Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate (Live Online)

  • Format:

    Live Online

  • Duration:

    360 hours

  • Application fee:

    $200 (Domestic)

    $300 (International)

  • Tuition fee:

    $5,400 (Domestic)

    $6,750 (International)

Start Date

Live Online live-logo

Full Time: February 7, 2022 – June 3, 2022

Practicum: May 16, 2022 – June 3, 2022

Apply Now

In-Class

Full Time: February 7, 2022 – June 3, 2022

Practicum: May 16, 2022 – June 3, 2022

Apply Now

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.

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 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

Program Organization

Title of Course/Practicum Component * # of Hours*
MHASW 01 – Introduction to Mental Health 60
MHASW 02 – Mental Illness and Interventions 80
MHASW 03 – Concurrent Disorders and More Complex Case Work 80
MHASW 04 – Health Promotion, Prevention and Harm Reduction 80
MHASW 05 – Practicum 60

Career Options

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

Course Descriptions

MHASWC 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
  15. Population and Public Health
  16. Final Examination

 

MHASWC 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. Naloxone Training
  9. Health Promotion in Clinical Care
  10. 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

 

 

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

All Applicants, unless seeking Mature Student status, must provide proof and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of a high school diploma or Adult Graduation Diploma; AND Are or will reach the age of nineteen (19) years on or before the start of the Program; or If less than nineteen (19) years of age on or before the start of the desired Program, have parental or guardian consent.
  • To qualify as a Mature Student, an Applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
    • Be 21 years of age or older; AND
    • Have not completed a high school diploma or an Adult Graduation Diploma; or
    • Have not attended high school for at least four (4) years; and/or
    • Have not received recognition for prior post-secondary education and training.

Applicants who qualify as Mature Students may be admitted to a Program at the discretion of the Registrar. In lieu of graduation documentation, the Registrar may require Applicants to provide any or all of the following:

  • Transcripts of completed education (secondary school or coursework at other post-secondary institutions);
  • Professional reference(s) from current or former employer(s);
  • Statement of intent clearly outlining the Applicant’s career goals and reasons for believing they will succeed in the desired Program;
  • Personal profile; and/or
  • Other forms of documentation that would aid in an Applicant’s candidacy.

Mature Students must meet all program-specific and non-academic requirements and, if deemed necessary, may be required to complete a pre-admission placement examination to determine academic readiness.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants must meet the College’s English Language Proficiency Requirements in ONE of the following ways:

  • Achieving a grade of 70% or higher in Canadian provincial/territorial English 12 or English Literature 12, or an equivalent examination; or
  • Immediately prior to applying to the College, completing two or more consecutive years of full-time post-secondary education in English within Canada or a country listed below; or achieving the competency standard of one of the Tests of English Language Proficiency
Two years of completed post-secondary study in English are accepted from the following Countries:

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

Acceptable English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores:
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): A minimum score of 58.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): A minimum score of 60
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): Academic Level of 4L and a CELPIP-General Level 7 in all components
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB): A minimum score of 7
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): Academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP): Academic Level 3
  • Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MELAB): A minimum score of 76
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
    • Internet-based test: Academic Level with a minimum score of 79-80 (19-20 on each band); or
    • Paper-based test: 550 score; 23 on each for Reading, Writing, and Listening
  • Duolingo: 110 (Temporary until December 2021)

Additional Requirements

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:

  • February 7, 2022 – June 3, 2022
    • Webinars are held Mondays to Fridays from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm  PST
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 360 hours, including: 300 hours of instruction, 60 hours practicums

In-Class

Full Time:

  • February 7, 2022 – June 3, 2022
    • Webinars are held Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm  PST
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 360 hours, including: 300 hours of instruction, 60 hours practicums

Required Materials

For MHASW 01 and 02:

  • A Concise Introduction to Mental Health in Canada, Second Edition. Authors: Elliot Goldner, Emily Jenkins, Dan Bilsker. Print ISBN: 9781551309064

For MHASW 03:

  • Concurrent substance use and mental health disorders: An information guide by W.J. Wayne Skinner, MSW, RSW, and Caroline P. O’Grady, RN, MN, PhD
  • Dual Diagnosis: Drug Addiction and Mental Illness. Author: Jack. E. Henningfield. Publisher: Mason Crest (2014). ISBN: 9781422292945

Fees

Tuition fees for this program are due and payable 2 weeks prior to the cohort 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: $200 (Domestic Students) or $300 (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.

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.

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