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Mental Health Recovery and Promotion

Work with people affected by mental illness and help promote mental health, recovery and wellness.

One set of hands holds another.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Learn to be part of an interdisciplinary team that promotes mental health and wellness. Mental health practitioners build supports, promote recovery, help eliminate barriers and improve quality of life for people living with mental illnesses.

With the Mental Health Commission of Canada's launch of the country's first-ever mental health strategy, this program prepares you to be on the cutting edge of improved support strategies and service delivery for individuals and communities affected by mental health issues.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.
  • International students - all international students require a co-op work permit; you can't complete your NSCC program without one. This program also requires a medical exam to receive your co-op work permit. View co-op work permit - medical exam details.

Choose NSCC

  • This program was developed to meet the growing demand for services to support individuals affected by mental illness.
  • We keep our class sizes small to provide individual support and attention.
  • Hands-on learning and field placements provide you with the experience you need to develop your skills and gain the experience employers look for on a résumé.

Other info

  • This program is not offered each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • Work in the field of mental health and illness is very demanding. Your ability to be self-aware and practise effective introspection and self-care strategies is essential to your success.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • A current, official criminal record check and vulnerable sector check are required to complete work placements in many programs. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements.
  • All programs in Health and Human Services require First Aid/CPR as a graduation requirement. For specific program requirements, view additional Health and Human Services program requirements
  • Many Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements by the date provided to you at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete.
    • Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement, which will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • You work with clients of all ages, in the private and public sectors and within a variety of settings in the area of mental health. Work environments can include acute care, rehabilitation centres, community organizations, group homes, addiction services and outpatient clinics.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

CRIS 1005 - Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (12 Hours)
This course is designed to provide high quality, meaningful training in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behaviour. This 12-hour course includes both theory on crisis development and personal safety techniques.

GDEV 1025 - Developmental Psychology
This course examines the expected growth and developmental patterns of individuals from conception through to oldest old. The emphasis is on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of development.

MHRP 1000 - Introduction to Mental Health Services
In this course the learner will explore trends, policies, and legislation currently influencing mental health services in Canada. Topics such as the Mental Health Act, Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, Kirby Report, Mental Health Commission of Canada and advocacy groups will also be explored.

MHRP 1001 - Mental Health Promotion/Self and Others
This course introduces the learner to the concepts of health and the components of a health-enhancing lifestyle. Learners will be invited to reflect on their own experience of health, barriers to healthy choices and resources that may impact on their wellbeing.

MHRP 1002 - Applied Helping Skills I
This course is designed to teach the learner foundational interpersonal communication and relationship building skills. Topics such as effective communication, rapport building, empathy, compassion, active listening and touch will be explored.

MHRP 1003 - Ethics and Professional Practice
This course provides the learner with opportunities to explore self and others as it relates to supporting persons affected by mental health issues. The focus of this course will be on concepts of personal suitability for the field, working within a multidisciplinary team environment, and understanding the role of the mental health support worker within the team. Ethical principles and practice in mental health service delivery, documentation, and personal ethics and values will also be examined.

MHRP 1006 - Life Skills
Through the application of psychosocial rehabilitation principles as well as person-centred planning; the learner will support individuals with mental illness in activities of daily living. The learner will identify needs, goals and future wellness plans in collaboration with the individual living with a mental health issue.

MHRP 1007 - Mental Health Support Strategies I
This course will introduce the learner to the concepts of mental health as they relate to individuals. Tools for assessment and theory related to mental illness will be introduced, for example mental status exam, Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM), physical assessment, data collection, and WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS).

MHRP 1009 - Peer Support
People helping people is the premise for this course. Peer support is the foundation upon which consumer run organizations or independent and unfunded groups base their work and effort. Learners will explore the process by which individuals with lived experiences assist each other to continue the healing. Those who have experienced illness, the system, the clinical process and the challenges are in the best position to pass on knowledge gained by lived experience. This course is appropriate for learners with or without lived experiences. Due to the nature of the delivery of this course it is non-supplementable.

MHRP 1010 - Mental Health Practicum I
Upon completion of this course the learner will be able to provide basic relationship building skills with persons affected by mental health issues. The learner will function as an interdisciplinary team member in a safe and ethical manner within their scope of practice.

MHRP 1020 - Mental Health Practicum II
In this placement learners will continue to apply and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competencies from classroom theory. Learners will be assessing, monitoring and promoting the mental health of self and clients. In various mental health environments, the learner will work with an interdisciplinary team supporting persons with mental illness in needs assessment, recovery planning, peer support and general activities of daily living.

MHRP 2002 - Applied Helping Skills II
This course will continue to build upon skills learned in Applied Helping Skills I. The learner will develop the skills necessary to support individuals with mental health issues, their family, friends and community. The learner will explore concepts such as unconditional positive regard and person-centred support. Communication strategies unique to working with person with mental illness will be identified. This course is a non-supplemental course and therefore is not eligible for supplemental exams.

MHRP 2004 - Youth and Mental Health
This course will introduce the learner to mental health issues, interventions and support strategies relevant to our child and youth population. The learner will be prepared to identify signs and symptoms of children at risk of developing a mental health problem as well as how and where to refer them for support.

MHRP 2005 - Psychotropic Medications and Social Drug Issues
This course introduces the learner to the psychotropic medications used to treat mental illness. Learners will also gain an understanding of the effects of social drug use as it relates to persons living with mental health issues.

MHRP 2006 - Recovery and Well Being
This course focuses on the concepts and principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) and Recovery. Through needs assessment, goal and support planning and advocacy the learner will promote the mental health and well being of persons with mental illness. This course will be delivered in a nontraditional classroom style requiring learners to be available days and evenings to facilitate groups and the recovery process with persons affected by mental health issues. Due to the nature of the delivery of this course it is non-supplementable.

MHRP 2007 - Mental Health Support Strategies II
This course continues to explore theory related to common mental illnesses. The emphasis will be on recognizing characteristics as they relate to mental illness and the implementation of interventions to assist persons to live in the least restrictive environment.

MHRP 2010 - Mental Health Practicum III
This practicum provides learners with an opportunity to apply classroom theory to the mental health field. The experience will assist the learner in gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities of mental illness. The learner will accompany and support the clients in carrying out his/her activities of daily living under the supervision of the multidisciplinary team.

MHRP 2020 - Mental Health Mentorship
This placement provides learners an opportunity for synthesis and application of knowledge, skills and competencies identify in their program outcomes. The learner will complete the practicum under the guidance of a mentor. It will be a transitional period where the learner will gradually move into the role of a mental health support worker within a multidisciplinary team.

MHRP 2055 - Addictions and Mental Health
This course will assist the learner to develop knowledge and skills to effectively respond to co - existing issues of addictions and substance abuse and mental health issues. Emphasis will be on understanding addictions, the process of change, intervention approaches and prevention. Strategies for maintaining healthy lifestyle choices will also be explored.

MHRP 3007 - Mental Health Support Strategies for Diverse Populations
This course will explore diverse populations and the unique way mental illness presents to them. Populations such as, First Nations and Inuit, elderly, New Canadians, persons with disabilities, low-socio-economic groups, homeless and those incarcerated will be explored.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SOCS 1000 - Introduction to Sociology
This survey course focuses on the major sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives.

SOCS 1001 - Introduction to Psychology
This survey course will introduce students to the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. It will explore its goals, theoretical perspectives, research and applications. It will challenge students to make connections between areas of study and their everyday experience.

SOCS 1005 - Writing Skills for Social Service Practice I
Effective written communication skills are a necessary component for success in the social services environment where transparency, accountability and integrity are core values connected to providing service for others. This one semester course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop the skills required to manage information and prepare documents used in the social services field.

SOCS 2005 - Writing Skills for Social Service Practice II
This course provides students with the opportunity to apply skills developed in Writing Skills for Social Services I. Applications include preparing documents that serve as records in the social services field, collecting and clearly presenting information specific to the needs of an audience, and composing documents for employment that are accurate and appealing.

SOCS 2008 - Grief and Loss
This course is designed to introduce the concepts of grief and loss as a field of inquiry and professional social services practice across the lifespan. Utilizing a cross-cultural perspective, a variety of issues associated with grief and loss will be explored. This course includes, but is not limited to, death and dying.

SOCS 2025 - Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing
Social and recreation service delivery is dependent on grants, contracts or contributions to program funding. Learners will explore the structure and processes required to develop a successful grant proposal for projects associated with recreation and social services delivery.

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