Interprofessional Mental Health

Interprofessional Mental Health and Addictions (IMHA) Program Handbook

Delivering quality education for caring professionals

Policies and expectations unique to the Interprofessional Mental Health and Addictions Program are outlined in the handbook below. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

Last updated: April 28

Interprofessional Mental Health and Addictions Program is a part of the School of Health and Human Services, a place of warmth and caring. We're always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to email if you have any questions.

Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found in your school and program information pages.

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Note: Downloaded versions of the student handbook are valid on the date of download. Critical changes or error corrections may happen at any time. Due to COVID-19, information in the handbook may change. For the most up-to-date information about Camosun’s response to COVID-19 go to

1. Welcome

1.1 Chair's Message

On behalf of all of us in the Community, Family, and Child Studies Department, welcome!

We are pleased that you have chosen Camosun College and a program or course in our Department as part of your journey. It is our privilege to be part of it. We are all here to help ensure your experience is worthwhile. We, too, have been students, have walked onto a campus for the first time, and have needed help to navigate our way forward. Don't hesitate to connect with us along the way.

All the very best,

Jeanne Puritch
Chair - Community, Family and Child Studies Department

Contact the Community, Family & Child Studies department.


2. Teaching Philosophy

2.1 Program Purpose

The IMHA program prepares graduates to work as professionals in the field of mental health and substance use, and as members of interprofessional teams in a variety of community services and settings. The program provides learners with the opportunity to obtain knowledge, counselling skills, and intervention strategies to facilitate recovery.

Graduates use a psychosocial rehabilitation approach and are prepared to engage in the assessment, planning and interventions that support the complex needs of teens and adults experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges. A holistic, trauma-informed, harm reduction, and strength-based collaborative approach to facilitate change and enhance mental health and well-being is emphasized in the program. As reflective practitioners, graduates apply effective leadership, advocacy, and critical thinking skills to their work with individuals, families, and groups.

This graduate level program of studies enhances student understanding of mental health and substance use issues. Students develop counselling and evidence-based practice approaches, and work directly with those impacted by mental illness, substance use, and concurrent disorders.


3. Program Learning Outcomes

3.1 Performance Indicators

Upon successful completion of this program, IMHA graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the philosophies, values and principles that inform leading practice and attitudes about mental health, substance use, and concurrent conditions.
  2. Use a person-centred, strength and evidence-based approach as foundation for practice with youth and adults in community, health, and residential settings.
  3. Apply comprehensive knowledge of mental health, substance use, and concurrent conditions in work with individuals, families, and groups.
  4. Use critical thinking skills and evidence-based practice in the assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of person-centred support strategies and care.
  5. Establish and maintain effective therapeutic relationships with individuals, groups, and families to facilitate change, recovery, and wellness in a collaborative and culturally respectful manner.
  6. Work effectively in an interprofessional and collaborative care context with individuals, families, groups, agencies, and systems.
  7. Practice responsibly and ethically, and demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional accountability.


4. Collaborative Learning Process

4.1 Curriculum Themes

Interprofessionalism & Collaborative Practice

Interprofessional mental health and addictions professionals recognize the value and importance of interprofessional collaboration as it relates to successful treatment and therapeutic support of the individual. The mental health field requires that people work collaboratively and in interprofessional team environments and our learners are supported and mentored to develop a learning community where they build relationships with each other, with faculty members and community stakeholders. Collaboration and teamwork opportunities are built into all aspects of the curriculum, including learning and assessment activities. Faculty work to ensure that learners gain real world experience in collaborating and working with others to achieve a shared purpose.

As professionals, graduates of this program are expected to operate in diverse, changing and increasingly complex community health environments. We instill an ethical basis for practice which involves the application of ethical principles and values applied to real world situations. Personal and professional ethical behaviour, trustworthiness, responsibility and accountability are critical for graduates' success in the 21st Century world


Learners and graduates are called upon to be critical thinkers in all aspects of practice in mental health and addictions treatment settings. As specialized professionals, graduates must be able to contribute to and at times, lead decision making processes that are deliberate, thoughtful and which incorporate current knowledge, skills and values. The ability to be critical thinkers and to make evidence and research based decisions is a critical function of a graduate of this program.


The person-centred approach individualizes and prioritizes the individual's needs, goals and preferences. The individual and his/her family are placed at the centre of care, and plans are developed in collaboration. Instead of viewing mental illness as determined by an underlying disease process, this approach views mental illness as a complex and dynamic interplay between biological, social and psychological processes. Central to this approach is the understanding that people do best when they regain a sense of control and responsibility for

their own health and well-being. Treatment plans are individualized and are modified to accommodate changes in the person's social, biological and psychological circumstances.


Drawing on positive psychology and the psychosocial rehabilitation model, a strength-based approach seeks to empower the client to recognize, and use their adaptive and resilient qualities to meet the challenges of recovery. Rather than only focusing on pathology and disease, this approach attends to the individual's strengths, self-determination and resilience in the face of adversity in all phases of treatment including assessment, planning and intervention.


The diversity lens recognizes that ethnic, gender, culture, sexuality and linguistic differences shape how we construct, experience and respond to mental illness. Adapting a diversity lens to practice requires sensitivity to differences in experiences, acknowledgement of multiple perspectives and willingness to engage in self-reflective practice. Attending to the broad dimensions of culture and diversity shapes how we assess, respond to and deliver mental health programs.


5. Practicum Guidelines

Students will find information on their practicum expectations within their practical skills and practicum course materials. Consult with your instructor or Chair if you are unable to locate your supporting documents.

  1. Clinical and Community Placement Protocol
  2. Student Safety and orientations on practicums
  3. Practice Guidelines/Professional Standards of Practice
  4. Practice Appraisal