Recent CMHAW Courses

Scott Community Mental Health and Addictions 0 Comments

It has been a long while since I’ve been able to post anything. Life seems to pass by when you’re not paying attention. Let’s see… I’ve completed a number of courses recently which have all been very interesting.

I finished off Concurrent Disorders, which is where I was at on my last post, and I have to say that my eyes have been opened. The number of things you can learn in such a short period is astounding. I will look forward to having a deeper understanding of mental health and how addiction can affect those states of mental illness.

The following course was on Youth Marginalization, a very important topic when heading into the Downtown East Side (DTES) and anywhere else for that matter. The youth that find home on the streets are so vulnerable and need to know that there is help for them. If I was not already working in the addictions field, I think I would seriously consider working with youth. There are so many resources available to them and to be able to do some outreach, connect with, and potentially help the youth I think would be a very rewarding experience.

Life Skills Coaching … What a cool week that was. In this course we learned how to develop and coach a life skills lesson. The topics can vary so the major project in this course is to present a life skills lesson to the class. This was a lot of fun during the final days when presentations were done, because it is so different than any other presentation. As an audience you are the “class” which is being taught and the person presenting is the “teacher”.

My classmates are a creative bunch so we were doing painting to express feelings, we did positivity circles to learn about self-worth, and so much more. The life skills class was a really cool experience.

Most recently we completed the First Nations History class, which was a real eye opener. We learned a lot about Canada’s history of colonization and residential school. WARNING, this class is not for the faint of heart. I have never felt so many horrors toward my ancestry as I did during this course. Along with the very hard truths came a lot of very cool experiences. We made medicine bags and sent them to the youth in Atawapiskat. We had an opening ceremony and blessing. We did a smudging. We discussed reconciliation.

After all of that it was off to our Integrated Practice Experience. I spent my final three days at my first site and it was bitter-sweet. I met a lot of really cool members at Vancouver Second Mile Society (VSMS), did some outreach at the local SRO’s and even helped out at the food bank one morning. I will bad sad to leave my host site but am excited to move on to something new as well.

About the Author


Scott is a current student in Stenberg’s Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker program.

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