Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker, Human Services

The end of a program, the beginning of my journey as a CMHAW

Even at the end of the program, I felt like I was running around the Stenberg campus to print that last essay or those nearly unending PowerPoint notes. I laugh because after all this time, I still strut down the halls hunting down my printed documents. Yup, I confess to occasionally sending them to a printer I believe exists in another realm, as my documents seemingly disappear into thin air. Thank you to those lovely students who hand me my printed copies that wound up in their stack and sorry to the campus for hitting ‘print’ copious amounts of times when I thought the printer was broken but it was actually just slow. My greatest apologies.

Despite the hustle and bustle of student life, I enjoyed my time as a Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker (CMHAW) student. It brings me great joy to look back on my experience from the other end. I enjoyed the presentations, assignments, and one-on-one mock counselling sessions. Yes, it came with challenges but I truly believe it is good to face conflict, so we can experience failure and consequently, the lessons leading to success. It also keeps us curious to look past the confines of the things separating us from our dreams and goals.


Reindeer covered in Christmas lights at Central City mall, where Stenberg College main campus is located.

When December rolled around and Christmas ornaments went up along with that glamourous reindeer by the Central City mall entrance, I was hit with the realization that the end of my Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker program was near. I was both happy and sad as I have become used to my routine and seeing my classmates who make me smile and belly laugh. Also, I was anxious about practicum and curious to see how it would unfold. I can say now that it unfolded wonderfully. In my practicum journey as a CMHAW I met some of the most compassionate people in this field: nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, janitors and clerks who make facilities for the homeless a place to receive proper care for recovery.

Soon enough, I was beginning to adjust to the practicum aspect of the program. I also befriended a nurse who was on her own practicum, and she made my time at the centre very positive. Her presence made me realize that we are all continuously learning and mistakes are necessary to gain competence and build confidence. She was definitely a saving grace and someone who reminded me to make the most out of this practicum experience.

Just like that

Glass of water. We need water to flourish on our life, as Francisco Gaspar advises, Stenberg’s CMHAW Program Graduate.

And just like that my practicum was over and this educational adventure came to a close. Was it worth it? Most definitely. I learned valuable lessons on my journey as a CMHAW student, met some of the nicest people I will ever meet, had instructors who opened my mind and heart, and learned with classmates who pushed me in directions that allowed me to flourish. It has been a privilege to see them flourish as well. If anything, it is a beautiful kind of magic. To those who have read these blogs, thank you. All the best to those at the end of their program and to those just starting. I would also like to remind you, yes you, to stay hydrated.

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