Foster hope, support recovery and build resilience. Focus on mental health and addiction issues. Learn about interventions and treatments, building relationships and developing wellbeing. Understand relevant legislation and the role of support workers. Designed for those working in the sector.

Flexible study options

The New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) uses blended learning methods for delivery that combines face to face, online delivery and work-integrated learning. Students attend the polytechnic three days per course, with the remaining hours completed in the work place. Workplace hours are a minimum of 6 hours per week and independent study is approximately nine hours per week.

More detail about this qualification

Whitireia offers the Mental Health and Addiction strand consisting of the following courses:

Trimester one
Whānaungatanga Building Relationships (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge to enable students to build effective professional relationships with people, families and whānau, and community networks in a health or social service setting. Students demonstrate an understanding of socio-cultural and historical factors that impact on health and/or social outcomes. Students reflect on their use of appropriate communication strategies that are respectful of diversity and that demonstrate working in partnership with others.

Safety and Practice in Mental Health and Addiction Support (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge that enables students to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of people, whānau and families engaged in a mental health and addiction setting. Students demonstrate an understanding of advocacy relevant to working with people, whānau and/or family accessing mental health addiction services. Students reflect on ethical and legal implications related to their role.

Trimester two
Leadership and Cultural Responsiveness (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge to enable students to provide culturally responsive care and advocate appropriately. Students demonstrate an understanding of their role in quality improvement and its impact on improving health and wellbeing. Students reflect on their own personal leadership and their ability to influence effective teamwork to work alongside and promote self-management and health literacy people, families and whānau.

Understanding Mental Health and Addiction (30 credits)

This course develops the skills and knowledge to enable students to demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a mental health and addiction support worker. Students will demonstrate an understanding of human development and health conditions relevant to mental health and addiction practice. Students will reflect on the tools and strategies used to foster hope, support recovery and build resilience.

How to apply

We recommend you apply online from the Whitireia website.

Before you start your application, you will need to have the following documentation available to upload when requested:

Give the referee report to a person who is willing to be your referee. Ask them to complete the form and either return to yourself (so you can upload with your application), or scan and email to within 10 days. Please note applications will not be processed the referee report has been received.

Alternatively, completed applications can be printed off and either:

Mailed to:

Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand

DX SX33459

Dropped into:

Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand

3 Wi Neera Drive, Porirua 

Entry requirements

NCEA Level 1 or equivalent; evidence of suitability based on referees and safety check, to meet relevant legislation.

International students

Proven equivalence for Domestic Entry Requirements plus IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with no band score lower than 5.5.**

Funding your study

Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

This programme is FREE under TTAF, covering; compulsory tuition fees, compulsory course costs and compulsory student services fees. Visit for more information about TTAF.

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