Mental Health 4 for Nurse Practitioners

This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addiction in the context of care in the following areas: substance-related and addictive disorders including the use of stimulants and benzodiazepines, opioids, alcohol, cannabis, feeding and eating disorders, and sleep/wake disorders. The course content addresses care issues across the lifespan.

An interactive and case-based approach is utilized to address mental health and addictions issues with an emphasis on critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. Clinical experts discuss advanced health assessment, differential diagnoses for the presenting problem, relevant pathophysiology, red flags and how to triage patients who may need a higher level of care, the relevant diagnostic approach and tests, selection of appropriate interventions and treatments, indications for consultation and referral, and strategies for communication and effective management in transitions of care.

This is the fourth course in a 4-course Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions for Nurse Practitioners. The certificate builds upon the foundational knowledge acquired through entry-to-practice education and the acquisition of entry-to-practice competencies. The certificate will equip Nurse Practitioners with the knowledge and tools to confidently assess and develop a treatment plan for clients with mental health and/or addictions issues across the lifespan.


Currently registered as a Nurse Practitioner or a student in a nurse practitioner program.


Nurse Practitioners who wish to further develop their competency, knowledge, skill and clinical acumen in the care of clients with mental health and addictions issues. Course participants must hold current registration as a Nurse Practitioner in their jurisdiction or be a student in a nurse practitioner program.

This certificate program was developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Community of Practice of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of the 4-course certificate program, learners will be able to:

A. Articulate the role and competencies of a Nurse Practitioner working with clients with mental health and addictions issues.

  1. Discuss key role and scope issues relevant to the NP role in mental health and addictions services.
  2. Demonstrate confidence to practice independently and collaboratively.

B. State the clinical care requirements and management for a wide variety of mental health and addictions issues in individuals across the lifespan, including the ability to:

  • Conduct the appropriate advanced health assessment.
  • Identify appropriate differential diagnoses for the presenting problem.
  • Understand relevant pathophysiology.
  • Recognize red flags and how to triage patients who may require a specialized and/or higher level of care.
  • Identify appropriate diagnostic approach and tests.
  • Select appropriate interventions and treatments and evaluation plan.
  • Describe indications for necessary consultations and referral.
  • Identify strategies for communication and effective management at transitions in care and for safe discharge.

Registration Now Open

Registration closes October 7th, 2024

Course Outline


Week 1

Sleep-Wake Disorders

Jennifer Madore NP-PHC, MScN

Week 2

Feeding and Eating Disorders

Margaret Loughran MHScN NP-PHC

Week 3

Overview of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Shahnawaz Ali, NP

Week 4

Alcohol Use Disorders

Shawn Dookie, BScN MPH NP-PHC

Week 5

Cannabis Use Disorders


Week 6

Stimulants and Benzodiazepine Use

Shahnawaz Ali, NP

Week 7

Opioid Use Disorders

Katie Dunham, NP-PHC, Nurse Educator, META:PHI

Week 8

Final Examination

Course Format

Delivery Mode

This online course is offered through the University of Toronto Learning Portal – QUERCUS. Each week, participants will be expected to view e-learning modules, review required readings and resources and actively engage with learning activities that will focus on the application of learning. Learning activities and assignments/examinations will provide opportunity to apply learnings and receive feedback. It is anticipated that participants can expect to allocate approximately 5 or more hours a week for completion of a module as well as additional time for assignments.

Teaching Methods

Each week consists of a recorded lecture by expert clinician faculty who will be available for questions through the discussion board during their module. Each module focuses on a discussion of the appropriate health assessment, relevant differential diagnoses, pathophysiology, red flags, use of diagnostic tests and screening tools, selection of appropriate interventions and treatments, indications for referral and/or consultation, and considerations in transitions in care/discharge. Additional clinical resources are provided such as clinical practice guidelines, relevant practice standards and clinical tools for practice.

Mental Health 1 for Nurse Practitioners

This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: acute/crisis/emergent care considerations including the provision of virtual care, […]

Mental Health 2 for Nurse Practitioners

This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic […]

Mental Health 3 for Nurse Practitioners

This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: trauma, personality disorders with a focus on borderline personality, […]


Shahnawaz Ali

Nurse Practitioner, Canadian Mental Health Association Peel, RAAM Clinic
Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

Shawn Dookie

Nurse Practitioner, St Joseph’s Care Group (Thunder Bay)
Medical Director, Elevate NWO
Lecturer, Lakehead University (PHCNP Program)

Katie Dunham

Nurse Educator, META:PHI

Tara Leach

Nurse Practitioner
Substance Use Concurrent Disorder Unit (SUCD)
The Royal Ottawa Mental Health

Jennifer Madore

Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Gateway Recovery Centre

Margaret Loughram

Nurse Practitioner, Regional Eating Disorders Program
Health Sciences North – Mental Health and Addictions Program

Registration Information


$870 + HST
$970 + HST
$825 + HST
$825 + HST
$825 + HST

Site Groups

A group discount rate of 15% is available for site groups of three or more people. To book please contact

Please Note

  • Refund Policy – To withdraw from a course, send a written request to by September 7, 2024. No refunds will be given after this date. All refunds are subject to an administrative fee of $100 + tax. Alternatively, a colleague may attend in your place. Please send your substitution request at least 3 days prior to the course to
  • Registration Deadline by October 7, 2024.
  • *U of T Nursing Alumni discount is available to participants who hold a BScN, MN, PMNP Diploma, MScN or PhD from the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.
  • **U of T Nursing Faculty discount is available to participants who hold a current (at time of registration) faculty position, an adjunct appointment or a status appointment to the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto
  • ***NPAO (Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario) members may register at the NPAO rate which is 15% off the regular rate. NOTE: All submissions will be checked and verified for current NPAO membership status using the registrant’s name.
  • Applicable taxes (13% HST) will be added to the registration fees.
  • Course Cancellation Policy – The Centre for Professional Development reserves the right to cancel courses due to circumstances. The decision to cancel a course is normally made 15 days prior to the course. If you are enrolled in a course which is subsequently cancelled, you may apply your fee to another course, or receive a full refund. The Centre is not responsible for any travel or other expenses incurred by you. 

Financial Assistance

OSAP for Micro-credentials

The Ontario Student Assistance Program now offers funding for micro-credentials (short training programs offered by post-secondary institutions), including a number of courses offered by the Centre for Professional Development. This funding initiative is part of Ontario’s micro-credentials strategy, helping learners access more opportunities to train or upskill for in-demand jobs through loans and grants.

OSAP for Micro-credentials is available for eligible students taking a ministry-approved micro-credential that is less than 12 weeks. 

To be eligible for OSAP for Micro-credentials, a student must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a protected person; and, be a resident of Ontario.  

Ontario residency requirements for the purposes of OSAP for Micro-credentials are consistent with Full-Time OSAP residency criteria. 

Students may be ineligible for the following reasons:

  • they do not meet the Ontario residency requirement 
  • their family income threshold is above the income threshold to qualify for funding (i.e., $80,000 for a family of one person; $100,000 for a family of two or more people) 
  • they are restricted from OSAP for Micro-credentials (e.g., have defaulted on a previous OSAP loan, they have a failed credit check on file, they have a bursary overpayment)

Step 1: Confirm that the University of Toronto micro-credential course you want to take is OSAP-approved.

Step 2: Log in to your OSAP account. If this is your first time applying, you will need to create an OSAP account. 

Step 3: From the options listed, select and complete the OSAP for Micro-credentials Application. You can only receive OSAP for Micro-credentials funding for one course at a time.

Step 4: Once you have completed your application, you will receive communication through your OSAP account, which will guide you in completing a supplementary form on the Service Portal. 

The form requires the following information: 

  • Full Name 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Name of Program 
  • Program Study Period – start and end dates 

This must be completed by the end of the study period. 

Step 5: Your division will confirm the information that you have submitted is correct and confirm your registration status. 

Step 6: The University Registrar’s Office will update the OSAP for Micro-credentials Application with the information provided by both you and your division and process your confirmation of enrolment.

Step 7: If you have not already done so, enrol and pay for the micro-credential course you would like to take.

Note: you must be registered in an OSAP approved micro-credential program before OSAP funding will be issued/released. 

Contact Us

Centre for Professional Development
Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
University of Toronto
155 College Street, Suite 130
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5T 1P8