Community Mental Health Worker

**8 Month Full-time Certificate Program 

** NEW** Please note that starting in Fall 2022, the program length will be increased from 26 weeks to 8 months, running over two full semesters. Theory courses are taught online for the first 6 months (through Zoom), followed by an 8 week face-to-face practicum.

Community Mental Health Worker Students

Do you have a desire to help those with mental health and/or addictions issues in your community? This full-time credit program is recognized as a qualification for employment as a Community Mental Health Worker within Island Health as well as other mental health and addictions organizations throughout BC. With a focus on psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery, the CMHW program will provide you with the training and tools to work with youth and adults who struggle with mental health and addictions challenges and make a difference in their lives. An 8 week, full-time practicum will give you an opportunity to experience first-hand the meaningful role of a Community Mental Health Worker in your community.

The Fall 2022-Spring 2023 program will be delivered fully online, with a face-to-face practicum. All students must have access to a desktop or laptop computer with a working camera, audio and internet service in order to complete this program.

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 such as shelters, long-term care facilities, community support centres and addictions centre. 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

Please see the Vancouver Island Course Calendar for course descriptions.

Course Delivery

Theory courses are delivered online on a full-time basis.  Classes are typically held four to five days a week (Monday - Friday) during the day.

Practicum placements run full-time during the final eight weeks of the program.  Note that practicums are typically during the week, although some placements may involve weekend and evening shifts. All practicums are face-to-face.

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.

Other program requirements

Proof of successful completion of the following is required in order to participate in the practicum. Once you have been accepted to the program, it is strongly recommended that you have these required documents completed before the program start date.  Please email this documentation to pdt.hhs@viu.ca on the first day of class. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they have the correct credentials and meet all of these requirements prior to the deadlines outlined in their acceptance letters.

  • Immunization Requirements Form with a recent TB skin test report within 12 months of entering the program are required. (If the TB skin test is positive, a negative chest x-ray is required.) Please note that some immunizations are given in a series and may take several months to complete.
  • Criminal Record Check
    • Fieldwork and/or practica will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. Further information on obtaining your CRC through VIU will only be sent if you are accepted to the program, and will be sent with your acceptance letter from the Registrar's Office. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.

2022-2023 Important Dates*

Description Date
Applications Open October 1, 2022
Information Session

6:30 - 8:30 pm, February 23, 2023  Join via Zoom

Please contact us at pdt.hhs@viu.ca with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond.

Applications Close March 31, 2023.
Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline April 14, 2023
Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due Within 3 weeks of admission offer or no later than August 7th, which ever comes first.
Balance of Tuition Due August 4, 2023
Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date) August 4, 2023
Program Start September 5, 2023
Program End TBA

* Dates are subject to change

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

2022-2023 Program Fees

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

  • Program Tuition: $8,500 (approx.)
  • Application Fee:  $45 (approx.)
  • Student Union Fees: $150 (approx.)
  • Student Activity Fees: $250 (approx.)
  • Graduation and Alumni Fee: $57 (approx.)
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: $45 (approx.)
  • Textbooks: $500 (approx.)

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 practicum 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

Yan Li, Program Assistant
Professional Development and Training (Health & Human Services)
Email: pdt.hhs@viu.ca 

Revised April 27, 2022