Certificate IV in Mental Health




The Certificate IV in Mental Health has been endorsed as a voluntary entry-level qualification by the community mental health sector. In provides an opportunity for participants to build upon their on-the-job experience and receive a nationally recognised qualification in mental health.

Underpinned by the philosophy of recovery oriented practice, this course aims to build understanding and practical skills in working with people with mental health problems.

Employers please download the Supervisors Handbook.

An updated version of this qualification will be released shortly. Please keep an eye on this page for changes.


Who is this for?

  • Support Workers
  • Team Leaders
  • Coordinators
  • Managers
  • Frontline Managers
  • Other staff who provide services to people with mental health issues as part of their day to day work


Entry Requirements

Applicants must be:

  • Currently working in a community mental health role where you work with people with mental health problems to address their needs, set goals and provide rehabilitation services on an ongoing basis.
  • Able to read and write English to a standard that allows them to read, understand and follow WHS instructions, read workplace procedures, and write case notes.

MHCC is able to provide student support by negotiation and can provide referral information. See Cert IV in Mental Health Participant Handbook for details.

Smart and Skilled Funding

Subsidised training available in Murray under Smart and Skilled. This training is subsidised by the NSW Government. Please contact MHCC Learning and Development on 9555 8388 ext 106 or email for further details. For up to date information about Smart and Skilled please see or call 1300 772 104. Training delivered by Mental Health Coordinating Council Inc. RTO Code: 91296.


What others have said about this course

"[This training] was a very good way to build a basis for working in the mental health field and from a community perspective."

"I had a great training experience - the trainers were excellent"

Click the following for more information

Face-to-face Workshops

This qualification requires attendance at 14 full-day face-to-face workshops.*

Online Component

This qualification has a WHS unit delivered online.


Full or partial recognition and credit transfer is available for this qualification.

*Subject to change. Training requirements will be confirmed upon enrolment.

Foundations in Mental Health Part 1 & 2 (4 days)

Topics covered include understanding mental distress, understanding recovery, barriers to recovery, connecting to the mental health system, documentation, understanding risk, national and state policies and principles, essential skills for recovery oriented workers, evidence-based approaches and self-care.

Assess Respond to Suicide (2 days)

Topics include the context of suicide in Australia, myths and facts around suicide, protective and risk factors, how to recognise and respond to cues, how to ask direct questions to gain information about a person's thoughts of suicide, wellness and recovery plans, impacts on self and others and self-care.

Foundations of AOD (2 days)

This course provides workers with the tools and understanding to assess consumer needs. It explores assessment of AOD use within the perspective of the mental health recovery framework, including feedback, planning and referral. Topics also include understanding readiness for change, evidence-based practice, interventions in the mental health and AOD context, introduction to motivational interviewing, CBT and relapse prevention.

Law and Ethics in Mental Health Work (1 day)

This subject covers the legal and organisational requirements in mental health work,consumer rights and the Australian legal system, key legislation in mental health, discrimination, abuse, privacy, confidentiality, duty of care and dignity of risk, ethical practice and decision making.

Working with Aboriginal People (1 day)

This course will establish a context for working with Aboriginal people and provide a range of practical tools and mapping techniques to assist mental health workers to provide appropriate services and support. It draws on key cultural concepts such as Country, relationships, collective lifestyle, ancestors, elders and spirituality, emotional and social wellbeing, and holistic strategies that acknowledge the importance of working within family and community networks.

Cultural Diversity (1 day)

This subject allows participants to define cultural diversity, and explore culture, attitudes and beliefs and the way their own culture impacts on these. Topics include effective strategies to eliminate discrimination and bias, effective cross-cultural communication & conflict resolution, good work practices for working with culturally diverse consumers and carers and co-workers.

WHS (Online)

This online unit covers the new legislation and how it applies to workers and their workplaces.

Risk: New Perspectives and Practices (1 day) - elective

This course assists participants to identify indicators of risk behaviours and their causes from a mental health recovery perspective, early intervention and prevention, duty of care vs dignity of risk, appropriate responses in risk situations and understanding the legal responsibilities of workers in responding to critical incidents.

Consumers and Carers (1 day) - elective

This subject explores the central importance of natural relationships in recovery, care networks and dignity of risk, and the support needs of the carer network

Medication Matters (1 day) - elective

Topics covered include attitudes and beliefs about medications, the historical place of medications, consumer perspectives, effects of mental health medications, mental health medications, supporting consumers with medications and supporting consumers to communicate effectively about medications.

Please note: this unit has a prerequisite if being completed as part of the Certificate IV in Mental Health

Mental Health and AOD (2 day) - elective

This topic includes assessing and addressing AOD use from the perspective of the mental health recovery, AOD screening tools, attitudes and beliefs about people who use AOD, historical, social, political and economic context of AOD use, models of AOD use, understanding intoxication, overdose and withdrawal, harm minimisation and the implications for consumers. This course is for workers who are currently working with consumers with AOD issues.

*Note these workshops can also be completed as individual professional development courses.

Units of Competency

This qualification consists of 15 units of competency (11 core units and 4 elective units)