Help Others Help Themselves as a Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker
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What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question many are asked during childhood, when anything seems possible and no dream is too big. Some grow up wanting to be doctors, others wanting to be firefighters, and some wanting to be princesses – all of these are noble pursuits. However, dreams change and sometimes, people find themselves living lives they never imagined.
Though life throws curve balls and can land people in places they never thought they’d be, no one grows up with the intention of becoming an addict. Unfortunately, circumstances can lead to a path that is difficult to escape. As of March 2017, more than 3500 individuals in Metro Vancouver identified as homeless, and many of these individuals suffer from mental illness.
Community Mental Health and Addictions Workers (CMHAWs) help people find new roads to travel. CMHAWs assist individuals with mental health, housing, and addiction challenges by encouraging and supporting them in their daily lives. Mental health and addictions workers come from a variety of backgrounds, and many people find meaning in this field. If you can be compassionate and non-judgmental, then you can find success as a CMHAW.
Troy, a Stenberg College graduate and a current CMHAW, is a former opioid addict who changed his own life and now changes the lives of others:
“My life as an addict was hell. It was a mixture of drugs, jail… where the future lead me, I just didn’t care. Now I’m a Program Coordinator at a resource centre in the Downtown Eastside. The best part about my job is being able to work with clients and see them change their lives, see someone come from living on the streets for ten years and help them find housing… that transformation is amazing.”
This career is about helping others help themselves. By providing people with the resources and support they need to work toward stability and health, CMHAWs assist others to become who they want to be.
Stenberg CMHAW grads have an excellent reputation with employers – 100% find employment within six months of graduation and can earn $15.80-$29.50/hr. For more information visit stenbergcollege.com.
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