Using an interdisciplinary approach to study mental health, mental illness, and substance
use, students will examine a variety of perspectives and contextual factors used to explore
issues and concepts of mental health. Distribution patterns, risk factors, organization of
health systems, and societal efforts toward prevention and treatment will also be reviewed. A
focus will be placed on understanding the social determinants of health and exploring issues
from a population and public health perspective.
By working through the learning activities in this course, participants will:
- develop a better understanding of the broad range of perspectives (e.g., biological,
psychological, sociological, historical, political) applied to explain mental health, mental
illness, substance use, substance use disorder, and addiction.
- demonstrate knowledge of the prevalence and distribution of mental disorders and substance
use disorders amongst the Canadian population.
- gain a better understanding of prominent risk factors for mental disorder and harmful
substance use and preventive strategies to decrease risk throughout the life course.
- gain an understanding of common mental health issues and challenges that arise during the
life course and public health approaches to promote mental health amongst the Canadian
- develop an understanding of the structure and organization of public services, policies
and supports (including healthcare services, social services, and legislation) that exist in
Canada and other nations to address mental illness and substance use disorder.
- Lesson 1: What is Mental Health?
- Lesson 2: Biological Foundations of Mental Health & Mental Illness
- Lesson 3: Social Sciences and Mental Health
- Lesson 4: Diagnosis and Classification of Mental Illness
- Lesson 5: Substance Use and Addictions
- Lesson 6: Stigma, Discrimination and Mental Health in the Workplace
- Lesson 7: Mental Health Across the Lifespan: Children and Youth
- Lesson 8: Diversity in Mental Health
- Lesson 9: Mental Health Across the Lifespan: Older Adults
- Lesson 10: Responding to Crisis and Providing Treatment
- Lesson 11: The Mental Health System in Canada
- Lesson 12: Improving Population and Public Health
Required text and materials
Goldner, E., Jenkins, E., Prairie, J, Bilsker, D. A Concise Introduction to Mental Health
in Canada. 2nd edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, (2016).
To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher
on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final project.
|Assignment 1: Case Study Part A
|Assignment 2: Exploring Experiences of Stigma and Discrimination
|Assignment 3: Case Study Part B
|Final Project: Public Service Announcement (PSA) Presentation*
Open Learning Faculty Member
An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is
through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the
necessary contact information at start of course.