Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Navi Mental Health Wayfinder

FALL 2023

8 week online course

Course Code: NUR-CPD-MH4-FALL2023

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Delivery Format: Online

OSAP Approved
Course Description
Course Outline
Financial Assistance
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  • Course Description

    This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions 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; 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.

    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:

    1. Conduct the appropriate advanced health assessment.
    2. Identify appropriate differential diagnoses for the presenting problem.
    3. Understand relevant pathophysiology.
    4. Recognize red flags and how to triage patients who may require a specialized and/or higher level of care.
    5. Identify appropriate diagnostic approach and tests.
    6. Select appropriate interventions and treatments and evaluation plan.
    7. Describe indications for necessary consultations and referral.
    8. Identify strategies for communication and effective management at transitions in care and for safe discharge.
    This certificate program was developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Community of Practice of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario.
  • Course Outline

    Week Topic Faculty
    Week 1 Overview of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders Shahnawaz Ali, NP
    Week 2

    Opioid Use Disorders

    ​Katie Dunham, NP-PHC, Nurse Educator, META:PHI
    Week 3

    Alcohol Use Disorders

    Shawn Dookie, BScN MPH NP-PHC
    Week 4 Cannabis Use Disorders Tara Leach PHC-NP MScN SANE-A TICT-CT
    Week 5 Stimulants and Benzodiazepine Use Shahnawaz Ali, NP
    Week 6 Feeding and Eating Disorders Margaret Loughran MHScN NP-PHC
    Week 7 Sleep-Wake Disorders Jennifer Madore NP-PHC, MScN
    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 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; and additional time for assignments.

    Teaching Methods

    Each week consists of a recorded lecture by expert clinician faculty. and who  will be available for questions through discussion board during their module. Each module focuses on 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, and 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.

  • Faculty

    Shahnawaz Ali NP
    Canadian Mental Health Association Peel, RAAM Clinic
    Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

    Shahnawaz has been working as a Nurse Practitioner in multiple mental health and addictions settings in his career. This includes working in several psychiatry clinics at Niagara Health and within the concurrent disorders program at St. Joseph’s healthcare Hamilton. He has embraced leadership opportunities including chairing the Nurse Practitioner advisory committee and clinical leadership for an interdisciplinary community team. Currently, he is working at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Peel in the RAAM (Rapid access addiction medicine) clinic. Shahnawaz has completed a Master’s degree in Nursing in the Adult Nurse Practitioner field at University of Toronto in 2015, receiving a Schulich Award for academic achievement. He is passionate about mental health and addictions care and an advocate for the Nurse Practitioner role.

    Shawn Dookie, BScN MPH NP-PHC
    Nurse Practitioner, St Joseph’s Care Group (Thunder Bay)
    Medical Director, Elevate NWO
    Lecturer, Lakehead University (PHCNP Program)

    Shawn is a primary health care nurse practitioner, currently practicing in at a residential withdrawal management centre and providing medical support in a residential treatment program. Shawn has years of experience working with individuals living with substance use disorders across the spectrum, including harm reduction and managed alcohol programs for individuals who are not ready to quit, RAAM clinic for those ready to make a change, and in residential and post-treatment settings where the focus is reintroduction and relapse prevention. Shawn is an advocate for coordinated/integrated community programs to support individuals living with concurrent disorders, infectious diseases and other medical complications related to substance use.

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

    Katie Dunham is a primary care nurse practitioner with a background in emergency nursing, primary-care, and rapid access addiction medicine.  She is currently working in withdrawal management in a community residential service in London, ON.  She also acts as the Nurse Educator for META:PHI, an Ontario-based organization that providers mentoring, education, and clinical tools to those working in the field of addictions.  Here she coordinates the NP listserv, and Nurse and NP monthly nurse call, and is project lead for the NP withdrawal management manual, a practical hands-on guide for withdrawal-related care.

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

    Tara Leach is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHC-NP) and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).  Tara has over 20 years experience in the nursing field and has worked in various organizations within North America As a Nurse Practitioner Tara founded the first NP lead clinic focused on those affected by human trafficking in Ontario.  This clinic is called H.E.A.L.T.H clinic  The specialization on substance use and mental health became later in Tara’s career driven by the common intersection of her clients who have experienced interpersonal violence.

    Jennifer Madore NP-PHC, MScN
    Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Gateway Recovery Centre

    Jen Madore is a primary health care nurse practitioner with over ten years of nursing experience working in forensics assessment, adolescent mental health, adult anxiety and mood disorders, and primary care. Jen has a keen interest in applying evidence-based quality standards into clinical practice, including the organization-wide implementation of Health Quality Ontario’s quality standards for major depressive disorder , alcohol use disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Jen’s knowledge and interest in sleep behaviour and disorders developed in clinical practice through treating individuals with co-morbid mental illness.

    Margaret Loughran MHScN NP-PHC
    Nurse Practitioner, Regional Eating Disorders Program
    Health Sciences North – Mental Health and Addictions Program

    Margaret completed her Master’s at Deakin University, Australia, and is a graduate of the COUPN Nurse Practitioner program, from Laurentian University, with certification in Primary Health Care. At Health Sciences North Regional Eating Disorders Program, she implemented the NP role and provides intensive outpatient medical care for all ages, as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Besides clinical work, Margaret provides education, consultation as well as contributes to program development. Margaret is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation and is actively completing certification as an Eating Disorder Specialist.

  • Registration Information


    Early Bird price (ends August 12, 2022) $829 + HST
    Regular price (starting August 13, 2022) $920 + HST
    U of T Nursing Alumni save 15% $780 + HST
    U of T Nursing Adjunct and Status Faculty save 15% $780 + HST
    NPAO Member save 15% $780 + HST

    Site Groups

    A group discount rate is available for site groups of three or more people. For details please contact

    Please Note

    • Refund PolicyTo withdraw from a course, send a written request to by August 12, 2022. 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 is limited.
    • Advanced registration is required. Register by September 2, 2022 to gain access to the course by the start date.
    • U of T Nursing Alumni discount is available to participants who hold a BScN, MN, PMNP Diploma, MScN or PhD from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.
    • U of T Nursing Faculty discount is available to participants who hold a current faculty position, a clinical instructor position, an adjunct appointment or a status appointment to the Lawrence S. 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. Please note, your name will be used to confirm that you are a member of the NPAO.
    • 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 AssistanceOSAP Approved

    OSAP Funding

    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.

    How to Apply for OSAP Funding

    This course is OSAP approved (more approved courses are listed below, and you can also verify on the Micro-credentials Portal). To apply for financial assistance through OSAP you will need to establish an OSAP account. You must apply before the course completion date. Visit

    Once you have registered for an eligible OSAP Micro-credential program, the University Registrar’s Office requires a Micro-Credential Program information form to be completed to process your OSAP application. Please fill out the top section of the form and send it to to get assistance in completing the form.

    Download the Micro-credential Program Information Form (PDF)

    For questions regarding the OSAP Micro-Credential funding, eligibility or application process, please contact UofT’s Enrolment Services directly at, or by phone at 416-978-2190 for assistance.

    Eligible courses offered by the Centre for Professional Development

    • Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning in Primary Health Care: A Review for Nurse Practitioners
    • Advanced Ostomy Care and Management
    • Complex Symptom Management in Palliative Care for Nurse Practitioners
    • Controlled Drugs and Substances: Essential Management and Prescribing Practices
    • End of Life Care Management for Nurse Practitioners
    • Integrating a Palliative Approach to Care and Essential Communication Skills for Nurse Practitioners
    • Leadership & Management in Health Care: Managing Business
    • Leadership & Management in Health Care: Managing People
    • Leadership & Management in Health Care: Managing Practice, Quality Care & Operational Performance
    • Leadership & Management in Health Care: Role, Competencies, and Context
    • Mental Health 1 for Nurse Practitioners
    • Mental Health 2 for Nurse Practitioners
    • Mental Health 3 for Nurse Practitioners
    • Mental Health 4 for Nurse Practitioners
    • Nursing Education for the Practice Setting: Assessment and Evaluation
    • Nursing Education for the Practice Setting: Design, Delivery and Facilitation
    • Nursing Education for the Practice Setting: Theoretical Perspectives and Context
    • Point-of-Care Clinical Leadership for Managing Quality Care & Operations in Long-Term Care
    • Point-of-Care Clinical Leadership for Working With & Leading Long-Term Care Teams
    • Point-of-Care Clinical Leadership in the Context of Long-Term Care
    • Pressure Injuries and Complex Surgical Wounds: An Advanced Practice Course
    • Review of Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
    • Role of the Nurse Practitioner and Care of the Hospitalized Adult 1
    • Role of the Nurse Practitioner and Care of the Hospitalized Adult 2
    • Role of the Nurse Practitioner and Care of the Hospitalized Adult 3
    • Role of the Nurse Practitioner and Care of the Hospitalized Adult 4
    • Wound Management for Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses: A Best Practice Boot Camp on Lower Extremity Ulcers
  • Contact Us

    Phone: (416) 978-1784
    Address: Centre for Professional Development
    Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
    University of Toronto
    155 College Street
    Suite 130
    Toronto, ON
    M5T 1P8

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