Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Graduate Certificate in Child and Youth Mental Health

Program Availability

This graduate certificate program is available to only applicants residing in Canada, unless approved by the program coordinator.

Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Child and Youth Mental Health program is designed for individuals who hold bachelor's or master's degrees; are employed as social workers, counsellors, child and youth care workers, education counsellors or nurses; and are interested in providing assessment and intervention to children, youth and families who are dealing with mental health issues. The critical need for such specialists has been identified by British Columbia's schools of social work, schools of child and youth care and by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. This need is consistent with the Child and Youth Mental Health Plan for BC (2003; progress report, 2008).

The program's curriculum takes a multi-modal, strengths-based approach to working with children and families with serious mental health concerns. Aboriginal and cross-cultural content is included.

The program is transitioning from being offered on a cohort basis to being offered on a continuous self-paced basis. Thus, students may begin the program when they wish, once their program application has been approved.

What Can You Do With This Credential?

Students who successfully complete the program receive a TRU post-graduate certificate. The certificate may ladder into master's programs at other universities. Students are advised to discuss this option with the institution they plan to apply to.

The graduate certificate program prepares graduates for positions in the Canadian mental health system, the Ministry of Children and Families, schools, First Nations agencies and hospitals, as well as for work with special needs children in community settings. Please note the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development and many other agencies require that individuals hired for mental health service positions must have a master's degree.

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements

A recognized bachelor's or master's degree, with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.

A degree in child and youth care, nursing, social work, education or psychology is recommended; however, other degrees may be recognized in combination with professional experience.

Volunteer or paid experience working with children or youth who are mentally, physically or behaviourally challenged is an asset.

A counselling course is an asset.

Additional Requirements

A Criminal Record Check - Children and Vulnerable Adults Form (PDF, 443 KB).

Applicants who plan to complete the program and obtain the credential through TRU-OL must complete and submit the following forms:

  • A Program Admission form.
  • Official transcripts, sent directly to TRU-OL Admissions from the delivering institution. The registrar must receive transcripts for approval four to six weeks prior to course start dates.
  • The program fee (submit with the Program Admission form).
  • An Admission Checklist form (PDF, 557 KB).
  • A Personal History form (PDF, 585 KB).

Residency Requirements

A minimum of 15 TRU credits (distance; this program is not offered on campus)

Graduate Certificate Requirements (15 credits)

Students must receive a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all of the following courses:

CYMH 5511, Context and Theory in Child and Youth Mental Health Practice (3)
CYMH 5521, Assessment for Intervention in Child and Youth Mental Health (3)
CYMH 5531, Intervention in Child and Youth Mental Health (4)
CYMH 5541, Clinical Internship and Capstone (5)*

  • Students must pass all theory courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to take CYMH 5541, Clinical Internship and Capstone.
  • The program coordinator arranges an appropriate internship with input from the student.
  • The internship is based on availability and resources in the community the student selects.
  • The student must complete in full and submit a Consent to Criminal Record Check form to the program assistant and to the agency providing the internship. A satisfactory criminal record check is required in order for the student to secure a field placement.
  • A clinical internship consists of a total of 210 hours and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Some students may need to relocate at their own expense to complete an internship, if suitable service agencies are unavailable near their home or in a nearby community.
  • Acceptance into the certificate program does not guarantee that students are placed into an internship.

Program Completion

  • It is recommended that students take courses one at a time in their sequential order. All theory courses must be successfully completed before registering for an Internship.
  • CYMH 5511 is a prerequisite for CYMH 5521 and 5531.
  • If a particular course is full, approved applicants may put their name on a wait-list. If a space becomes available, approved applicants are contacted prior to the registration deadline.
  • To stay in good standing with the program, students must take a minimum of one course every year. Students typically complete the certificate program within two years.
  • Complete registration information about courses delivered by TRU-OL, including course completion, course materials, and course packages, is provided on this website.

Non-Program/Professional Development Option (15 credits)

Students who wish to take up to three courses without being admitted to the program or completing a practicum may register in the following program courses, subject to approval from the program coordinator, for professional development or personal interest:

CYMH 5511, Context and Theory in Child and Youth Mental Health Practice (3)
CYMH 5521, Assessment for Intervention in Child and Youth Mental Health (3)
CYMH 5531, Intervention in Child and Youth Mental Health (4)

Completion of the Admissions Checklist and Personal History forms and unofficial copies of transcripts are required for acceptance of professional development students.

Please submit documentation to the program coordinator at


Students are responsible for consulting with the program coordinator or their program advisor to ensure courses selected are appropriate for their program of study and educational goals. Students who proceed without approval may find that a course does not meet such requirements and may be subject to transcript assessment fees.


Email for more information.