Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions

The Graduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions (GCMHA) is an interdisciplinary program administered by the School of Social Work.  The certificate was developed to provide working professionals with the latest knowledge, skills and attitudes required to improve the lives of persons affected by mental health and addictions challenges. These courses are fully online; however, they are centered around a team-based approach to learning and encourage discussion and interaction with instructor and classmates.  Assignments are focused on helping students apply knowledge to real-world situations they encounter in their working life.

Program Coordinator:

Judy MacDonald BSW (STU), MSW (Carleton), PhD (Memorial)

Location and Contact:

1459 LeMarchant Street, Suite 3201
Halifax, NS  B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3760
Fax: (902) 494-6709


The four courses that make up the certificate build on students’ current knowledge of mental health and addictions by studying the MH&A system and its participants in depth: looking at the current systems in place, and thinking critically about their impact on the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.  The four courses are:

  • HLTH 5110.03: Mental Health and Addictions Services and Systems
  • HLTH 5120.03: Mental Health, Substance Use and Addiction Across Health Practices: Working with Persons, Families and Communities
  • HLTH 5130.03: Concurrent Disorders and Complex Case Work: Working with Persons, Families and Communities
  • HLTH 5140.03: Prevention, Early Intervention and Population Focused Health Promotion

For full course descriptions, see Course Descriptions section.

Admission Requirements

All applicants to the GCMHA must meet the Faculty of Graduate Studies minimum admission requirements as outlined in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

Applicants must have a four-year Bachelor degree, granted by a university of recognized standing, and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study. Graduate level credits are not used in the admission average.

In addition, applicants must have completed -- at a minimum -- an undergraduate degree program in one of the following fields or equivalent:

  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Health Promotion
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine  

Those with four-year Bachelor degrees in other programs (e.g. Education, Law) are also welcome to apply but are required to provide detail in their cover letter and resumé explaining how their education and work experience relate to the area of mental health and addictions, and how pursuing this certificate would support their work in this field.

Dalhousie students who are completing a Dalhousie graduate program in Nursing, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Medicine, Recreation Therapy, Pharmacy, and Health Promotion are eligible to apply for the GCMHA and must meet the admission requirements stated above. In some cases, current Dalhousie graduate students may also take GCMHA courses as electives.  Please consult with the department for more details.