All Ages

NZ Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Support Work (Level 4)

Looking to enter the field of mental health and addiction support? Or, perhaps you already have some experience but are keen to get qualified? Our course will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to work as a mental health and addiction support worker.

The NZ Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Support Work (Level 4) programme will see you meet the requirements of the Ministry of Health’s (2008) "Let’s Get Real" framework at the essential level of performance. Learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes related to engaging with, and safely supporting youth and adults who are mental health, addiction or dementia service users.

We particularly encourage people with lived mental health experience who are going through the recovery journey to apply.

Join this programme now and make a difference in the lives of others!

Gain a level 4 qualification in 40 weeks:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) with strand in Mental Health and Addiction Support


  • Learners will preferably be currently working as a support worker / peer support worker in Mental Health or Alcohol and Addiction or have achieved a health-related qualification at level 2 or above: e.g. National Certificate in Health Disability and Aged Support (Foundation Skills) level 2, or NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing level 2.
  • Learners without a health-related qualification or employment in the sector will need to have some experience working with others in a health-related context.This may be experience with self, whānau or as a volunteer.
  • We welcome applications from Maori and Pasifika leaners as well as people with lived mental health and/or addiction experience including those with experience of supporting family/whanau going through recovery. 
  • Where none of the above apply, Learners may still enrol and be interviewed to consider their understanding of working in the mental health and addiction sectors and the requirements for completing the programme. 
  • We need to ensure that learners relate well to, and can work safely with, consumers / tangata whai ora within the mental health and addiction sector. Learners will be interviewed to assess suitability and readiness to work safely in the sector:

- Learners must declare any criminal convictions, current or pending charges in their application, and they will need to give permission for Future Skills  to complete police vet including disclosure under the Vulnerable Children’s Act. Read more about the Vulnerable Children’s Act.
- Learners who are in recovery and /or living with a mental illness and do not have  a Wellness and Support Plan in place from their clinician or health provider, will be required to complete one to keep themselves safe, ensure they maintain wellness during their studies and practicum and have access to appropriate support should they become unwell or relapse.

  • Prior criminal convictions are considered to ensure clients and their whanau are not put at risk.  Where there are recent convictions, acceptance into the programme may be dependent on receipt of a written undertaking from a work placement provider to accept the student on placement.  Applicants with any convictions relating to sexual abuse or abuse of children are automatically excluded and will not be accepted into this programme without written approval from the Academic Manager or Programme Manager, have a written undertaking to provide a work placement from a placement provider and have a Wellness and Support Plan in place.
  • Employees and volunteers working within the health and wellbeing sector are required to undergo initial and on-going checks to ensure they are a fit and proper person to provide support including regular supervision.
  • Learners may be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment prior to acceptance.  If English is your second language you may also be assessed on your English language speaking and listening skills.

Future Skills recognises the importance of recruiting and training of Maori, Pasifika and consumer / tangata whai ora to the mental health workforce and will continue to be proactive in training these groups. 

Upon completion of this programme, you will gain a Level 4 qualification – this will enable you to undertake the National Diploma in Mental Health (Mental Health Support Work) (Level 6), if you wish.

On completion of this programme, you can work as a mental health and addictions support worker under supervision. You will be working alongside clients on their recovery journey by assisting them with their daily tasks and goals in a safe environment.  

There are many places Support Workers gain employment, such as:

  • District Health Boards
  • Community Organisations
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Private Health Organisations

Starting salary for a support worker with this qualification is $40,000 - $55,000, depending on experience.

This course fees for this programme are $6095 incl. GST

Student loans and allowances are available for those who meet the StudyLink criteria.

Find out if you are eligible by calling StudyLink on Freephone 0800 88 99 00 or visit www.studylink.govt.nz.

This is a 40 week programme taught over 34 weeks – with 6 weeks available as study breaks.



       Course Name

Block 1


MH 4-1

Hauora, cultural identity and colonization


MH 4-2

Mental health and addiction - issues and interventions

2 weeks break


MH 4-3

Person-centred care


MH 4-4

Support work practice

2 weeks break

Block 2


MH 4-5

The role of the mental health and addiction support worker.


MH 4-6

Reflective and culturally safe practice.

2 weeks break


MH 4-7

Professional and ethical practice

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