Years of underfunding, stigmatization, and lack of education have created mental health crises in many communities across the globe. Everywhere you look, you see the consequences of these trends.
And the problem is only getting bigger and more complex—especially in the wake of the pandemic.
If you're working in a front-line, community-serving role, you're probably experiencing the consequences of Canada’s mental health crisis up close and in very personal ways.
That’s why Kompass developed a new and improved version of its Community Mental Health and Addictions certificate. The enhancements were designed to make the course content even more relevant to today’s realities.
Read on to see what’s changed—and what hasn’t.
THE FORMAT OF THE CERTIFICATE REMAINS THE SAME
The Community Mental Health and Addictions certificate is still delivered fully online and can still be completed in three to six months. Students work through the material at their own pace and can easily connect with instructor Rose Ceci whenever they have questions.
Rose is a certified psychiatric mental health nurse with the Canadian Mental Health Association who has over 20 years of experience, mainly working with adolescents. She says the training includes online discussions that give students the chance to voice their own concerns. “The discussion questions revolve around current events or personal experiences,” she explains. “That enriches people’s experience because it allows them to apply what they’re learning to their own situation. It gives them a different perspective.”
So the format of the program hasn’t changed. However, the five modules have been modified and enhanced with some new information.
NEW CONTENT ON MENTAL HEALTH IN THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
We all know there’s a stigma surrounding poor mental health. Lack of awareness has led to the proliferation of many mental health myths that paint a very dark and distorted picture of what it means to suffer from mental illness.
As before, the Mental Health, Culture, and Society module looks at the stigma surrounding mental health and how your own biases impact the way you relate to people suffering from mental illness. But it now features expanded content on the social determinants of health and mental health as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community.
This population has suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. In a survey that focused on mental health during COVID, only 23 per cent of LGBTQ+ individuals in Canada claimed to have excellent or very good mental health, compared to 43 per cent of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
NEW MODULE ON SUICIDE INTERVENTION
Suicide continues to be a serious public health challenge in this country. The percentage of Canadian adults who contemplated ending their own life rose from 2.7 per cent in 2019 to 4.2 per cent in 2021, according to Statistics Canada.
In response, Kompass developed a brand new module on mental health wellness and suicide intervention. Students learn about signs and symptoms, protective factors, suicide risk assessment, and the stages of change model.
NEW FOCUS ON ANXIETY
In addition to quality content on depression and bipolar disorder, the certificate now includes detailed information on generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Rose says this new focus is key. “I think adding the anxiety piece is very important. We know that anxiety is on the rise, especially since COVID, and especially among young people. This expanded content will help mental health professionals build on their knowledge base and become more effective in their roles.”
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE?
Our students come from all backgrounds, and all over the world. And this makes sense, given the diversity of the field.
Rose says people enrol for various reasons: to improve their skills at work, to better understand a condition they’re facing, or to start careers in mental health. The mix of students really adds value to the course, as everyone learns from each other’s experiences.
“The students who take this course come from all over and have different levels of experience. The information provided in the course makes it accessible for anyone who wants to learn about mental health," she notes.
“Some students seek out training because they need these skills to perform better at work. Others are preparing themselves for employment in mental health. There are also students with lived experience who are trying to become more educated.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE
Think the Community Mental Health and Addictions certificate may help you meet your goals? Click below to explore a detailed course list or chat live with an advisor who can answer any questions you have about start dates or admission requirements.