses. Students will look at the various treatment options available, as well as the barriers to treatment for vulnerable populations. Students will explore how to manage a mental health crisis, and the appropriate language to use when working with individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of MHASW 01.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to: 

  • Identify the early signs of various mental health disorders
  • Explore the DSM-5 and the technical categorization of mental disorders
  • Identify appropriate language to use when speaking to an individual experiencing a mental health illness/disorder or crisis
  • Identify the impact of mental illness on individuals, families, and the community
  • Identify evidence-based therapeutic interventions used to support individuals and families
  • Elaborate on the concepts of crisis, emergency, crisis intervention, emergency intervention, suicide prevention and suicide intervention
  • Identify the models of crisis intervention and differentiate between crisis intervention and psychotherapy
  • Identify the most common crises in contemporary society
  • Understand the relationship between different components of health in the development of mental illnesses and addictions
  • Identify the process of a mental health assessment, conducted by a medical practitioner
  • Identify the challenges that vulnerable populations face when accessing treatment and intervention services
  • Explain the need for non-violent crisis intervention, and how to safely intervene in a mental health crisis
  • Explain the process of medication assistance when working with clients I.e. providing visual confirmation of medication taken, storage or medication in lockboxes, applying topical medications and documentation of all medication assistance processes

Lessons

  1. Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness
  2. Professional Language
  3. Impact on the Individual
  4. Impact on Support Systems
  5. Therapeutic Interventions
  6. Clinical Interventions
  7. Medication Treatments
  8. What is a Mental Health Crisis?
  9. How Do You Respond to an Individual Who is in Crisis?
  10. Barriers to Treatment
  11. Final Examination

 

MHASW 03: Concurrent Disorders and More Complex Casework (80 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course will focus on providing support to individuals and their families who are living with both mental illness and substance use disorders. Students will gain insight into how factors like gender, sexual diversity, race and culture can influence the treatment of clients and their families.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of MHASW 02.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Define concurrent disorders
  • Explain the symptoms and causes of concurrent disorders
  • Identify treatment options for an individual with concurrent disorders
  • Explain the factors that influence treatment and the complexities of treating multiple diagnoses
  • Identify the treatment challenges associated with different demographics, gender, sexual diversity, race, culture and socioeconomic status
  • Identify the complexities of treating concurrent disorders in children

Lessons

  1. Fundamentals of Concurrent Disorders
  2. History of Concurrent Disorder Treatment
  3. History of Concurrent Disorder Treatment
  4. Screening and Assessment
  5. Screening and Assessment
  6. Screening and Assessment
  7. Mid-term Test
  8. Treatment and Intervention
  9. Treatment and Intervention
  10. Treatment and Intervention
  11. Factors Impacting Treatment: Protective Factors and Barriers
  12. Factors Impacting Treatment: Protective Factors and Barriers
  13. Factors Impacting Treatment: Protective Factors and Barriers
  14. Developing a Framework for Practice
  15. Final Examination

 

MHASW 04: Health Promotion, Prevention and Harm Reduction (80 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course examines the concepts of the reduction of risk and harms associated with mental health and addictions. Participants will also examine how health promotion, prevention, and harm reduction have influenced mental health and addictions policies and the structure and the delivery of services to individuals, families and communities.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of MHASW 03.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Identify health promotion strategies in Canada
  • Identify prevention measures as they pertain to both mental illness and substance use
  • Identify policy and systemic challenges associated with mental health and substance use in Canada
  • Explore the opioid crisis in Canada and contributing factors
  • Identify the strategies of harm reduction in Canada and the benefits of harm reduction programs
  • Explain delivery of services for individuals, families and communities in Canada
  • Demonstrate ways to reduce risks and harms associated with mental health and addictions
  • Identify the symptoms of overdose
  • Identify the steps to take if you encounter an individual experiencing an overdose
  • Outline the purpose of Narcan (Naloxone) in treating overdose, and how to use it in an emergency

Lessons

  1. Health Promotion in Canada
  2. Health Promotion in Canada
  3. Health Promotion in Canada
  4. Implications of Inequities in Health for Health Promotion Practice
  5. Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in Canada
  6. Practices in Indigenous Community Health Promotion
  7. Identifying Appropriate Health Promotion Practices for Immigrants
  8. Health Promotion in Clinical Care
  9. Health in All Policies

 

MHASW 05: Practicum (60 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course offers students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to assist individuals in mental health and addiction settings. Emphasis will be on developing the student as a responsible practitioner as part of an interdisciplinary team.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of MHASW 04.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Be respectful of clients
  • Adhere to confidentiality
  • Apply theory previously learning in coursework to the MHASW practice setting
  • Assist clients in a mental health and addictions support environment
  • Work within a multidisciplinary team to benefit clients

 

 

Faculty*

Brian Comer

Brian Comer has worked in inpatient acute psychiatry and inpatient withdrawal management for a number of years. Currently, he is an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, determined to improve mental health and addictions policies in his province. His key areas of focus are reducing stigma, increasing access, and creating mental health parity. He is a passionate educator who is dedicated to improving his community for future generations. Brian currently lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with his wife and two children.

 

Jessica Gill

Jessica Gill (she/her) is currently pursuing her Master of Arts Counselling Psychology while also working as a Substance Use Prevention and Health Promotion Worker. Jessica has been working in the mental health and substance use field for 10+ years, with experience in Alberta and British Columbia. Her experience includes working in both inpatient and outpatient substance use programs. Through her experiences, she has worked on multidisciplinary teams, supporting diverse clientele.

 

Vanessa Kinch

Vanessa Kinch is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse who has worked in mental health and addictions for the last ten years. She has experience with both inpatient and outpatient programs. In the last few years, she has worked as an instructor to help teach and guide new nursing students, specifically with a focus on mental health and addictions. Vanessa is passionate about teaching and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with her students.

 

Annick Parizeau

Annick has an undergrad in Human Services and has been working with vulnerable populations across the mental health and social services field for 20+ years. She believes in a person-centred lens, where individuals are the experts in their recovery, and honours that everyone has a story. Currently, Annick is a contractor providing Prevention, Outreach and Community Engagement for Gambling Support BC.

 

Amrit Samra

Amrit pursued graduate studies in developmental psychology and has many years of experience in the mental health and addictions field. She has worked with diverse populations including human trafficking survivors and women in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Her current position is in healthcare, working to improve the quality of processes and systems. Amrit is excited to bring her experiences and knowledge from the field into the classroom.

 

Melissa Toews

Melissa Toews (she/her) has been a Registered Psychiatric Nurse for over eight years and has worked in various frontline and health care leadership/management roles in the Interior BC, Northern BC, Northern Alberta, Nunavut, and Vancouver.  She is currently working in Executive Health Care Regional Management while also volunteering as a crisis responder for the National Crisis Text Line (powered by Kids Help Phone).

 

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy Williams is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellor who has worked in the field as a Mental Health Worker, Addiction Support Worker, Youth Detox Worker and Community Liaison Worker. Jeremy works part-time in a small private practice and he is the former Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada.

 

*Subject to change without notice

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements for Domestic Students

Are you a domestic student?

You must prove the following:

  • You have successfully completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one
  • You are at least 19 years old before the first day of your program

English Language Proficiency Requirements for Domestic Students

Are you a domestic student?

You must show your language proficiency in ONE of the following ways:

  • You achieved a C+ (67%) or higher in BC English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12 or Literary Studies 12 or an equivalent course in Canada
  • You have completed two or more years in a row of full-time post-secondary education in English in one of the approved countries listed below OR you have completed three or more years in a row of full-time secondary school education in English in one of the approved countries listed below
  • You achieved a minimum score on one of the approved tests listed below

Approved Countries

American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierre Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores

  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): minimum score of 58 or C
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): minimum score of 55
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): General 6
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 110 (temporary due to COVID)
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test: academic level with a minimum score of 79-80 and a minimum of 19-20 on each band
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test: minimum score of 550 and a minimum of 23 each for reading, writing, and listening

General Admission Requirements for International Students

Are you an international student?

You must prove the following:

  • You have successfully completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one
  • You are at least 19 years old before the first day of your program

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students

Are you an international student?

You must show your language proficiency in ONE of the following ways:

  • You achieved a C+ (67%) or higher in BC English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12 or Literary Studies 12 or an equivalent course in Canada
  • You have completed two or more years in a row of full-time post-secondary education in English in one of the approved countries listed below OR you have completed three or more years in a row of full-time secondary school education in English in one of the approved countries listed below
  • You achieved a minimum score on one of the approved tests listed below

Approved Countries

American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierre Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores

  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): minimum score of 58 or C
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): minimum score of 55
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): General 6
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 110 (temporary due to COVID)
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test: academic level with a minimum score of 79-80 and a minimum of 19-20 on each band
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test: minimum score of 550 and a minimum of 23 each for reading, writing, and listening

General Admission Requirements for Mature Students

Do you identify as a mature student?

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 19 years of age
  • You have not completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one

Application Requirements

Mature Students must submit ALL of the following:

  • At least one letter of reference from a person who is not related to you
  • A statement of intent clearly outlining your career goals and your reasons for believing you will succeed in the program
  • A personal profile of 250 words or less

Additional Requirements

You must meet all of the program-specific and non-academic requirements where listed. In some cases, you may need to complete a placement exam to determine academic readiness.

 

Additional Requirements for All Students

Applicants should also provide the following additional documents. These additional mandatory requirements apply before commencing practicums and not at the time of admission.

  • Clear criminal records search for the vulnerable sector;
  • TB test and/or X-ray and Certificate of Health.

Dates

Live Online

Full Time:

  • September 12, 2022 – January 20, 2023
    • Webinars are held Mondays to Fridays from 5:00 – 8:00 pm  PST
    • Students must devote at least 20 hours per week to attending webinars, seminars, and laboratories online
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 360 hours, including: 300 hours of instruction, 60 hours practicums
  • Practicum: January 03, 2023 – January 20, 2023

In-Class

Full Time:

  • September 12, 2022 – January 20, 2023
    • Classes are held Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm  PST
    • Students must devote at least 20 hours per week to attending classes, seminars, and laboratories in-person
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 360 hours, including: 300 hours of instruction, 60 hours practicums
  • Practicum: January 3, 2023 – January 20, 2023

Fees

Tuition fees for the program are payable in three instalments. The first instalment is due 2 weeks prior to the start date. Students with guaranteed funding arrangements will be exempt from this requirement provided they produce proof of funding before the cohort start date.

All formats of the program are eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and bank financing. However, students are responsible for making their own funding arrangements and are advised to contact the relevant funder well in advance of the start date to make an application.

Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:

Application fee: $40 (Domestic Students) or $140 (International Students)

Tuition fee (Online): $5,400 (Domestic Students) and $5,400 (International Students)

Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of the required textbooks. The approximate textbook fee is $200.

Technical Requirements

Live Online Students

Ashton College uses web conferencing tools to help instructors and students connect and collaborate live online. For the online classes, students need to have a fully functional computer system with a webcam, speakers and microphone or headset and headphones, along with a reliable high-speed internet connection. Though the classes can be accessed using smartphones and tablets, we recommend using a laptop or desktop computer for a better learning experience.

This program was reviewed and approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

198228Array ( [0] => 198 [1] => 228 )

Submit Enquiry Form

Download Brochure

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • By submitting this form, I agree that Ashton College may call, text and/or email me about their educational services at the contact information provided, including a wireless number, using automated technology. Please note, this consent is not required to attend the institution and you may unsubscribe at any time.*