In mental health and substance abuse practice there is an increased need for both independent practice skills and multisectoral teamwork. This specialisation programme will equip you with professional competencies that can be applied in preventive and proactive care as well as in treatment and rehabilitation settings.

The programme is implemented by Diaconia, Novia, Savonia, Oulu, Satakunta, Tampere and Turku Universities of Applied Sciences.

Specialisation broadens and advances your expertise

  • You will develop a holistic view of mental health and substance abuse practice.
  • You will be able to promote a client-centred approach and inclusion.
  • You will be introduced to the latest methods and the service system.

“The programme expanded and built on my existing education and work experience”

– Registered nurse Tuomas Piippo

Who is it for?

You should have an existing qualification in health and social care completed at a higher education institution or a predecessor qualification.

Scope

The credit load is 30 ECTS credits which corresponds to approximately 810 hours of study.

Price

The programme cost is €1,500 (0% VAT) which can be paid in one or two instalments.

Content

1. Holistic view of mental health and substance abuse practice; professional practice

  • You will gain a holistic understanding of mental health and substance abuse practice and the related concepts and approaches.
  • You will be able to practice as an expert in proactive and preventive mental health and substance abuse practice, treatment and rehabilitation settings.
  • You will familiarise yourself with the risk factors of mental health and substance abuse and support protective factors for mental health.
  • You will develop an understanding of societal and cultural factors relating to mental health and substance abuse.
  • You will be able to identify the impacts of prejudice and negative attitudes and encounter individuals in a holistic way to promote authentic and equal interaction.

2. Ensuring and strengthening a client-centred approach and inclusion

  • You will recognise the importance of inclusion and apply peer and experience expertise in your practice.
  • You will recognise the role of recovery-oriented practice and hope in rehabilitation and be able to support the self-determination right of clients and their families.
  • You will familiarise yourself with needs-based care and the open dialogue approach and apply them in practice.
  • You will be able to support the mental health of individual clients, their families and wider communities.

3. Identification of mental health and/or substance abuse issues; the planning, implementation and evaluation of care in cooperation with clients, families and networks

  • You will develop an understanding of addiction as a phenomenon and behaviour.
  • You will be able to motivate and support change in addiction behaviour.
  • You will familiarise yourself with mental health and substance abuse diagnostics and multidisciplinary, current evidence-based treatment.
  • You will be able to analyse mental health and substance abuse problems from the point of view of the individual, family and community.
  • You will be able to evaluate, plan and implement appropriate support and treatment measures in cooperation with clients of all ages, their families and networks.

4. Mental health and substance abuse practice methodology

  • You will be able to apply a reflective and respectful approach in your work with clients and their families.
  • You will be able to identify common factors influencing the effectiveness of practice and factors that are specific to individual treatment types.
  • You will be able to apply appropriate evidence-based methods of mental health and substance abuse practice with individuals and groups, clients of all ages, and their families.

5. The service system and case management of mental health and substance abuse work

  • You will be able to work with clients in a respectful and inclusive way.
  • You will be able to critically assess and develop professional interaction.
  • You will have a command of the interaction theories and models relating to service and case management and be able to advise clients and their families.
  • You will familiarise yourself with regional service networks and utilise the services and expertise of different providers in cooperation with clients, families and networks.
  • You will familiarise yourself with digital services and methods and their possibilities, and be able to advise clients on how to use them.
  • You will be able to practice in a multidisciplinary team as a mental health and substance abuse expert and collaborate on the development of new models.

6. Development of mental health and substance abuse practice and expertise

  • You will be able to apply evidence-based and empirical knowledge in your practice and professional development.
  • You will be able to identify, analyse, assess and develop the professional practices and methods of mental health and substance abuse practice based on research data.
  • You will be able to promote well-being at work for yourself and others and contribute constructively in workplace interactions.
  • You will recognise the role of your personal life story in your work with clients and identify areas for development in your practice.
  • You will be able utilise work supervision in order to reflect on and consciously develop your professional practice

Implementation

The programme is delivered in multimodal form, with two contact teaching days per month and supplementary independent study. The programme can be completed alongside your work.

Competence development is monitored based on a portfolio that is completed over the course of the studies by taking various assignments including peer- and self-assessment assignments, a reflective journal, practical assignments, etc.

The portfolio is structured to follow the courses so that each assignment and evaluation relates to a specific course. This means that you will receive continuous information about the development of your expertise and get regular feedback on your progress.

Schedule

The next mental health and substance abuse specialisation starts on 9 September 2021 and ends on 20 May 2022.

The contact teaching days are scheduled as follows:

  • 9–10 September 2021
  • 14–15 October 2021
  • 11–12 November 2021
  • 9–10 December 2021
  • 13–14 January 2022
  • 10–11 February 2022
  • 17–18 March 2022
  • 21–22 April 2022
  • 19–20 May 2022

Location

Diak delivers the programme at the Helsinki campus.

Admissions

The next application period is 6 April – 16 May 2021. Admission is based on prior education, work experience and the description of educational need.