- Addictions Work: Professional Practice Skills
The School of Community and Health Studies offers the Addiction and Mental Health Worker program. It will help you acquire the education to work in mental health and addiction services using evidence-based knowledge and skills in screening, assessing, and responding to people with mental health and substance-use issues from diverse cultural and community perspectives.
In Addiction and Mental Health Work courses, you'll learn to work — in a variety of community health and human services settings such as mental health and addiction agencies, homeless drop-in centres and crisis service centres — with individuals, family members and small groups impacted by addiction and mental health issues. You'll also gain the knowledge to advocate for equitable access to supports and services including health promotion, prevention and harm reduction. The Addiction and Mental Health Work program has a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous communities in Canada. As a result, courses will offer Indigenous perspectives to addiction and mental health work.
Classroom instruction will be combined with a second-year field placement experience during which you'll spend several days each week working with clients in social service agencies under the supervision of experienced service providers. You'll have the opportunity to work in interprofessional teams to gain direct experience providing support to clients and families through case management, assessment, referral and navigating systems of care. The practical experience you gain will help to reinforce classroom learning and provide grounding for full-time work after graduation.
Please Note: This program is taught using a combination of modalities. Courses may be delivered face-to-face, online or in blended/hybrid combination of both online and traditional classroom teaching.Program Highlights
In the Addiction and Mental Health Worker program, you'll learn to:
- Develop a plan to assist individuals in achieving their goals for mental wellness and substance use/addiction;
- Integrate group work and group facilitation skills across a wide range of community service settings to support the growth and development of individuals, families, and communities affected by addictions and mental health issues;
- Consider social policy, legislation, and political, social and economic systems, and their impacts on service delivery in addiction and mental health services;
- Provide appropriate treatment, prevention and harm reduction strategies to individuals and families impacted by addiction and mental health issues;
- Recognize diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities to develop and promote accessible and responsive programs and services;
- Respond accordingly to individuals in crisis to provide appropriate assistance and referral where necessary;
- Develop and maintain positive interprofessional collaboration and working relationships with colleagues, supervisors and community partners that adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards;
- Advocate, at a system level, for non-judgmental acceptance and unconditional positive regard of individuals with addictions and mental health issues;
- Collaborate with Indigenous peoples and their communities to identify and advocate for access to culturally appropriate/safer resources and support;
- Engage in critical self-reflection to support professional growth, lifelong learning and self/community care strategies;
- Develop creative concepts for addiction and mental health practice that meet innovation, entrepreneurship and social enterprise objectives.