Students of the Community Mental Health Worker program between classes

Community Mental Health Worker

  • Program Length 
    26 Weeks
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 
    Cowichan, Nanaimo

Become your community’s champion for positive mental health and well-being. VIU’s Community Mental Health Worker six-month program provides students the training and tools to work with youth and adults who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.

With a focus on relationships, rehabilitation and personal care, the program provides the knowledge and hands-on training for graduates to start meaningful careers in a variety of institutional, community, and residential fields.

The Community Mental Health Worker Certificate Program

The Community Mental Health Worker Program will define entry level competencies for employment in the field of community mental health. It is based on the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation.

Semester 1


CMHW 110 - (Community Mental Health Worker I)


CMHW 111 - (Community Mental Health Worker II)


CMHW 115 - (Building Therapeutic Relationships)


CMHW 120 - (Support Strategies)


Total Semester Credits


Semester 2


CMHW 125 - (Professional Issues)


CMHW 130 - (Health Care Basics)


CMHW 135 - (Addictions and Mental Health Issues)


CMHW 140 - (Practicum)


Total Semester Credits


Total Credits


Completion Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete all seven courses and the practicum in the program.
  • Students are required to attend all scheduled lectures, observations, examinations and practicum hours. If you do not meet the attendance requirements, you will not qualify to receive the program certificate.
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Notes on Admission

  • Proof of successful completion of the following must be received well in advance of the practicum experience.
    • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (HHNS 010) or recently completed equivalent course
    • Current Standard First Aid with Level “C” CPR.
    • Immunizations.
    • Foodsafe Certificate.
  • Criminal Record Check: Practicums will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. 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.
  • It is highly recommended that applicants complete OSME 002 - (Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology) or an equivalent course.
  • Applicants with previous experience in health care area preferred (but not required).
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.

Note: To view current course offerings and register check the Professional Development and Training web page.

This certificate is recognized as a qualification for employment for mental health worker positions within the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). VIHA has recently indicated an increasing demand for qualified mental health workers across the Island with many positions anticipated in the central Vancouver Island region.

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.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.





Student Activity fee (25 credits x $9.41 per credit)


VIU Students' Union fee* (6 months x $20.90 per month)





* Amounts calculated using Nanaimo Campus rates.

The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus. 

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Next Intake(s)

Please check here regularly to find out more details about our next program delivery.

Application Fee
Accepting Late Applications
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Carine Hutchinson
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2283

Area Secretary Contact

Name: Deirdre Godwin
Phone: 250-740-6322

Coordinator Contact

Name: Karen Blackman

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.