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

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trail Society will build a trail on Mount Buchanan, seen here with society secretary Stuart Heard, with support from Columbia Basin Trust. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay trails receive Columbia Basin Trust funding

Several locations in the West Kootenay are undergoing upgrades

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.
Warming temperatures increase avalanche risk heading into the weekend

Warm temperatures impact conditions, human behaviour

The City of Trail met with RCMP and Community Development Services at its virtual GoC meeting Feb. 22. Photo: Jim Bailey
Frontline workers deliver presentation on Trail’s most vulnerable

Trail council met with RCMP and Community Development Services representatives on Monday

Champion Lakes Provincial Park is fun for the whole family and a close place to camp for Greater Trail residents. Discover Camping reservations for provincial parks open Mar. 8. Photo: Jim Bailey
Happy Kootenay campers set to book trips

BC residents can book their favourite close-to-home campground starting Mar. 8 on discovercamping.ca

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Most Read