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 (VIHA). 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.

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.

Further Educational Opportunities:

Graduates can apply CMHW academic credits towards further educational opportunities such as VIU’s Bachelor of Social Work program.  

Program Content:

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

  • Community Mental Health Worker I - CMHW 110 (3)
  • Community Mental Health Worker II - CMHW 111 (3)
  • Building Therapeutic Relationships - CMHW 115 (3)
  • Addictions and Mental Health Issues - CMHW 135 (3)
  • Support Strategies - CMHW 120 (3)
  • Professional Issues - CMHW 125 (2)
  • Health Care Basics - CMHW 130 (3)
  • Practicum - CMHW 140 (5)

Course Delivery:

Courses are offered on a full-time basis over two semesters.  Classes are typically four days a week (Tuesday - Friday) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. 

Practicum placements occur during the final six weeks of the course and are full-time @ 35-40 hrs / week.  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.

  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Seminar (HHNS 010 or equivalent) 
  • Standard First Aid with Level "C" CPR 
  • Foodsafe Level 1 Certificate
  • Immunizations (Hepatitis B, MMR, Flu, Negative TB screen, Tetanus & Diphtheria, Polio, Chickenpox (Varicella), and Flu Vaccine) - download form here: immunization_requirements.pdf
  • 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.  Present the completed form along with the processing fee to the cashiers in Building 200.  The cashier will stamp the form and direct you to Registration, where you will present the form along with two pieces of government-issued ID.  Registration is open M-F 8:30am-3:30pm. Please note it may take up to 6 weeks to process.
  • HSPnet Consent - download form here: HSPnet_Student_Consent_form.pdf.  Please note students who have a previous relationship with VIHA (i.e., a VIHA email address) must let us know. 

2020 / 2021 Important Dates*:

Applications Open  February 1, 2020
Program Information Session  Please contact Deirdre Godwin at with any specific questions, and she will be happy to respond. 
Applications Close** June 30, 2020
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline June 30, 2020
Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer
Balance of Tuition Due August 25, 2020
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) August 25, 2020
Program Start September 21, 2020
Program End March 19, 2021

* Dates are subject to change

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

2020 / 2021 Program Fees:

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

Program Tuition: $8,035.07

Student Union Fees: $230.50

Student Activity Fees: $124.38

Graduation and Alumni Fee: $54.10

Criminal Record Check Fee: $43.00

Textbooks:  Approximately $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.

Program Contact:

Deirdre Godwin, Program Assistant

Professional Development and Training (H&HS)

Phone: 250.740.6322


Revised April 23, 2020