New Mental Health Program to be Offered by Lakeland in 2014

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Lakeland College has developed a new online Mental Health program.

From the surveys we’ve done and discussions we’ve had with people in helping professions, it’s apparent that there’s a need for this type of program in our region.

Lakeland College has developed a new online program that aims to educate helping professionals and increase their knowledge, skill and ability to support children, youth and families experiencing mental health challenges.

The Mental Health post-credential certificate program is designed for people to take on a part-time basis and will be delivered online. The first intake of students will start studies in September 2014.

“Representatives of agencies and organizations in the region plus graduates of our human services programs told us that with the type of work they do, they need to know more about mental health. They want to be more aware of mental health so they are better prepared to help people access the supports they need for diagnosis and treatment,” says Joanne McDonald, chair of Human Services at Lakeland College.

The certificate program consists of nine courses including introduction to mental health, concurrent disorders, infant/toddler mental health, and alternative therapies. Each course costs $535 and takes 10 weeks to complete. Students are also required to complete a practicum component to demonstrate synthesis of knowledge and skills learned.

“We anticipate that many of the people who take this program will be front line staff working in school divisions, child care organizations or other helping professions and they’ll complete their practicum at their worksite,” says McDonald. To be eligible for admission into the Mental Health program, candidates must have a post-secondary credential.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The organization also notes that mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.

“From the surveys we’ve done and discussions we’ve had with people in helping professions, it’s apparent that there’s a need for this type of program in our region. We look forward to getting the program started next September,” says McDonald. Lakeland College received course development support from Wainwright on Wellness (WOW), which is one of many Mental Health Capacity Building initiatives in Alberta.

To learn more about the Mental Health certificate program, phone 1 800 661 6490, ext. 8641.

In addition to the new Mental Health program, Lakeland College offers a number of certificate and diploma programs specific to the human services field including Child and Youth Care, Early Learning and Child Care, Educational Assistant, Sign Language Interpretation, and American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Studies. For details, visit http://www.lakelandcollege.ca.

Joanne McDonald
Chair
Human Services programming
Lakeland College
780 853 8641

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