HLTH 4551
Directed Studies Practicum in Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders

3.0 Credits


Learners will develop further understanding of the relationships between theory and practice in the treatment and prevention of problematic substance use and mental health disorders during the practicum. Learners will expand their knowledge by having an opportunity to observe services and supports within prevention and treatment systems. Over the course of this class students will spend 12 days (usually 96 hours) in a practice setting while concurrently completing a series of directed online readings, assignments and experiential learning exercises. Where appropriate, learners will be provided the opportunity to demonstrate foundational competency in prevention and treatment practice.

Delivery Method



HLTH 4411: Introduction to Mental Health


HLTH 4511: Introduction to Problematic Substance Use


HLTH 4421: Assessment and Intervention Approaches to Mental Health Problems


HLTH 4521: Assessment and Intervention Approaches to Problematic Substance Use


HLTH 4531: Assessment and Intervention Approaches in Concurrent Disorders


HLTH 4541: Population Based Prevention and Intervention


HLTH 4441: Population Based Mental Health Assessment and Intervention


By successfully working through the learning activities in this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop foundational and/or basic competency in applicable technical and behavioural skills as defined in the competency profile for Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce.
  • Develop practical understanding of a variety of interventions used in the prevention and treatment of substance use and mental health disorders in Canada.
  • Recognize codes and guidelines for ethical and professional practice by members of Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce.
  • Develop and apply skills in the synthesis and delivery of evidence-based knowledge to persons/families/colleagues and communities affected by substance use and mental health disorders.
  • Demonstrate effective time management and organizational skills in the practice environment.
  • Gain first-hand experience in the challenges, struggles, successes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of persons attempting a behaviour change.
  • Develop an appreciation of the challenges faced by persons attempting to overcome substance use and mental health disorders.
  • Appreciate the role of other health professions in the provision of care and the importance of interprofessional collaboration.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Practicum
  • Lesson 2: Orientation and Goal Setting
  • Lesson 3: Experiential Learning
  • Lesson 4: Midpoint Practicum Evaluation and Realignment of Goals
  • Lesson 5: Building Organizational Competency--Interprofessional Collaboration and Beyond
  • Lesson 6: Endings, Final Practicum Evaluation, and Capstone Project

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Drolet, J., Clark, N., & Allen, H. Shifting sites of practice: Field education in Canada. Toronto, ON: Pearson, (2012).
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-13-701341-8

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

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.


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: Early Practicum

Part A: Baseline Competency Assessment 8%
Part B: Orientation Meeting and Practicum Information Form 2%
Part C: Learning Contract 10%

Assignment 2: Mid-Practicum

Part A: Action Plan for Behaviour Change 6%
Part B: ITP Loop 6%
Part C: Midpoint Performance Evaluation 8%

Assignment 3: End of Practicum

Part A: Presentation 10%
Part B: Final Performance Evaluation 10%
Final Project 40%