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Working in Mental Health & Addiction Support

Mental health and addiction support workers engage with some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. It’s vital that this workforce has the tools they need to provide quality support.

Careerforce offers a range of qualification pathways to upskill mental health & addiction support workers with nationally recognised qualifications via on-the-job training. These qualifications provide this workforce with the necessary tools to support others.

Explore our Qualifications in Mental Health & Addiction Support

The mental health & addiction support sector is looking for hard working and compassionate people to start or advance their careers. If you already work in the sector, find your qualification pathway, like the certificate in health and wellbeing Level 3, to grow your career.

Careerforce offers training for mental health workers from entry level through to more advanced levels. Browse the related qualifications below to find which mental health certificate or diploma is right for you.

 

Support your Mental Health & Addiction Support Workforce with On-the-Job Training

Careerforce can support organisations to enhance their workforce’s skills and knowledge through our well-resourced, on-the-job training programmes.

A Careerforce Workplace Advisor will work with you to determine which qualifications and programmes are right for your workforce. Together, we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan and discuss steps to set up your training. We will also guide you through funding opportunities to support the growth of your employees, such as the Mental Health Support Workers Grant.

 

My job is really rewarding.
I get to support someone to reach
their goals, and contribute
to doing good in the community

Tegan Coote | PACT Mental Health Support Worker

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.  Please contact us via info@careerforce.org.nz if you have a question not covered below.

Mental health support workers support people living with mental health problems. You’ll work alongside people, their family and whānau to support autonomy by using tools and strategies to foster hope, support recovery and build resilience. You could work in a range of health or community settings.

Entry level roles in Mental Health and Addiction Support Work may not require any qualifications, but it is likely you will be expected to train on-the-job for a New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work Strand.

Examples of roles: Mental Health Support Worker, Community Worker, Community Support Worker.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work Strand
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Mental Health and Addiction Support
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation

More advanced roles in Mental Health and Addiction Support Work will benefit from a Level 5 qualification and higher.

Examples of roles: AOD Clinician, Registered Mental Health Nurse/Case Manager, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Child Adolescent and Family Services, Mental Health Registered Nurse/Case Manager,  Mental Health Forensic Services Registered Nurse Supporting Youth and Adults, Mental Health Rehabilitation.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice.

Mental health support workers need:

  • a supportive, understanding and caring nature.
  • excellent communication skills for delivering information.
  • good team skills when working with other professionals and services.
  • problem solving skills.
  • to be practical, organised and responsible with good time management skills.
  • to relate well to a very diverse range of people.

The expected duration for Mental Health and Addiction Support Work qualifications range from 12 months to 24 months.

Since practical experience is extremely important in this industry, on-the-job training is completed alongside work in a mental health and addiction support work environment.

Examples of qualifications and duration:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work Strand – 12 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Mental Health and Addiction Support – 18 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation – 18 months
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – 18 – 24 months

Enrolment fees for mental health and addiction support qualifications range from $230 NZD to $2,000 NZD.

Examples of qualifications and enrolment costs:
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work Strand – $230 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Mental Health and Addiction Support – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – $2,000 NZD

The employer typically pays the fees for staff to enrol in these programmes. To enrol in a Careerforce programme, you must be currently employed, and have the support of your employer.

As part of Budget 2020, the New Zealand Government, announced its Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). This fund is designed to encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in targeted areas. The fund removes costs for a wide range of level 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 programmes for learners, apprentices and employers, through to December 2022.

The mental health and addiction support sector is looking for hard working and compassionate people to start or advance their careers.  There are good job opportunities in this area.  The work can very rewarding as you support people to reach their goals and do good in the community.

Mental health and addiction support workers support individuals to live as independently as possible.  They provide advice and guidance rather than personal care. They may work with other professionals including social workers, drug action groups, police and health practitioners.

There are plenty of career opportunities in mental health and addiction support work.  There are lifelong, rewarding careers in this sector and employers who will support your training and help you to get qualified on the job.

Check out New Zealand job sites such as Jobs for Good, SeekTradeMe Jobs or Kiwi Health Jobs for entry level job opportunities.  Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

Find out more about the
Mental Health Support
Workers Training Grant

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Health and Addiction Support