Mental Health: Canadian Educational Institutions Leading the Way
While more and more Canadians are seeking help for their mental problems, access to mental health services still has a long way to go. Based on a CMHA report, over 1.6 M Canadians claim that the government are not meeting their mental health needs. Fortunately, there is a growing number of educational institutions that are leading the charge for more accessible mental health services in the country.
If you’re passionate in actively contributing to mental health services and you realize the true value in helping clients deal with their mental challenges, a career in mental health counselling, including psychology and psychiatry, is the ideal one for you. Check out this plethora of options around the nation to start you off.
Centennial College offers the Addiction and Mental Health Worker program through the School of Community and Health Studies. Enrolling in this program will help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in mental health and addiction services by utilizing evidence-based knowledge and skills to screen, assess, and respond to people with mental health and substance use issues from diverse cultural and community perspectives. The program lasts two years or four semesters. The second year will consist of field placement experience where students have a chance to spend several days each week working with clients under the close watch of experienced service providers within social service organizations.
The Addictions and Mental Health Graduate Program at Durham College helps students acquire the knowledge and skills required that targets two of Canada’s leading health care issues – mental health and addictive behaviours. Students acquire both a theoretical understanding and the clinical skills for them to help clients successfully cope with their challenges with mental health and/or addictive behaviours so they can start their journey to wellness. Students would need to have a degree in psychology or social work or related discipline or college diploma in health or social service work or Practical Nursing to enter into this program. It consists of three semesters, with the third one greatly focusing on placement in a professional setting.
Dalhousie University offers a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions for those working within the field of health and social services, or in other professional capacities, who interact with individuals facing mental health and/or addictions challenges. This is a good program for those with busy work or study schedules as all four courses required are offered fully online. Students will learn to know about the current mental health and addictions systems and their inner workings.
Brandon University’s The Faculty of Health Studies offers a post-diploma baccalaureate program for Registered Psychiatric Nurses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health (B.Sc.M.H.), which acknowledges previous education and work experience. This is a good program for students who aim to focus in mental health/developmental habilitation and consists of education in professional areas with studies in Arts and Science with a requirement of 67 credit hours. Upon completion of the program, students can be able to facilitate learning and foster activities which are in line with developmental/mental health potential goals, as well as prevention of psychiatric and psychosocial disorders.
Montreal’s bilingual university McGill University offers a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program that targets setting a unique opportunity to develop advanced practice mental health nursing abilities. Students learn mandates in various roles including communicator, collaborator, manager, scholar/professional advocate, and leader. This program is only offered in the province of Quebec, and graduates of the program can choose to practice in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings throughout the province. The length of the course varies whether students have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing or a Master’s degree.
University of Alberta
Alberta’s premier university offers a Certificate in Community Mental Health: Theory and Practice which is administered by the Augustana Faculty and is available to students with a major in psychology in the Augustana Faculty BA or BSc program. Through this program, students are able to gain in-depth understanding and skills to work within the fields of mental health or other health-related community programs. The program encompasses psychological and neuropsychological disorders, as well as basic components of health psychology. A total of 24 credits is required to complete this program.