Addictions and Mental Health (Online Part-time)

Online Campus | Program Code: B1105
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The Addictions and Mental Health program is a part-time graduate certificate program delivered online; students have up to five years to complete the program. 

Learners acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by front-line workers and supervisors in order to deliver responsive and effective addiction 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.

Apply through if interested in this online part-time graduate program. Accepted applicants are able to view additional course details and register online here. 

Program Details

Code B1105
Start Date May, January, September
Credential Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Campus Online
Program Length * Students have a maximum of five years to complete the program
Delivery Online Part-Time

Program Outline


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

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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 co-ordinated,efficient access to services while 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.

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This course will introduce students to theoretical concepts and practical skills necessary to assist clients in recognizing concerns or issues and working toward desired outcomes. Students will be introduced to the theoretical foundations of various models of counselling and develop active listening skills. A key focus is assisting clients to identify and highlight their strengths by finding positive outcomes that are related to their concerns or issues. Learning to facilitate client self-empowerment and development will be done by acquiring additional skills through the effective use of queries, observation, self-reflection and a comprehensive understanding of a client’s behaviour and communication style. This course will also include information and assistances concerning crisis, grief and bereavement. Learning outcomes will be achieved through the use of lecture, discussion, experiential exercises and presentation of audio and visual resources.

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Students will enhance their capacity in working with members of non-dominantpopulations. Students will facilitate development of self-awareness, theoreticalknowledge and skill acquisition. Assignments will entail a strong component ofpersonal reflection and self-assessment. Students will develop knowledge andskills necessary to inform work with multicultural and diverse individuals andgroups identified by age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity andsocioeconomic, etc. Students will critically examine the concept of diversity,stigmatized social identities and the impact on services and supports.

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Bio-psycho-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 is emphasized. Students explore the notion of family and the role in holistic intervention.

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In this course, students study the effects of 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.

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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 ethicalchallenges 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.

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Students develop knowledge and skills in facilitating counselling groups with individuals who are experiencing issues related to addictions and mental health. Students examine group theory, group dynamics and group processes and apply their knowledge to group facilitation. Practical application is emphasized and each student is given the opportunity to experience leading, facilitating and participating in simulated groups.

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Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-oriented, collaborative, evidence-informed approach to counselling which is focused on exploring and resolving ambivalence and enhancing motivation to change. 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. Through case studies, demonstrations and experiential learning, students develop their MI skills.

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Youth are 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 counselling, relapse prevention, maintenance and other supports including harm reduction and skill building strategies.

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In this course students critically review disorders characterized by diminished control over behaviour 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.

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In this course students explore trauma-informed practices at the individual, organizational and systemic levels. Students develop and 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.

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

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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

Two or three year College Diploma or University Degree, preferably in the human, health or social sciences fields.

Career Opportunities

Qualify for employment in various organizations including community mental health and addictions services, residential treatment centres, youth and family services, housing services, and crisis response services.

Our graduates seek career opportunties such as community support worker, housing worker, case manager, counsellor, crisis worker, addictions counsellor and mental health worker.

Program Contacts

Program Contact
SLC+ Continuing Education

Admissions Information
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