Community Mental Health Worker

6 Month Full-time Certificate Program

Community Mental Health Worker Students

This full-time credit program is recognized as a qualification for employment for mental health worker positions within the Vancouver Island Health Authority , as well as other organizations on the island addressing mental health and addictions.

The Fall 2021 Program will be delivered online, with a face-to-face practicum.

Career Opportunities

As part of a multi-disciplinary team providing client-focused treatment and rehabilitation, Community Mental Health Workers can choose to work in a variety of institutional, residential and community settings. The Community Mental Health Workers can fill a variety of roles such as:

  • Aboriginal Support Worker
  • Community Living Support Worker
  • Mental Health Support & Recovery Worker
  • Addictions & Recovery Worker
  • Community Support Worker
  • Mental Health Support & Recovery Worker

Further Educational Opportunities

Graduates can apply CMHW academic credits towards further educational opportunities such as VIU’s Bachelor of Social Work program and VIU's Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care program.  

Program Content

This program consists of the following courses.  Course descriptions can be found in the VIU Program and Course Calendar:

  • CMHW 110:  Introduction to Practice - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 111:  Introduction to Mental Health - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 115:  Developing Therapeutic Relationships - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 120:  Approaches to Support - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 125:  Professional Issues - (2 credits)
  • CMHW 130:  Care of Self and Others - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 135:  Mental Health and Addictions - (3 credits)
  • CMHW 140:  Practicum - (5 credits)

Course Delivery

Courses are offered on a full-time basis over two semesters.  Classes are typically five days a week (Monday - Friday) during the day. The Fall 2021 courses will be delivered online. 

Practicum placements occur during the final six weeks of the course and are full-time @ 35-40 hrs / week.  Note that practicums are typically during the week, although some placements may involve weekend and evening shifts.

Admission Requirements

The following requirements must be met for entry to the program:

If you do not meet the English prerequisite, please contact Student Assessment and Exam Invigilation Services, located at Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River, to arrange your assessment.

Proof of successful completion of the following is required in order to participate in the practicum.  It is strongly recommended you complete as much as you can before the start of the program.  Please provide this documentation to the Program Assistant on the first day of class. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they have the correct credentials. 

  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention Seminar (HHNS 010 or equivalent) 
  • Standard First Aid with CPR Level "C" (Please note:  Occupational First Aid and Emergency First Aid are not acceptable alternatives.)
  • Foodsafe Level 1 Certificate
  • Immunizations (Hepatitis B, MMR, Flu, Negative TB screen, Tetanus & Diphtheria, Polio, Chickenpox (Varicella), Flu Vaccine, and other immunizations as set out by the Island Health Authority). See Immunization Requirements
  • A satisfactory Criminal Record Check. 
    • Criminal Record Check for working with children and / or vulnerable adults must be requested through VIU; a check through RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirement. A form will be sent to you for completion.  
  • It is recommended that applicants complete OSME 002 - (Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology) or an equivalent course.
  • HSPnet Consent - download form here: HSPnet Student Consent form. Please note students who have a previous relationship with Island Health (i.e., an Island Health email address) must let us know. 

2021-2022 Important Dates*

Applications Open April 1, 2021
Program Delivery Please contact us at with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond. See Information Session details below.
Applications Close** June 30, 2021
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline June 30, 2021
Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer
Balance of Tuition Due August 23, 2021
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) August 23, 2021
Program Start September 20, 2021
Program End March 11, 2022

* Dates are subject to change

** Late applications may be accepted if there is still room in the program 

2021-2022 Program Fees

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

  • Program Tuition: $8,195.76
  • Student Union Fees: ~ $250.00
  • Student Activity Fees: ~ $327.83
  • Graduation and Alumni Fee: ~ $55.18
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: ~ $43.00
  • Textbooks:  ~ $500.00

This program is eligible for students loans. For more information, please see Student Financial Aid & Awards

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all seven courses and the practica in the program in order to graduate.

Students are required to attend all scheduled lectures, observations, examinations and practicum hours or may not qualify to receive the program certificate.

How to Apply

Apply Online or by using a paper application for admission.  An application fee is required.

Useful Links

Program Contact

Deirdre Godwin, Program Assistant
Professional Development and Training (H&HS)

Revised June 18, 2021