Community mental health workers are in high demand, and a new program at Selkirk College will provide opportunities in this field. File Photo

Community mental health workers are in high demand, and a new program at Selkirk College will provide opportunities in this field. File Photo

Selkirk College to train community mental health workers

Twelve students will complete two courses enabling them to work in health and human services

A new education and training program at Selkirk College will enable people to train for high-demand jobs as community mental health workers, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

“B.C.’s need for mental health support has never been more critical than during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the news release states. “To meet that need, the government is investing a total of $800,000 across four public post-secondary institutions to train community mental health workers.”

Community mental health workers provide support, such as mental and physical health promotion, shelter support and addictions counselling, to individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.

“Increasing capacity to provide mental health and addictions support to our communities is incredibly important right now as we battle an overdose crisis and navigate a global pandemic,” said Taya Whitehead, dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Selkirk College.

“This program will prepare existing health and human services practitioners with specialized knowledge and skills to support many of our vulnerable community members.”

The funding will enable 12 students on the Castlegar campus to complete two courses designed for students or practitioners working in fields of health and human services, and to participate in a two-day experiential workshop focused on motivational interviewing skills through remote delivery. This is a stand-alone mental health and addictions associate certificate.

“Training additional community mental health workers at Selkirk College will help make our communities healthier and safer spaces for everyone to enjoy,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West.

“The skills, knowledge and empathy these workers will bring to the Kootenays will help address the opioid epidemic and support people dealing with mental health and addiction challenges. I’m proud of our health-care workers, who are working to save lives, and happy to see more local training to ensure that everyone gets the care they need.”

This investment in community mental health is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
New children’s book features lost Castlegar dog who swam the Columbia multiple times

Brent and Mary Hummel and Jasper tell their dramatic story

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read