Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker: Pursuing a Meaningful Career

If you’re looking for a meaningful career where you can forge a real difference in the lives of other people, a Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker is the perfect career opportunity. As a Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker, you can practice supporting and encouraging individuals who face addiction challenges every day on the job.

In today’s world, the unfortunate reality is that addiction complications are becoming more and more frequent. One of the concerning subjects circulating news channels are the repeating stories of youth and young adults, in particular, who suffer from overdosages and other fatal consequences as a result of addiction. Because of this, more individuals who have the passion and dedication to support others recover from addiction are needed.

The Situation: Substance Abuse and Usage in Canada

According to the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS), 13% of Canadians reported taking at least one of the following drugs within the past year in 2015: Cannabis; cocaine; ecstasy; speed or methamphetamines; hallucinogens; and heroin. In 2017, this percentage jumped to 15% and continues to gradually climb every year.

homeless person sitting outside

From the same survey, respondents were also asked if they experienced a situation where the intake of a drug imposed a harmful effect on one of the following factors: Physical health; friendships and social life; financial position; home life or marriage; work; studies or employment opportunities; legal problems; difficulty learning; and housing problems. The outcome reported that 3% of Canadians aged 15 or older experienced at least one harmful effect because of their drug use. In most cases, youth aged 15 to 19 and young adults aged 20 to 24 also reported higher percentages of harmful effects at 5% and 10% respectively in 2017.

Given the steady rise in numbers over the years, it’s important to help and support individuals who face addiction to drugs, substances, alcohol, and gambling.

The Significance of an Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker

Most of the time, individuals who struggle with addiction problems are unable to recover on their own – instead, they need the support of a compassionate professional who is able to guide and nurture them to sobriety. As part of the Community Support field, Mental Health and Addictions Care Workers are responsible and kind-hearted individuals who hold important and meaningful roles in the industry. By becoming a Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker, you work to strengthen and encourage individuals to overcome their problematic addictions through positive reinforcement strategies.

The Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker Program at Sprott Shaw

Much like the Community Support Worker Program, the Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker Program empowers you to instill a difference in the lives of those who struggle with addiction complications. Whether you’re a recent graduate from high school or maintain a mature student status, you can make a difference.

At Sprott Shaw College, our Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker equips students with the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required to perform well in the industry. This 43-week diploma program includes a practicum opportunity so students can learn and experience the industry before officially joining the workforce.

women sitting down with boy in plaid shirt

The program will prepare students with all of the practical skills required for intake, assessment, motivational interviewing, and treatment planning – all while featuring a strong emphasis on case management and professional ethics. Students will learn how to initiate and engage in individual and group therapy to comfort and guide their clients through effective group facilitation skills and entry-level skill development in 1-to-1 counselling. For effective sessions, students will also learn to apply the principles of addiction, pharmacology, communication, and structured relapse prevention planning.

Some of the core topics covered throughout the course include family dynamics, addiction, Indigenous Peoples, other ethnic and cultural groups, youth, sexual minorities, elderly, concurrent disorders like mental health issues, homeless persons, gender (women), HIV/AIDS, and suicidal clients.

As part of the program, students will also receive their Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Certificate and First-Aid Training so they can be properly trained and prepared for the job.

Career Opportunities for the Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker Diploma

With the successful completion of the program, students will see an abundance of career opportunities available for them in a variety of industries. Some of these career opportunities include Addictions Worker, Women’s Shelter Worker, Community Service Worker, Residential Support Worker, and many more.

Interested in learning more about Sprott Shaw’s Mental Health and Addictions Care Worker? Click below!

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Interested in taking a program at Sprott Shaw? 

Interested in taking a Program at Sprott Shaw?