Ontario College Diploma in Mental Health And Addiction Worker (formerly Drug and Alcohol Counsellor) Curriculum
Formerly named: Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
Vocational Learning Outcomes
- Adhere to the recognized Canon of Ethical Principles of the Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation and the Ethical Decision-Making Model
- Adhere to the Standards of Practice as endorsed by the Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation
- Utilize effective decision making, problem solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, and crisis intervention skills in working with individuals, groups and communities.
- Implement ongoing personal and professional development strategies and plans to promote self care, improve job performance and enhance work relationships
- Facilitate appropriate access to resources in order to advocate for and assist individuals, families, groups and the community
- Plan and provide appropriate strategies including screening, intake, orientation, assessment, counselling and case management based on client needs and goals
- Maintain accurate records for various purposes, including referral and onsultation with other professionals.
- Select a model of recovery, counselling techniques and treatment modalities best suited for client requirements.
- Adjust client treatment based on knowledge of co-morbidities, including states of mental health
- Respect needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities within a diverse and global society
- Develop life-long learning habits through the pursuit of interdisciplinary areas of study related to social, economic and cultural understanding, civic life, personal understanding, science and technology and arts in society
- Prepare a portfolio that reflects personal growth, achievements, job readiness, ongoing professional development and learning
Courses and Descriptions
Communications I is an introductory course that provides a foundation in college-level communications by teaching students to read critically, write appropriately for a variety of audiences, conduct and cite research, and revise for clarity and correctness. In seminars and labs, students will engage in both independent and collaborative activities, including the development of a digital portfolio designed to help them become more effective communicators in academic and professional environments.
This course provides students with an overview of introductory theories and skills used in the helping profession. As a foundation for the next two levels of counseling-specific courses students will be introduced to a range of collaborative practices and communication techniques with an emphasis on the person centered approach. Students will apply a strength based perspective that focuses on strengths, supports, resilience, capacity for personal responsibility, self-advocacy and positive change. Additionally, students will evaluate their own strengths and challenges that impact upon their roles in the helping profession through an exploration of self and an understanding of transference and countertransference. Students will be required to demonstrate practical applications of skills through experiential activities.
This course introduces students to the scope and practice of social service work and the field of addiction and mental health. Students will examine models of understanding people's experiences using an anti-oppressive framework. Students will learn different models, theories and interventions and understand the relationship between autonomy, self-determination, resilience and recovery. Emphasis will be placed on the standards of practice and competencies required to work in the field.
This course provides a foundational knowledge of signs, symptoms and prevalence of mental illness including factors that contribute to mental health issues. Students will analyze legislation and policies that guide recovery oriented practice and service delivery in mental health. Students will be provided an opportunity to promote a positive approach to mental health problems and mental illness while challenging stigma and discrimination. Case studies will provide the opportunity to apply recovery oriented practices.
This course will provide the foundation for understanding social, economic, cultural, spiritual, racial and political issues within the context of social justice and diversity. Students will be introduced to theories and practical applications that affirm the value and worth of all individuals, families, groups and communities by applying practical skills to enhance cultural safety in service delivery. Students will critically analyze the various forms of oppression, discrimination, power and privilege, and how to apply anti-oppressive practices in the field of human services.
This course prepares students to use technology efficiently and effectively in college and workplace environments. Topics include Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook), myCampus Portal, D2L, Internet, file management, collaboration tools, LinkedIn, and various social media platforms as they relate to professionalism in the field of Human Services. Course content is delivered through in-class labs using lecture, guided instruction, discussions, and hands-on activities, and through online self-directed learning (SDL) tutorials, articles and activities. Students will improve their technology skills and build a professional online image.
Human development across the lifespan will be studied by exploring the interrelationship between biological, psychological and sociocultural influences from conception to end of life. Upon completion of the course, learners will have an understanding of individual development, in addition to the impact of lifespan development on families and communities. Learners will have the opportunity to follow an individual's development throughout the lifespan, using a variety of biopsychosocial factors.
This course is an introduction to the study of Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) peoples in Canada. Students will explore the complex historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The course will also guide students to begin to understand the diversity and depth of Indigenous societies, worldviews, and knowledge through a multi-disciplinary lens.
This course focuses on case management skills used in the field of social service work and addiction and mental health. Students will learn to identify strengths, resources and challenges of individuals, families, group and communities to assist them in achieving their goals. Students will discern how case management is related to screening, assessment and treatment planning and will demonstrate the ability to collaborate and advocate for appropriate resources to assist individuals, families, group and communities. Through case simulation, students will assume the role and responsibilities of a case manager which include information gathering, assessment, intake interviewing, service planning, case monitoring, documentation, advocacy and being a social change agent.
- Counselling Interventions I (COUN 55)
- Foundations in Human Services (COUN 117)
- Mental Health & Recovery (COUN 118)
- Power, Privilege and Oppression (SOCI 165)
Building on the skills acquired from Counselling Interventions 1, this course is aimed at empowering client centered change through the application of the Trans theoretical Model, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Counselling. Students will apply recovery-oriented reflective practice. Students will demonstrate skills through role playing, digital recording and application of counselling techniques using case studies.
Students will learn to record all client and related professional interactions in an objective, culturally competent and accurate manner that reflects organizational protocols, established regulatory practices and record keeping guidelines. Through practical application, students will document all interventions clearly, accurately, and concisely using a strength-based framework. Students will understand how to obtain informed consent and boundaries of confidentiality in exchanging information.
This course introduces students to ethical principles, concepts and practices related to the field of human services. Students will learn to develop and maintain professional relationships which adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to the field of social service work and mental health and addictions. Students will apply the principles and values of integrity, competence, responsibility, respect and trust to safeguard both self and others. Through practical application, students will learn to maintain confidentiality of information in accordance with professional, legal and ethical standards of practice and organizational requirements.
This course focuses on understanding the key determinants of health, the continuum of health promotion and prevention and the role outreach services within the substance use and mental health field. There will be an emphasis on holistic outreach for marginalized and underserviced groups through promotion of cultural inclusion. Students will conduct a needs assessment, develop, implement and evaluate a prevention and health promotion program. Students will create a program proposal that will include: research, data collection, a work plan, a logic model and a budget.
This course prepares students to build a competency portfolio identifying the application of skills, values and knowledge as it relates to industry and regulatory standards, scope of practice and to prepare for field placement in their respective fields. Students will develop professional practice strategies and plans that lead to the promotion of self-care and employment readiness. Students will have the opportunity to self-assess values, skills and knowledge to determine field readiness and establish goals for professional development including potential field placement opportunities.
This course focuses on the application of selecting; administering and interpreting the results of evidence informed tools and methods to measure a client's substance use and mental health concerns and inform the care and treatment plan. Students will learn to identify clients who might be at risk of suicide, self-harm or harm to others. Treatment planning integrates physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions in assessing strengths and needs. Students will learn how to navigate services and supports within the substance use and mental health system. Using case studies, students will interpret and summarize results from screening and assessment tools to build a comprehensive case file while promoting opportunities for maximum autonomy and self-determination.
This course explains the range of bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual factors that contribute to or protect against the development of substance use issues. Substance use occurs along a continuum and students will learn to describe the types of licit and illicit drugs often used improperly or illegally. Explain the concepts for harm reduction approaches and understand overall addiction treatment service system for individuals, families and communities. Emphasis will be placed on gambling and other related compulsive behaviours.
Using culturally appropriate practices with Indigenous communities, students will learn to identify community resources and needs in order to generate collaborate solutions to community challenges using collective action. Demonstrating an Indigenous wellness approach, students will participate in community development activities that target mental health and substance use issues and engage individuals, families and the community. Students will be required to demonstrate how to engage a community, complete a community needs assessment and an asset map to create solutions that build capacity in communities. Emphasis will be placed on inclusion, equality, equity and participation in decision-making.
Building on Counselling Interventions 1 and II, this course examines theories and interventions of evidence informed approaches including: Crisis Theory and Interventions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Interpersonal Therapy. Students will demonstrate skills through role playing, digital recording and application of counselling techniques using case studies. Students will be required to engage in self-analysis to recognize personal or professional limitations that may impede ability to work constructively with clients.
This course examines the impact of an individual's mental health and substance use in relation to their family and their social support system. Emphasis will be placed on family development, interactions, structure and roles within the family, and long-term effects of mental health and substance use issues on the family structure. Students will understand why and how family and social supports are an integral part of an individual's capacity to develop balanced and healthy relationships. Contemporary theories will be applied to case studies of families with mental health and substance use related issues, recognizing the unique role of personal and family relationships in promoting recovery and well-being.
Theories and models of group intervention will be explored with special emphasis on developmental stages of group and their application to work in the field of human services. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop group facilitation and leadership skills. Students will be provided with an experiential learning opportunity by participating in an authentic group process to integrate theory with practice. The integration of theories and models of group intervention will be demonstrated by students researching, designing and developing a psychoeducational group proposal.
This course continues to build on the content covered in Professional Practice I. Students will research field placement settings, compile a learning plan, and finalize their competency portfolio which will be used in the selection and matching of field placement. Students will be required to successfully set up a professional practice experience through negotiating appropriate field practice responsibilities, practicing behavioural based interviews and adhering to field placement protocols including administrative requirements. Emphasis will be placed on professionalism in the workplace which includes: cultural competence, self-care, teamwork and cooperation, continuous learning, interpersonal rapport, adaptability and flexibility, analytical thinking and decision making, self-management, self-motivation and drive, planning and organizing.
Students will learn to develop and deliver trauma specific interventions that emphasize safety, choice and personal control. Emphasis will be on understanding the prevalence of trauma, the causes and how it manifests and how to practice trauma informed care including strategies to help prevent re-traumatization. Through case scenarios, students will demonstrate an understanding of the different ways that particular populations can experience trauma and develop treatment interventions that includes community supports and resources to facilitate the recovery of the individual.
This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to work individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues. Students will consult evidence-informed resources, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, to develop and apply an enhanced understanding of individuals with concurrent disorders. Working collaboratively students will develop a treatment plan based on screening and assessment findings, ensuring that activities and resources reflect the individual's needs, strengths and goals. Students will research best practices in the treatment of concurrent disorders and critically evaluate the continuum of care for concurrent disorders. This course provides students scenarios to practice supporting clients who struggle with substance use disorders, mental health issues and concurrent disorders.
All graduates of diploma programs require general education credits. These courses allow you to explore issues of societal concern by looking at the history, theory and contemporary applications of those issues.
Your program has designated some required general education courses. In addition, you have the opportunity to choose from a list of electives each semester.
Many of these courses and some other general education courses are also available through evening classes, by distance education, or on-line. See our Part-Time Studies Calendar for these opportunities.
You may already possess general education equivalencies from other colleges or universities. Please see the General Education Co-ordinators at the Peterborough and Lindsay locations for possible exemptions.
In order to obtain the Indigenous Perspectives Designation, students must choose GNED128 as their Gen Ed Elective.
Professional Field Placement prepares students to work in a variety of settings supporting clients, families, groups and communities affected by substance use and mental health issues. Students will be required to critically analyze multiple and intersecting causes and impacts of substance use and mental health issues from a multidimensional framework that integrates an Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) lens. Students will be able to apply evidence based knowledge and skills in screening, assessment, treatment planning and interventions that promote equitable access to supports and services. Students will be required to maintain relationships which adhere to cultural competencies, legal, ethical and professional standards. Emphasis will be placed on the application of harm reduction strategies, recovery oriented practices, trauma informed interventions, case management, health promotion and prevention. Students will have the opportunity to gain direct field placement experience working within an interdisciplinary team providing support throughout the substance use and mental health system.
- Communications I (COMM 201)
- Introductory Computing (COMP 345)
- Foundations in Human Services (COUN 117)
- Mental Health & Recovery (COUN 118)
- Counselling Interventions I (COUN 55)
- Power, Privilege and Oppression (SOCI 165)
- Introduction to Indigenous Studies (GNED 49)
- Documentation and Record Keeping in Human Services (COUN 119)
- Professional Practice I (COUN 120)
- Case Management and Service Coordination (COUN 121)
- Ethics and Professional Practice (COUN 122)
- Counselling Interventions II (COUN 123)
- Prevention and Health Promotion (COUN 124)
- Professional Practice II (COUN 126)
- Counselling Interventions III (COUN 127)
- Group Theory: Models and Dynamics (COUN 128)
- Building Capacity in Communities (COUN 129)
- Understanding Substance Use (COUN 132)
- Screening and Assessment (COUN 133)
- Trauma Specific Treatment Interventions (COUN 134)
- Family and Social Support (COUN 135)
- Understanding Concurrent Disorders (COUN 136)
The student will be able to define the classes of drugs used in the treatment of mental health and substance use. Current and historical aspects that have shaped the application of psychopharmacology will be explored which includes identifying the signs of usage, understanding licit and illicit use and interactions. Focus will be on identifying and managing psychopharmacological side effects and symptoms of withdrawal. The importance of taking into consideration situational and cultural factors when examining the use of psychopharmacological treatment will be highlighted throughout the course.