NVIT to train more community mental health workers

Press Release

Jan. 18, 2021

BURNABY – A new education and training program at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) will enable people to train for high-demand jobs as community mental health workers.

B.C.’s need for mental health support has never been more critical than during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet that need, government is investing a total of $800,000 across four public post-secondary institutions to train community mental health workers. Community mental health workers provide invaluable support, such as mental and physical health promotion, shelter support and addictions counselling, to individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.

“Government is working on ways to help B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19. This includes enabling people to retrain or upskill in innovative programs, or receive essential on-the-job training for high-demand jobs, such as community mental health workers,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The funding we’re announcing today will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.”

NVIT in Burnaby is one of four post-secondary institutions throughout the province that will train community mental health workers. The institution has received funding for 47 seats for the program.

“Adding more learning and training spots will make a lasting impact to support people and families in the community who are living with mental health and substance use challenges,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “It is institutions like NVIT, their staff and students that are the foundation for building the comprehensive mental health and substance use system of care people need and deserve.”

This investment in community mental health is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan to help thousands of people upskill or reskill and find their place in the post-COVID-19 economy. It is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.


Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North –

“This pandemic is taking a toll on mental health, and community mental health workers have been helping so many of our neighbours cope with the effects, but our government knows even more support is needed. This local training initiative will provide even more supports as well as drive economic recovery in Burnaby and across the region.”

John Chenoweth, associate vice-president, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology –

“Nicola Valley Institute of Technology is pleased to be offering an Indigenous community mental health worker program alongside other post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. Allowing more people to start or shift their career into the community health field, with the educational and government supports they need to succeed will, in turn, help British Columbian’s throughout the province. NVIT’s program is Indigenous-focused, providing the educational framework for providing a holistic approach for mental health and addictions services for members in British Columbia.”

Learn More:

For fast-track skills training opportunities in StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-opportunities

Virtual mental health supports during COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-supports-covid-19


Sean Leslie
Communications Director
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training
250 893-4403

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
250 213-7049

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect


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