Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health Certificate Program

This eight-course Certificate Program addresses the mental health aspects of disability management and applies a holistic approach to foundational and current challenges related to evolving societal changes, the realities of a global pandemic, and workplace demands.

This Certificate Program has been developed specifically for those individuals whose responsibilities include disability management, as mental health conditions represent the greatest proportion of disability management claims. This Certificate is designed to guide professionals towards a perspective of informed “responding” versus well-intentioned “reacting”.

In order to receive a Certificate of Completion for this program, all courses in the program must be completed within a three-year time frame.

All courses have been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM) for continuing education credit (CEC) hours for the professional designations of Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC). Successful completion of each course provide 12 CEC hours.

If someone is interested in some of the topic areas within the program but is not interested in obtaining a Certificate of Completion, it is possible to enroll in only those courses in topic areas that are of interest.

Please note that some of these courses have been offered previously and if an individual wishes to pursue completion of the Certificate Program, it is possible to obtain an exemption for those courses they completed previously, but they must have been completed within the last three years and must provide an original transcript.

Please note that if any course in the program does not have sufficient registration for the scheduled date, it will be postponed to a later date.

How to Enroll

For details regarding enrollment, please click here: How to Enroll

 (If you have previously completed DMCCD – Mental Health Issues, Rehabilitation and RTW within the last three years, you can receive an Exemption for this course upon presentation of an original transcript.)

This course begins with an exploration of some of the foundations of mental health including the delineation of mental health versus mental illness. The concerning prevalence of mental health globally is examined. Course activities will then focus more specifically on the integral role of the individual responsible for disability management in guiding the recovering worker. A three-stage model of helping is introduced. Ethical considerations in executing a helping role are addressed. Consideration of the role of the mentally healthy workplace environment as an overarching concept will be integrated into the activities of the course and will continue to be addressed in other modules.


Communication skills that are key to effective practice are the focus of this course, and the development of self-awareness. Individuals responsible for disability management and workplace health programs must build and maintain relationships with managers, supervisors, labor representatives, workers with disabilities, treatment providers and others. The helping and problem-solving skills that are explored in this course are not designed to prepare participants to help workers deal with serious, long-term psychological issues. Rather, the course is intended to build awareness of how and when a disability management practitioner can provide direct assistance to a worker experiencing mental health challenges and provide referral to a specific resource.


In this module various ways of classifying mental health conditions are described. A range of approaches to retaining workers with mental health conditions are explored including the biopsychosocial approach. The International Classification of Functioning, and Disability and Health (ICF) is a classification system that can be used to examine work function from a range of perspectives.  In assessing work ability, the capacity to function in the workplace is conceptualized as an interplay between the worker, job tasks and skills requirements, and the environment. As well, the concept of resiliency is addressed. A focus on understanding the functional challenges of workers is intertwined with the challenges of worker disclosure, invisible disabilities, and the provision of appropriate supports. Conditions commonly seen in the work environment are highlighted, with a more intensive look at depression.


 (If you have previously completed DMCS 615 – Stress and Anxiety in the Workplace within the last three years, you can receive an Exemption for this course upon presentation of an original transcript.)

Information and tools required to support workers who are experiencing stress, chronic stress, anxiety and anxiety disorders are explored. The characteristics of stress, anxiety and anxiety disorders are outlined and their impact in the workplace is considered. Approaches to supporting workers will be examined along with factors that act as barriers and facilitators to remaining or returning to work. Employer obligations and workplace initiatives that can be put in place to mitigate stress and anxiety for all workers will be examined.


DMSC 770  Psychological injury: Prevention, Job Retention and RTW strategies

(If you have previously completed DMCS 514 – Psychological Injury: Prevention, Job Retention, and RTW Strategies within the last three years, you can receive an Exemption for this course upon presentation of an original transcript.)

The concept of psychological injury is addressed primarily from the perspective of the individual responsible for disability management who is involved in prevention, job retention, and return to work. The course focuses both on creating psychologically healthy workplaces, and the functional and activity implications of mental distress that arise either from a traumatic event or chronic stress. It also addresses the basis for determining legal responsibility for a mental injury as well as the challenges that arise when a psychological injury occurs comorbidly with another health condition. It covers the range of symptoms, evidence-based treatments, available interventions, and the strategies, supports and interventions that can be used to support job retention or return to work.


(If you have previously completed DMCS 512 – Substance Recreational Use, Misuse and Addictions: A Disability Management Perspective within the last three years, you can receive an Exemption for this course upon presentation of an original transcript.)

This course provides an overview of substance use and addiction and its effects on the employability of workers and the productivity of the workforce. It covers the concept of substance recreational use, substance misuse and substance addictions; incidence rates; types of addictions; the challenge of comorbidity; treatment approaches and impacts; and the strategies that can be used in terms of prevention, job retention and return to work. The course overviews, from the perspective of the individual responsible for disability management, the strategies, interventions and supports that can assist employers to establish workplace prevention and promotion programs and assist at-risk workers to access appropriate treatment and to remain at work or reintegrate into the workplace.


(If you have previously completed DMCS 715 – Strategies to Retain Workers Experiencing Mental Health Challenges within the last three years, you can receive an Exemption for this course upon presentation of an original transcript.)

This course provides a bigger picture overview of the workplace environment and context in which processes aimed at responding to mental health challenges are initiated. This course offers the opportunity to integrate a systematic approach to remaining and returning to work in the workplace as now more than ever, individuals responsible for disability management are looked to for leadership. Evidence-based tools enable professionals involved with disability management and return to work to act as a stable force in an environment of ‘new normal’. Approaches to identifying the issues within the participants’ workplaces, problem-solving with peers, and engaging in collaborative planning are included.


Prerequisite: To enroll in this course, one must have completed: DMCS 750, DMCS 755, DMCS 760, DMCS 765, DMCS 770, DMCS 775, and DMCS 780.

The Capstone Course provides participants with an opportunity to review the concepts presented in previous courses in this program and to identify the priorities for their own workplaces. While the need for leadership and innovation by workplace leaders in this area has always been integral to workplace wellness, the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, substance use escalation and marked societal increases in mental illness, underscore the responsibilities of professionals who are involved in disability management. The Capstone Course is designed to assist participants in building a foundation of skills and knowledge related to mental health within their organizations. It provides an opportunity to develop a strategic knowledge transfer plan appropriate to the needs of their organization. Practice in supporting and justifying research processes and viewpoints will also be inherent within the activities.



Disability Management from a HR Perspective Certificate Program

Human Resources Management Professionals play a role in ensuring that workers with the skills and work capacity to productively carry out the work of their organization are available. Many of the traditional human resources functions such as provision of benefits and insurance and recruitment and training involve aspects of disability management. Human resources practitioners may be directly or indirectly involved in return-to-work planning.

This eight-course certificate program is designed for human resources management practitioners with disability management responsibilities and focuses on knowledge and skills that they use when workers incur disabilities.

(Participants who have taken similar courses in the Disability Management Practitioner Program may use up to two of those modules towards their certificate.)

Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program

The courses in the Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program may be taken independently or as a complete 25-course program. These courses emphasize the skills and knowledge required to return to work individuals who have incurred injuries or illnesses, and provide an introduction to the competencies that are required to introduce and administer disability management programs.

Those students wishing to obtain the Certificate of Completion for the entire program and who have previous education in a particular course subject area may apply to obtain an exemption or prior learning assessment credit. For further details, please refer to the current Continuing Education Guide which can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this webpage.

Special and Advanced Courses

The Special and Advanced Courses cover a range of topics in the field of workplace health and safety, human resources and labour-management relations. They will be useful to those whose responsibilities include the return to work for workers who have incurred injuries and illnesses.