CYMH 5511
Context and Theory in Child and Youth Mental Health Practice

3.0 Credits


This course is an interdisciplinary course that is designed to enable bachelor's and master's prepared students to provide assessment and treatment for clients who experience mental health conditions. The course introduces and examines core concepts, theoretical foundations and competencies in child and youth mental health clinical practice. The course is broken down into the following age grouping: 0-5, 6-12 and 13-19, reflective of the research literature and direct practice in the mental health field. Case studies, case assessments and treatment cases will be used to address all three age groups over a broad cross section of direct practice issues.

Delivery Method

Web, self-paced.


Acceptance in the Graduate Certificate in Child and Youth Mental Health Program or acceptance by the program coordinator. It is recommended that students have a background in social work, counselling, child and youth care, education and/or nursing.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Assess your preparation and skill set for working in child and youth mental health settings, and your capacity to learn online through problem-based learning.
  • Articulate the bio-psychosocial spiritual perspective for direct practice with child and youth within the context of community mental health.
  • Describe the core skills required for establishing and maintaining effective relationships with external providers, members of inter-professional teams, and with multidisciplinary teams working with children, youth, and families.
  • Articulate an understanding of theoretical therapeutic frameworks for progressive practice in child and youth mental health.
  • Define the terms used in child and youth mental health practice and be able to take a critical stance toward the stigmatizing impact of labelling and diagnosis.
  • Articulate the principles of health promotion and health prevention in child and youth mental health.
  • Describe the system of service delivery for child and youth mental health internally and externally for child and youth mental health including hospitals, community, and mental health teams.
  • Articulate the strength-based model in practice with child and youth mental health in conjunction with evidence-based best practices by understanding the relationship between research and decision-making in practice.
  • Display an understanding of the multiple traumas experienced by First People Child and youth using historical and cultural sensitivity to support a strength-based approach that empowers children, youth, and their families to manage multiple areas of stressors and identify ways to promote wellness.
  • Provide knowledge acquisition and sensitivity for underserved populations (e.g., alternative lifestyles, poverty, immigrants, learning disabilities) to promote understanding of diversity and identify the barriers and limitations faced by clients.
  • Articulate a strengths-based approach when working with a parent who experiences severe and chronic mental illness including co-therapy with the adult mental health team; in the context of child and youth mental health.
  • Anticipate the ethical issues that arise in child and youth mental health practice and demonstrate cultural competency in addressing these issues in concert with others.

Course Outline

CYMH 5511 includes the following 12 modules:

  • Module 1: Strength Based Practice
  • Module 2: Introduction to Mental Wellness
  • Module 3: The Mental Health Continuum
  • Module 4: Practice Issues
  • Module 5: Mental Health Stigma
  • Module 6: Child and Youth Promotion
  • Module 7: Hierarchy of Mental Health
  • Module 8: Capacity Building
  • Module 9: First Peoples and Cultural Considerations
  • Module 10: Under-served Populations
  • Module 11: The Mentally Ill Parent
  • Module 12: Mental Health Ethics

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

NOTE: Students are encouraged to purchase their own copy of the following text. It is only used as a reference text in CYMH 5511; however, it is required for CYMH 5521.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 5e. 2013.
Type: Textbook: ISBN: 9780890425558 / 0890425558

Additional Requirements

This web-based course requires that students have reliable access to the internet. Refer to the TRU-OL website for computer requirements.

There will be weekly online discussions of specific seminar topics posted by the Open Learning Faculty Member using features in the Blackboard environment provided.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Management System's "Mail" tool or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on the overall course.

Assignment 1: Case Study 20%
Assignment 2: Case Study 20%
Assignment 3: Case Study 20%
Assignment 4: Case Study 20%
Assignment 5: Specialization 20%