Emergency Mental Health - Framework for practice (CMHC 711)

Course NameEmergency Mental Health: Framework for Practice
Course DescriptionThis online course introduces health care professionals to emergency mental health (EMH) practice. It is designed to facilitate participant understanding of the role of emergency mental health practitioners, explore legal and ethical issues related to EMH, consider models of care and how they can guide EMH practice, gain competence in completing mental health assessments, and triage calls. Psychiatric interviewing and critical thinking are the two core skills this course focuses on.
Subject CodeCMHC 711
Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • gain an understanding of the role of mental health professionals in the specialty of emergency mental health (EMH);
  • examine crisis theory and models of practice related to emergency mental health;
  • relate professional standards and ethics to EMH practice and service delivery;
  • gain an understanding of relevant legislation and how the legislation impacts EMH practice;
  • describe factors that contribute to triaging emergency mental health calls;
  • identify key elements to creating a safe working environment in EMH;
  • describe the elements of a mental health assessment and demonstrate an ability to complete a full mental health assessment;
  • develop advanced psychiatric interviewing skills; and
  • apply critical thinking skills for effective management of mental health emergencies.



Textbook not included in tuition fee. Contact the Ƶ Bookstore for prices and ordering information.


Proof of professional designation in health or human services profession.


Completion of English 12 with a minimum grade of “C” or proof of equivalent as outlined in detail here: General Admission Information. 

Course Content

Topics covered include:

  • Emergency Mental Health scope of practice and services;
  • Crisis theory and models of practice;
  • Ethical issues;
  • Legislation;
  • Referral, triaging and safety;
  • Mental status assessment; and
  • Risk assessment.
Learning Resources

Hillard, R., & Zitek, B. (most recent edition). Emergency psychiatry. San Francisco, CA: McGraw-Hill.

Shea, S.C. (most recent edition). Psychiatric interviewing: The art of understanding, a practical guide for psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses and other mental health professionals (most recent edition). Philadelphia: Saunders.

Available through the .

Instruction Method

Online course in Blackboard.

Due to the nature of an online delivery, the student will be expected be proficient in computer skills including email, adding attachments, navigating the internet etc. Resources for getting started with Blackboard are available online to help get the student comfortable in the Blackboard environment.

  • Psychiatric Interviewing assignments
  • Critical Thinking assignments
  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of EMH assignment
  • 2 Quizzes
GradingMinimum grade to pass is C (60%).
Completion Timeframe6 months (170 hours) from course start date
Registration and Course Start

Registration is easy; simply contact the Program Assistant at cehsadmin@douglascollege.ca, for the program application form. Payment of the tuition fee must accompany registration. 


Instructions on how to access your course materials will be emailed to you by the Program Assistant within five (5) business days prior to your chosen course start date.


CRN provided by department

Registration dates and deadlines