Students of the Community Mental Health Worker program between classes

Community Mental Health Worker

  • Program Length 
    8 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 

Become your community’s champion for positive mental health and well-being. VIU’s Community Mental Health Worker is an eight-month program that provides students with 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 and addictions that are based on the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery. Students will engage in courses focused on theory and practical learning, including a community based practicum. The focus of the program will be on relationships, rehabilitation and personal care, and on providing the knowledge and hands-on training needed for graduates to start meaningful careers in a variety of institutional, community, and residential settings.

Note: 24 credits of the CMHW program can be used towards the 60 credits required to apply for third-year entry to the VIU Bachelor of Social Work degree.

Semester 1


CMHW 110 - (Introduction to Practice)


CMHW 111 - (Introduction to Mental Health: Theory and Practice)


CMHW 115 - (Developing Therapeutic Relationships)


CMHW 135 - (Mental Health and Addictions)


Total Semester Credits


Semester 2


CMHW 120 - (Approaches to Support)


CMHW 130 - (Care of Self and Others)


CMHW 145 - (Mental Health Assessment and Interventions)


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.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Notes on Admission

  • Proof of successful completion of the following must be received well in advance of the practicum experience and preferably before the program starts.
  • 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 email 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.
  • 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 Island Health. Island Health 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 $9.60 per credit)


VIU Students' Union fee* (6 months x $24.88 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year)





* Amounts calculated using Nanaimo Campus rates.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer. 

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 6, 2022
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: Jenny Carpen-Rouget
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2283

Area Contact

Name: Yan Li
Phone: 250.740.6322

Coordinator Contact

Name: Karen Blackman


Attend an Information Session via Zoom on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, starting at 6:30 pm. Details here:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Password: 203609
Meeting ID: 689 0429 0011

Or join by telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 778 907 2071 or +1 204 272 7920 or +1 438 809 7799 or +1 587 328 1099 or +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588
Password: 203609

International numbers available:

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

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