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Course Description

Personal support workers (PSWs) interact closely with their clients, many of whom struggle with mental health and addiction-related problems.

Gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively provide person-centred care to individuals living with mental health concerns and addictions. Challenge your own and society’s preconceptions and reach a deeper understanding of these clients’ struggles.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss common mental health and substance use disorders
  • Challenge personal biases related to mental health and substance use
  • Describe the impact of aging on the development and presentation of these disorders
  • Explain harm reduction and utilize the principles to ensure behaviors related to substance use and mental disorders cause minimal disruption and harm
  • Advocate for clients within the organization and in the community, especially with regard for services that can assist clients with mental health and addictions problems
  • Apply client’s rights to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination

Course Topics

  • Mental Illness, Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), and Concurrent Disorders
  • Understanding Suicidality, Dependence, and Severity of Problems, as well as Appropriate Interventions
  • Resources for Helping Depressed and Dependent Clients
  • Techniques for Helping Clients Access and Benefit from Available Assistance
  • Legal and Ethical Limitations Related to Mental Health and Addictions

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for those working within the personal support worker field and for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no pre-requisites for this course.
  • You can expect to spend 8 hours per week to complete the course content, readings, activities, and assignments.


Assessment Item Weight
Case Studies (3) 40%
Practical Reflection 60%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partners

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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