Mental Health And Addiction Worker (formerly Drug and Alcohol Counsellor)

The Mental Health and Addiction Worker program has been redesigned to ensure graduates are skilled in both mental health and addictions according to the latest industry standards. 


Fall 2016
Program Status: Accepting Applications
Program Code: DA
Location: Peterborough
Coordinator: Ronda Monahan Email
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Start Dates: September 06, 2016
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (Domestic): $2,442.32 per semester*
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (International): $7,589.35 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.
Winter 2017
Program Status: Accepting Applications
Program Code: DA
Location: Peterborough
Coordinator: Ronda Monahan Email
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Start Dates: January 09, 2017
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (Domestic): $2,272.82 per semester*
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (International): $7,479.85 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Fleming College’s Mental Health and Addiction Worker program is aligned to the most recent competencies established for the field of addictions and mental health: In 2014, Competencies for Canada’s Substance Abuse Workforce were introduced to establish the different levels of competencies required to work in the field of addictions (CCSA, 2014).  In 2015, the Mental Health Commission of Canada introduced Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice to guide competencies required to work in the field of mental health (MHCC, 2015). 

Graduates of the Mental Health and Addiction Worker program will:

Gain the skills to work in a variety of settings supporting clients, families, groups and communities affected by substance use and mental health issues.

Acquire the ability to critically analyze multiple and intersecting causes and impacts of substance use and mental health issues. This multidimensional approach integrates Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP), and Indigenous approaches to working in the field of mental health and addiction.

Understand how to apply evidence - based knowledge and skills in screening, assessment, treatment planning and interventions that promote equitable access to supports and services.

Learn the application of harm reduction strategies, trauma informed interventions, case management, health promotion, and prevention.

Have the opportunity to gain direct field practice working within an interdisciplinary team providing support throughout the substance use and mental health system. 

Program Highlights

During the first semester of your educational journey, you will be introduced to the field with courses in  Human Service, Power Privilege and Oppression, Counselling Interventions I, and Mental Health and Recovery.  You will also learn about Indigenous Studies.

In your second semester you will build on the knowledge gained in first semester to learn much more about substance use and mental health.  Courses focus on the Understanding Substance Use, Screening and Assessment, Case Management and Service Coordination, Prevention and Health Promotion, Counselling Interventions II and Ethics and Professional Practice.

Third semester helps you explore Trauma Specific Treatment Interventions, Family and Social Support, Understanding Concurrent Disorders, Building Capacity in Communities, Counselling Interventions III and Professional Practice.

The fourth and final semester integrates what you have learned in the classroom over the previous three semesters during a professional field placement experience. Field placement learning can take place anywhere in the province, or across Canada.  Students will also complete and online Psychopharmacology course while on field placement.

Success Stories

"My experience during this program was fantastic. It was worth every minute. My goal of making a career change into this field worked like a dream for me. When I graduated, I was prepared, because of what I learned at Fleming College. If I had a choice of any job, this is the one I would choose." Rick Mayoh
Trauma and Addictions Counsellor

Why Choose Fleming

Fleming's Mental Health and Addiction Worker program offers a unique applied learning experience which enables graduates to work in various areas within the field of mental health and addictions.  Students can choose to build on their program of study in Mental Health and Addictions through completing the dual diploma in Social Service Worker or alternatively pursue a degree with advanced standing at a university through one of our many transfer agreements.

Indigenous Perspectives Designation

The Indigenous Perspectives Designation (IPD) is an option available to students studying in this program. To qualify for the IPD, students must take and successfully complete GNED49 - Introduction to Indigenous Studies and GNED128 - Indigenous Knowledge, along with a minimum of four approved co-curricular Indigenous events or experiences that will be incorporated into the final portfolio assignment in GNED128. The student’s transcript will indicate the IPD designation. Upon graduation, students with an IPD will have a strong foundational basis in Indigenous Studies, and a designation that will be marketable in the employment sector.

Earn a Dual Diploma in the Helping Professions

Students now have the opportunity to complete two college diplomas - Social Service Worker and Mental Health and Addiction Worker - within a two-year period. This pathway includes two field placement opportunities where students acquire additional hands-on experience to further prepare them for career success.  Students have the option of entering into either program, and after completing their first semester can declare their intention to complete either one diploma in Social Service Work, one diploma in Mental Health and Addiction Worker, or both diplomas.  The dual diploma pathway is available to students who enter in the fall or winter semester.  Students must attend school for six consecutive semesters to complete both diplomas.

Career Opportunities

There is a high demand for mental health and addictions professionals.  Roles include case manager, mental health clinician, addiction counsellor, or relief staff in residential facilities or community withdrawal management services, health promotion and outreach services.  

Minimum Admission Requirements

OSSD with the majority of credits at the College (C) and Open (O) level, including:

2 College (C) English courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)

When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) or (U/C) courses are also accepted.

Mature Students

If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.

* Students starting in January are required to attend classes over the summer semester.

Health and Non Academic Requirements

  • Immunization Requirements: Your program has mandatory immunization requirements that include a "pre-entry" deadline date for submission. For more information, and to print a copy of the immunization form, please see the Immunization Information page
  • Non Academic Requirements: Your program has mandatory requirements which may include a criminal reference check, first aid, CPR-C, etc. For more information, please see the Non Academic Requirements page

Related Programs

Interested in other helping professions?  In addition to the Social Service Worker program, the School of Community Development also offers the Child and Youth Care program, and Developmental Services Worker program.   (all linked)


Additional Costs

You should plan to spend approximately $700 per year for books and supplies.

Transfer Agreements

Nipissing University

University of Lethbridge

Trent University





Transfer Agreements

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on our website and in our publications. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

Copyright © 2016 Sir Sandford Fleming College. All Rights Reserved.

Fleming College
599 Brealey Drive K9J 7B1 Peterborough, Ontario,
(705) 749-5530