This two-year (four semester) program prepares students with specialized training in addictions and mental health for employment in the healthcare and social services field. The Mental Wellness and Addictions Worker is equipped to engage and support individuals with addictions and/or mental health concerns. Graduates of the program will acquire the knowledge, skills, tools, and abilities required by frontline professionals to deliver responsive and effective practice.
Graduates will gain an understanding of the complex needs of diverse client populations; establish and extend their skillset; nurture and expand their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills; recognize, understand, and apply a holistic model of client-centered care; and, ultimately demonstrate learned theoretical concepts with our community stakeholders during their field placement.
The hands-on approach to learning is key to student success and invaluable when translating theory-to-practice in the field.
This is a government accredited program that, upon completion, provides learners with a diploma to be recognized as a Mental Wellness and Addictions Worker.
Learning is hands-on to equip students with essential skills to understand and engage this client population.
The Program offers a field placement component that allows students to showcase their learned skills in their area of interest.
In this course, students explore the critical periods of lifespan development using the related theories. Learners discover how these critical periods of lifespan development impact mental health throughout ongoing development, and the contribution of this knowledge to their professional practice.
In this course, students develop the communication proficiency needed to succeed in today’s professional field of practice. Learners explore written, digital, and verbal communications, and acquire the professional skills of teamwork, conflict resolution, and an understanding of professionalism in workplace. Students implement critical and analytical skills specific to language, terminology, and techniques needed to work in the field, and learn the importance of being a committed professional when working with clients, communities, and colleagues.
In this course, students learn the roots of oppression and its impact on the individual within our society. Learners explore the concepts of power and privilege that lead to systemic racism, discrimination, and violence, and reflect on the bias and barriers that prevent individuals, institutions, and society from achieving authentic belonging. Students examine their biases and place in society and develop anti-oppression practice techniques that encompass social justice and social change.
In this course, students examine the significance of the therapeutic alliance in cultivating constructive interactions with clients in the interviewing and counselling setting. Learners explore the ways that counselling practice can build self-determination, client-centered, and strength-based approaches with individuals and families. Students demonstrate the foundational skills inherent in the creation of healthy professional relationships with clients. Learners will reflect on the self to begin to understand their values and beliefs in working with individuals.
In this course, students examine mental health using foundation theories including substance use and abuse as well as the pharmacology of addictive behaviour. Learners explore the framework of services in Canada from crisis to treatment to interdisciplinary work.
In this course, students examine the professional ethics of the mental health and addictions field and the professional code of conduct. Learners explore the legislative requirements of working with clients and how they relate to ethical standards. Interpret current social policy directed to Mental Health and Addictions and analysis the functions of policy. Recognize current trends, issues, and concerns impacting individuals, families, and communities. Identify the gaps in legislation and policy to address these gaps and the purpose of self-determination and social activism to address these gaps.
This course is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of concepts and issues related to mental health and mental illness. Students will learn a systemic approach to exploring human behaviour and investigating abnormal behaviour. Major topics explored include perception, motivation, learning, memory, intelligence and personality. Students will also be introduced to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.
Prerequisite(s): AMHW 1
In this course, students learn to identify the purpose, principles, and methods of effective counselling, and practice critical counselling techniques from various perspectives. Learners develop therapeutic approaches in conjunction with the theories and practice of building a therapeutic alliance.
In this course, students identify the communication behaviours of individuals in group settings and explore the techniques of group work from both theoretical and practical perspectives. More specifically, learners explore the fundamentals of group processes, the roles, and responsibilities in forming groups, developing intervention plans, and undertaking structured and unstructured groups. Learners demonstrate these theories by creating a group process which addresses mental health or addiction concerns.
In this course, students learn crisis prevention methods that they may employ in the profession. Learners focus on the prevention of disruptive and assaultive behaviours and the use of proven strategies for deescalating specific situations at the earliest possible stage. Students explore evidence-based practices for suicide risk assessment and intervention.
Mental illness and addiction not only impacts the person struggling with it, yet it impacts the family and society in many different ways. This course will focus on the family and the dynamics involved in supporting individuals and their families in struggling with mental illness and addiction issues. Students will examine the Canadian family in contemporary society and explore concepts of the systems theory while viewing the family as a system. The diversity of families is explored and the challenges facing families and the practical aspects of working with families will be evaluated. Students will also uncover various roles that family members take on as they are impacted by the issue of addiction happening in the family.
Prerequisite(s): AMHW 3 + AMHW 4 + AMHW 6 + AMHW 7 + AMHW 9
This course focuses on the basic pharmacology of mental health problems and substance use. Students will explore topics such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, how neurotransmitters work, and the effects of psychiatric medications and substance use on the brain. Students will briefly review the classification of drugs and routes of administration from their previous experience in the course, An Exploration of Addictions.
Prerequisite(s): AMHW 1 + AMHW 5 + AMHW 17
In this initial placement opportunity, students select and interview for a field placement. Learners gain practical skill development building observation skills, the therapeutic alliance, and an understanding of the needs of the individuals or families in terms of strength-based and client-centered approaches. Professionalism, inclusivity, anti-oppression practice, and teamwork are the requirements for success.
Students will have an opportunity to uncover what recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders means. Students will do this by learning about the philosophical foundations of recovery in mental and addiction practice and applying the principles of recovery to client interactions by utilizing case studies. A review of the importance of cultural competence in recovery will take place and students will explore and describe considerations related to working with recovering clients from certain diverse population groups. Focus will also be on identifying characteristics of an individualized care plan, various types of strategies for recovery care and a strengths-based approach as it relates to recovery.
Prerequisite(s): AMHW 6 + AMHW 7 + AMHW 9
In this course, students learn to recognize the role and function of a mental health/addictions worker in a case management approach. Learners follow a given client from intake to discharge and practice the specifics of professional report writing as an element of effective client work. Students develop client-centered and strength-based intervention planning with clients to address their needs. Learners explore the legal and ethical requirements of working with clients as a case manager.
In this course, students examine the theoretical foundations of prevention, harm reduction, recovery, and relapse management. Learners explore the current trends in these areas with a focus on common trends, challenges, and barriers. Students analyze the framework for working with individuals and families at various stages of recovery, high-risk situations, and approaches which focus on client-centered, strength-based, and inclusive of self-determination.
In this course, students learn the priority of improving mental health and addressing addictions in a comprehensive manner. Learners explore various theoretical perspectives from biopsychosocial, concurrent, and comorbidity of disorders. Students explore the intervention strategies that address the multi-factored concerns of everyone.
This course will introduce students to the ethical-decision-making process as applied to the helping profession while learning to participate in evaluation of research findings in the field of human services. Students will be introduced to this process and examine the role of ethics, values and professional standards through class debate, discussion and exercise. Students will discuss counsellor behaviours and attitudes which promote recovery in the client. Included is the awareness of the legal aspects of clients’ rights and allowing the student to grapple with difficult questions of professional relationships. The importance of self-care working in the helping profession will be explored and an analysis of compassion fatigue will take place.
Prerequisite(s): AMHW 10 + AMHW 11 + AMHW 13 + AMHW 14
In this course, students learn how trauma can impact individuals by exploring various traumatic experiences including abuse, intergenerational trauma, residential schools, disasters, and war. Learners explore developmental, relational, social, and cultural forms of trauma, and the outcomes for individuals. Students discuss the theories of trauma on brain development, learning, relationships, and behaviour. Learners reflect on the self and the idea of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burn-out when working in the field.
In this final field placement, students collaborate to select a field placement specific to skill development and career interests. Learners commit to an ongoing experience working with individuals, families, and communities in the Mental Health and/or Addictions fields. Learners enhance their skill development in the areas of building therapeutic alliances, engaging in professional interdisciplinary teams, using intervention strategies and approaches, and building the resources, the advocacy, and the self-determination to advance their career opportunities.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M Level including the following prerequisites:
- Grade 12 English at the C, U or M Level
- Grade 11 Math
If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.
Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements
Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Download your Immunization - Communicable Disease Form
Questions regarding immunizations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an active SLC student, you are automatically enrolled in a student insurance plan. To learn more about how this applies to your immunization requirements please visit www.wespeakstudent.com (domestic) or www.guard.me (international).
Criminal Background Check:
Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in field placement 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 must be obtained within three to six months of field placement. Applicants with a criminal record are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective School prior to applying.
Individuals with a criminal record are strongly advised to obtain a pardon before applying to the Program.
Complete SLC Placement requirements
- 6 Training Modules
- Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
- Student Covid 19 Waiver
Complete agency-specific requirements
- CPIC - VULNERABLE SECTOR
Our Brockville campus received a major facelift in 2018 and has a brand new library, complete with individual and group study space, a newly renovated cafeteria, student common lounges, and more.
Graduates of the Mental Wellness and Addictions Worker program may pursue a career in the areas of addiction support; case management; community mental health; crisis support; homeless prevention; Indigenous outreach work; rehabilitation support; residential and housing support; shelter support services; youth and family support; and veterans services, to name a number of areas in this comprehensive field.
Graduates will find opportunities in a variety of organizations including community mental health and addictions services; correctional facilities; services for Indigenous people; residential treatment centres; shelter systems; youth and family services, or rehabilitation homes.
Cynthia Pressé (she/her)
Professor/Coordinator Mental Wellness and Addictions Program
St. Lawrence College--Brockville Campus
613 345-0660 ext. 3233
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