A new education and training program at Selkirk College will enable people to train for high-demand jobs as community mental health workers.
B.C.’s need for mental health support has never been more critical than during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet that need, 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 invaluable support, such as mental and physical health promotion, shelter support and addictions counselling, to individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.
“Government is working on ways to help B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19. This includes enabling people to retrain or upskill in innovative programs, or receive essential on-the-job training for high-demand jobs, such as community mental health workers,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The funding we’re announcing today will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Selkirk College in Castlegar is one of four post-secondary institutions throughout the province that will train community mental health workers. The institution has received funding that will enable 12 students 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 with both synchronous and asynchronous learning. This is a stand-alone mental health and addictions associate certificate.
“Adding more learning and training spots will make a lasting impact to support people and families in the community who are living with mental health and substance use challenges,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “It is institutions like Selkirk College, their staff and students that are the foundation for building the comprehensive mental health and substance use system of care people need and deserve.”
This investment in community mental health is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan to help thousands of people upskill or reskill and find their place in the post-COVID-19 economy. It is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West –
“Training additional community mental health workers at Selkirk College will help make our communities healthier and safer spaces for everyone to enjoy. 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.”
For fast-track skills training opportunities in StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-opportunities
Virtual mental health supports during COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-supports-covid-19