Addictions and Mental Health

Online Campus | Program Code: B0891
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The Addictions and Mental Health program is a full-time one-year graduate certificate program delivered online. We also offer part-time online delivery.

Learners acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by front-line workers and supervisors in order to deliver responsive and effective addictions and mental health services while promoting empowerment, self-determination, and optimum quality of life to individuals with addictions and mental health issues.

Students learn to provide evidence-informed clinical and educational services to diverse individuals and groups experiencing addictions and mental health-related challenges. Recovery principles, empowerment practice, and the impact of early and ongoing trauma in the lives of individuals across the lifespan are examined in the curriculum.

Program Details

Code B0891
Start Date January, September
Credential Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Campus Online
Program Length 1 Year
Delivery Full-Time

Program Outline


This course provides an introduction to addictions, mental health, and concurrent disorders, the unique features of each, and the integration of the services and supports in addictions and mental health. Students explore the prevention and treatment continuum in Canada, historical and cultural perspectives, and framework and models. A bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework is addressed and current practices are reviewed including research and best practice guidelines.

Knowledge and skills for counseling in additions and mental health are covered in this practical course. Competencies for Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce are examined and counseling skills are practiced in simulated scenarios. Students explore and practice some behavioural and technical competencies recommended for those in the field of Addictions and Mental Health and identify plans to develop competencies.

In this course, students study the effects of the use and abuse of various drugs on the body including alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, hallucinogens, cocaine, narcotics and marijuana, inhalants, and steroids. An introduction to the science of Pharmacology is included.

Access to mental health and addictions services can be challenging due to the complexity of the system of service, funding sources, and issues relating to stigma and barriers. In this course, students learn about the current issues, trends, and developments in the integration of services in order to promote coordinated, efficient access to services focusing on early intervention, treatment, and community supports. Students explore a range of services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and individuals with special needs. Workplace issues and supports are discussed

Bio-physical-social-spiritual assessment and interventions and the determining of health are explored in this course. Holistic interventions and current practices are included such as mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, and self-care, and continuing care. Interdisciplinary practice and inter-professional collaboration are emphasized. Students explore the notion of family and the role in holistic intervention.

In this course, students develop their knowledge of ethical guidelines and practice in addictions and mental health within an inter-professional context. Students reflect on their individual scope of practice and build on their understanding and practice of effective and professional teamwork. Inter-professional and ethical challenges and dilemmas are analyzed in case scenarios and ethical approaches are discussed. Students review certification options after graduation and develop personal plans and professional portfolios.

In this course, students critically review disorders characterized by diminished control over behavior such as gambling, internet use, and gaming. These disorders have historically been conceptualized as impulse control disorders and non-substance or "behavioural" addictions. An overview of disordered eating and sexual addiction will also be covered. Students study the classification of DSM.

Students develop knowledge and skills necessary to inform work with diverse individuals and groups with specific attributes and associated needs including sexual orientation, cultural diversity, gender-specific needs, marginalized populations, and older adults. Students critically examine the concept of diversity, stigmatized social identities, and the impact on services and supports.

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop knowledge and skills in facilitating counseling groups with individuals who are experiencing issues related to addictions and mental health. Students study group theory, group dynamics, and group process and apply their knowledge to group facilitation. Practical application is emphasized and each student experienced leading, facilitating, and participating in simulated groups.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-oriented, collaborative, evidence-informed approach to counselling focused on exploring and resolving ambivalence, and enhancing motivation to change. In this course, students study the application of MI in addictions and mental health. Practical skills, concepts, and essential strategies of MI are integrated into clinical practice in order to promote behaviour change and maintenance of gains. Case studies, demonstrations, and experiential learning are used in the development of MI skills.

Youth are a highly diverse group and vary in age, development, culture, religion, sexual orientation, skills, capacities, interests, and strengths. This course examines youth in a system of relationships with family, peers, their community, and others, and the ways members of this system can have a significant impact on substance use, other addictions, and mental health. Students are introduced to current issues in addiction and mental health in youth, risk factors, developmental and other considerations for assessment, treatment counseling, relapse prevention, maintenance, and other supports including harm reduction and skill-building strategies.

In this course students explore trauma-informed practices at the individual, organizational and systematic levels. Students develop an understanding of the diverse needs of trauma survivors and how women, men, children and youth experience trauma differently. The effect of trauma on the brain is studied and the way service may be adapted is discussed. Content includes an overview of services for people with trauma, substance use and mental health including parenting, child welfare and supports for children.

Building the capacity in individuals, families, and the community in early identification and intervention in addictions and mental health is essential in providing integrated service and supports. This course examines the theory and practice of knowledge exchange (KE) and capacity building including current research, networks, and effective and efficient processes to bring theory to practice. Students design and develop a product that may be used in education and capacity building.

Learners integrate professional skills necessary in the field of Addictions and Mental Health. Within a simulated counselling environment, learners are required to provide individual and group counselling that adheres to ethical and professional standards.  Integrating knowledge and competencies from other courses, learners assume the role of the addictions and mental health counsellor with diverse clients and across a variety of settings. Throughout the professional practice application, learners engage in self-assessment, reflective practice and team case consultations to support ongoing professional development.


Admission Requirements

Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma or College or University Degree or equivalent. Applicants with a background in human, health or social sciences will be well-suited for this program

Other Requirements

Criminal Background Check:

Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) is required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (OPP) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months.

Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.



Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$5,427.64 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$992.93 CAD
$6,420.57 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$17,970.00 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,761.95 CAD
$19,731.95 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

Tuition fees are subject to change pending confirmation of provincial Ministry Funding rates for 2022-2023.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program may find employment in various organizations including community mental health and addictions services, residential treatment centres, hospitals, children’s centres, services for women, services for Indigenous peoples, homeless shelters, youth and family services, ethno-cultural centres, and crisis response services. Graduates may find employment opportunities with titles such as: community support workers, team leaders, housing workers, case managers, clinicians, counsellors, crisis workers, addictions counsellors and mental health workers.

Program Contacts

Program Contact
Maggie Lance
Program Coordinator 
613.345.0660 Ext. 3756

Admissions Information
Click here to message Recruitment.

Click here to schedule an appointment with Recruitment.