There is a high demand for graduates with this specific certificate particularly in with Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority).
In Their Own Words
Testimonials from Mental Health and Addictions Certificate graduates
“I got a full time position. I would have never been able to achieve this without the teaching, support, and encouragement [of MHA faculty].”
D.K., MHA graduate, May 2016
“Out in the field, I certainly realize the importance of all of the courses that were taught in MHA. Thank you, the faculty, for covering the courses so in-depth: it certainly helps in the field.”
F.P., MHA graduate, May 2016
“I am still enjoying the benefits of having taken the MHA program at Camosun... I thought that the MHA program would put me in the work force, enable me to work competently in a meaningful field, that it would broaden my knowledge in areas that I knew myself to be interested, and when I eventually go back to university it will pair well with my psychology degree. Well, I was right. I have been inspired by the richness of the program's content and through the self-reflection work. There is another benefit, the fabulous leg up it provides in later education! I have this great foundation to draw from. I have a strong understanding of many mental disorders and their treatments, and a wealth of ideas and concepts to pull from.”
E.S., MHA graduate, May 2016
“The MHA program gave me such a strong foundation in my work towards my degree. I am consistently able to bring ideas into discussions that were developed within the program and I now get to explore and build on them, increases my confidence and ability to excel. I am so grateful for all that I learned and for the passion that [instructors] possess for this field of work [and they] brought that passion every day to class. It helped me see the value of working in a helping field and encouraged me to be curious and have a voice.”
S.W., MHA graduate, May 2016
In the Community
Practicums are in residential, home support, transition, outreach, and community treatment programs within Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority or VIHA) or organizations such as Cool Aid Society, Our Place, and Island Community Mental Health.
You’ll work in a variety of settings supporting individuals with mental health and/or addiction challenges. The worker often works side-by-side in a therapeutic relationship supporting the person to achieve their goals in areas such as daily activities of leisure & recreation, nutrition & meal preparation, physical self-care, budgeting, housecleaning, social skill development, employment, and lifelong learning. Workers encourage a holistic approach to support the recovery process including physical, emotional, cognitive, social, environmental, lifestyle, and spiritual aspects of whole person health and wellness.
Roles often involve individual or small group activities, and working with an interprofessional team. Workers may work independently or with other staff in a setting.
Because of the focus on supporting individuals to meet their unique needs and challenges, you’ll find diversity in the nature of the work. Situations may vary from being fast-paced and managing crisis situations to other times being slower-paced and helping people maintain routines for a healthy lifestyle. Roles can be varied and call upon transferable skills and knowledge relevant to the setting and population being supported. A driver’s license may be required for employment; check with individual organizations and agencies of interest.
As Mental Health and Addictions graduates you can expect a starting salary of approximately $19- $21/hr ($39,500 - $44,000/yr).
Shift length varies with night shifts in Victoria often 10 hours — at some sites you may work 12-hour shifts. You will be expected to work days, evenings, and night shifts.
There is a high demand for graduates, with continual postings for positions within Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority or VIHA), the primary employer of our graduates. The nature of the field is that most graduates work in one or more casual positions before becoming full-time and/or permanent.