Synergies between alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health have long been established. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre estimates that more than one-third of individuals with an AOD use disorder have at least one comorbid mental health disorder*.
This dual qualification will give those who currently work (or who plan to work) as support workers and care staff the skills they need to provide care and assistance to clients with AOD and/or mental health issues. You’ll graduate with skills that are transferable across a variety of community services settings such as AOD, mental health and youth work sectors.
This course is offered by Open Colleges on behalf of Integrated Care and Management Training.
Potential career outcomes
- Case Worker
- Community Support Worker
- Detoxification Worker
- Drug and Alcohol Worker
- Family Support Worker
- Mental Health Intake Officer
- Mental Health Outreach Worker
- Mental Health Rehabilitation Support Worker
- Mental Health Worker
- Outreach Worker
- Support Worker
|Qualification name||Dual qualification: CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs and CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health|
|Course duration||Maximum 24 months|
|Delivery Method||Online with Work Placement|
|Assessments||Case studies, Multiple choice questions, Portfolio of evidence, Short-answer questions, Written assessments, Written reports|
There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.
You will need to be at least 18 years old.
This course involves reading learning content and undertaking a range of written assessments and engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 12 level.
If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 12 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:
- Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or
- 3 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication
Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.
You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:
- Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
- Broadband internet connection
- 2GB of RAM
- CD-ROM or DVD drive
- Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
- Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
- Access to printer and associated software
- Access to scanner and associated software
- Digital imaging software
- File compression software.
- Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
- 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)
Mac OS users:
- Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
- 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)
You will need access to a digital camera and associated software to save and upload image and video files to OpenSpace. You'll also need access to a web camera and a microphone enabled headset to participate in Google Hangouts, online tutorials and video conferences. Many smartphones, tablets and computers have this technology installed.
To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:
- Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
- Accessing and searching the internet
- Downloading and saving documents from websites
- Uploading documents through websites
- Participating in online discussions
- Compressing image files
- Recording, compressing and uploading videos.
Mental health skills
During work placement you will be responsible for providing support and services to individuals and families experiencing mental health issues. This may include confidential individual, family or group counselling, supporting families dealing with mental health issues, working with clients who have complex needs and working with children and young people experiencing abuse. It is important that you are able to work cooperatively in a team, act with cultural sensitivity, be accepting of diversity and be non-judgemental. Some of the learning materials are sensitive in nature and warnings are provided along with potential services that can assist with self-care and managing any personal issues that the learning may raise.
Language, Literacy and Numeracy
Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.
|CHCCOM002||Use communication to build relationships|
- Communicate with clients and co-workers
- Address communication needs
- Facilitate meetings
|CHCLEG001||Work legally and ethically|
- Identify and respond to legal requirements
- Identify and meet ethical responsibilities
- Contribute to workplace improvements
|CHCMHS007||Work effectively in trauma informed care|
- Work from a trauma informed care perspective
- Utilise self-care strategies
- Contribute to the continuous improvement of trauma informed care in services
|CHCCCS004||Assess co-existing needs|
- Prepare for assessment
- Analyse the person’s needs using a collaborative approach
- Determine appropriate services
- Complete reporting
- Evaluate assessment and referral processes
|CHCMHS005||Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues|
- Assess capacity to provide support to a person with co-existing mental health and AOD issues
- Work collaboratively to provide support services to address co-existing issues
- Facilitate links to further care
- Collaborate with the person to minimise risk
- Review and report on support provided
|CHCDIV001||Work with diverse people|
- Reflect on own perspectives
- Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits
- Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations
- Promote understanding across diverse groups
|CHCDIV002||Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety|
- Identify cultural safety issues in the workplace
- Model cultural safety in own work
- Develop strategies for improved cultural safety
- Evaluate cultural safety strategies
|CHCAOD001||Work in an alcohol and other drugs context|
- Establish the context for AOD work
- Apply understanding of context to AOD practice
- Integrate the core values and principles of AOD work into practice
- Apply understanding of the impact of values in AOD practice
|CHCCCS003||Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide|
- Identify and assess the person’s current suicide risk
- Collaborate to increase immediate safety
- Facilitate links to further support
- Review and report on support provided
|CHCMHS004||Work collaboratively with the care network and other services|
- Identify and build resilience and capacity in the person’s care network and community of choice
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with other services and programs
- Review and monitor services provided by other organisations and programs
|HLTWHS001||Participate in work health and safety|
- Follow safe work practices
- Implement safe work practices
- Contribute to safe work practices in the workplace
- Reflect on own safe work practices
|CHCMHS002||Establish self-directed recovery relationships|
- Promote principles of recovery and recovery oriented practice
- Establish the context for a self-directed recovery relationship
- Invite information sharing
- Define and confirm the collaborative relationship
|CHCMHS003||Provide recovery oriented mental health services|
- Share and collect information to collaboratively inform the plan for recovery
- Facilitate collaborative planning process for recovery
- Collaboratively implement plan for recovery
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with care support network
- Support person during challenges
- Collaboratively review the effectiveness of the plan and support provided
|CHCMHS011||Assess and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing|
- Assess the persons wellbeing
- Promote physical wellbeing
- Promote social wellbeing
- Promote emotional wellbeing
- Promote cultural or spiritual wellbeing
- Review the persons well being
|CHCMHS008||Promote and facilitate self advocacy|
- Assist individuals or groups to identify their issues, rights and preferred options
- Enable individuals to gain self-advocacy skills
- Follow up and support individuals after self-advocacy
- Promote self-advocacy
|HLTAID003||Provide first aid|
- Respond to an emergency situation
- Apply appropriate first aid procedures
- Communicate details of the incident
- Evaluate the incident and own performance
|CHCCCS014||Provide brief interventions|
- Assess the person’s needs
- Use brief intervention strategies
- Monitor brief intervention activities
|CHCAOD006||Provide interventions for people with alcohol and other drugs issues|
- Prepare for intervention
- Confirm intervention requirements with client
- Conduct intervention.
- Monitor and record activities
|CHCAOD002||Work with clients who are intoxicated|
- Provide services to intoxicated clients
- Reduce harm or injury to self, client and others
- Assist client with longer term needs
|CHCAOD004||Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues|
- Prepare for assessment
- Conduct assessment
- Record assessment and provide feedback
- Identify and respond to need for referral
|CHCAOD009||Develop and review individual alcohol and other drugs treatment plans|
- Consider the type of treatment and services to be provided
- Determine treatment goals and strategies
- Review client progress
|CHCMHS001||Work with people with mental health issues|
- Establish respectful relationships with people with mental health issues
- Determine the needs of people with mental health issues
- Work with people with mental health issues to meet aspirations and needs
|CHCPRP001||Develop and maintain networks and collaborative partnerships|
- Identify networking and collaboration needs and opportunities
- Develop collaboration strategies
- Work collaboratively
- Represent the organisation
- Maintain and enhance networks and collaborative partnerships
Dajana holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Youth Work) and has worked with disengaged and at risk young people for the past five years. Dajana also holds a Certificate IV in TAE and is currently employed as a Youth Education Trainer and Assessor at an alternative school delivering the VCAL certificate. She has a passion for working with disengaged and at risk young people as she would love to make a difference. Dajana is also very passionate about youth work and would like to offer her skills and experience to encourage others and show how rewarding it is to be a youth worker.
Jeramy is a Behaviour Support Practitioner and Coordinator for a N.S.W and A.C.T based disability service. Jeramy specialises in supporting people with autism, intellectual disabilities and acquired brain injuries by coordinating a team of practitioners, developing behaviour support plans and responding to incidents. Jeramy also runs internal training for all direct-support staff as well as workshops for families, carers and other professionals across N.S.W and A.C.T in ‘Person-Centred Behaviour Support’.
Jeramy chairs a restricted practices panel in Sydney, and sits as an ‘independent member’ on three other restricted practices panels including Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC). He also has experience in out-of-home-care, child protection, homeless youth and community development programs where he has supported complex trauma and significant behaviours of concern.
Megan has worked in disability, mental health and aged care sectors in both front-line service delivery and management roles for 10 years. Megan holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Therapeutic Recreation). She has extensive experience supporting clients of diverse needs, and cultural and religious backgrounds through recovery-oriented practice, therapeutic interventions, and client-directed care. The only thing that beats Megan’s passion for mental health is her passion for supporting other’s development of skills and knowledge.
Melissa has over seven years’ experience within the community services sector as a Case Manager, as well as a Mental Health Nurse in acute care settings. She is currently completing a Bachelors of Applied Social Science to accompany her other vocational qualifications within the field of community services, mental health and AOD. Melissa has over five years of experience within the VET sector, developing and providing training to future community service workers. She is passionate about mental health and AOD and has an enormous passion for the training sector.
Susan TonkinSue has been working in the Community Services sector for approximately 17 years. During her career, she has worked with many students who have mental health issues, as well as individuals struggling with alcohol and other drugs issues. The variety of her training and assessing have been in a variety of portfolios, such as Disability, Aged care, Family Services and in the Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health support services sector. Sue is very passionate about working in community services and holds Vocational qualifications in Community Services, as well as Alcohol and Other Drugs, and Mental Health. Sue has many years’ experience training and assessing and enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge and supporting other to achieve their goals.
Tegan Jones is a qualified mental health practitioner, counsellor and trainer. Tegan has a Bachelors degree in Counselling and Behavioural Science as well as a Masters in Counselling. She has experience in school counselling, the public health sector, and as a frontline support worker for individuals living with severe and persistent mental health issues.
Currently, Tegan manages support programs in the non-government community mental health sector, working with homeless young people and those who spend time in hospital related to their mental health. She aims to help students begin their careers in the mental health sector with current, relevant knowledge and the skills needed to help them excel at providing support to clients in the future.
The course contains a minimum of 160 hours of work placement
You will need to undertake your work placement in an organisation involved in the delivery of alcohol and other drug and mental health related services to clients. The workplace will need to be able to provide you with access to specialist equipment and resources.
The specific requirements of the workplace are outlined in the course overview. Your workplace assessor will ascertain whether the workplace is appropriate.
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