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.

VIU is pleased to announce it has received funding from the provincial government for the CMHW program. This funding provides VIU with the opportunity to offer an additional intake of the CMHW program starting in March 2021 by covering delivery costs.

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

Join our online information session on February 2nd at 6:30 pm. See details below.

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 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 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 five days a week (Monday - Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Spring 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.  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), Flu Vaccine, and other immunizations as set out by the Island Health Authority) - 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.  
  • It is highly recommended that applicants complete OSME 002 - (Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology) or an equivalent course.
  • 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. 

2021 Important Dates*:

Applications Open  December 15, 2020
Program Delivery Please contact us at with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond. See Information Session details below.
Applications Close** February 19, 2021
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline February 19, 2021
Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer
Balance of Tuition Due March 1, 2021
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) March 1, 2021
Program Start March 15, 2021
Program End August 20, 2021

* Dates are subject to change

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

2021 Program Fees:

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

Program Tuition: $8,035.07

Student Union Fees: ~ $250.00

Student Activity Fees: ~ $125.00

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)


Online Information Session via Zoom:

Tuesday, February 2, 2021; 6:30-8:30 pm

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Password: 766439
Meeting ID: 610 2098 9196

Or join by telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 375 2970 or +1 647 375 2971 or +1 778 907 2071 or +1 204 272 7920 or +1 438 809 7799 or +1 587 328 1099 or +1 613 209 3054
Password: 766439

International numbers available:

Revised January 15, 2021