Children's Mental Health

Children's Mental Health Extension Certificate


Be proactive in learning about children’s mental health issues in this comprehensive program. In this program, you will identify common childhood mental health disorders, review supports for children and their families dealing with mental health issues, and examine social and institutional systems. Raising the awareness of both the short-term and long-term implications of mental health issues in children make this program both timely and relevant. 


"The Children’s Mental Health Extension Certificate is an excellent option for students hoping to gain a better understanding of this very serious issue impacting children and families.  It explores children’s mental health not only in relation to the individual, but also on a systems and community level. I think this is really important in order to understand the larger context, and one of the reasons I believe this is a very good program."

- Ben Gallivan, MA, R. Psych. (MRU Instructor, Children's Mental Health program)


  • Expand your understanding of the complex factors that affect children’s mental health including theories of risk factors and causes as well as legal and ethical issues
  • Explore children’s mental health issues within the larger context of family, community, and mental health and educational systems
  • Enhance your skills and knowledge as a health and human service professional or K - 12 educational professional
  • This program is eligible for transfer credit. For more information, contact Community and Health at or 403-440-6867. More information.
  • Complete the 9 required courses (135 hours)
  • Can be completed within 1 year up to a maximum of 3 years
  • All required materials are provided as part of the listed course fees. There are no additional costs for materials in this program.
  • The listed course hours indicate the estimated time to review the online learning units. Your actual time spent completing assignments may vary.
  • APA 6 formatting standards must be met when completing all assignments. APA Formatting 
Required Courses Fall
Framework for Healthy Development    
The Child's Social and Environmental Conditions    •  
Child and Youth Resiliency    
Mental Health I: Disorders Diagnosed in the Early Years    
Mental Health II: Psychosis, Mood, Anxiety and Increased Risk    
Mental Health III: Physiological Needs and Theories for Intervention    
Systems in Criminal Justice and Child Protective Services    
Systems in Mental Health and Education    
Systems Collaboration    
The above schedule is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester.
Fall schedule and registration available second Monday in June. Winter schedule and registration available second Monday in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available second Monday in March.

Framework for Healthy Development
Develop a framework for working with children, youth and families based on the ecological model and strength-based practice. Explore early and adolescent brain development and the factors which impact healthy development of the brain.

Subject code: XCMH 10001 15 Hours. Fee: $329  Not offered this semester.

The Child’s Social and Environmental Conditions
Examine factors that may impact children’s mental health, including neurological, genetic and developmental issues, various types of abuse, poverty, homelessness and neglect, as well as environmental causes.

Subject code: XCMH 10002 15 Hours. Fee: $329  
CRN 30565 Online March 9 - April 3

Child and Youth Resiliency
Explore the concept of resiliency and why it is so important in working with children. Examine risk and protective factors. Discover how the practitioner can build resiliency in children, families and communities to build children’s positive mental health.

 Subject code: XCMH 10003  15 Hours. Fee: $329  Not offered this semester.

Mental Health I: Disorders Diagnosed in the Early Years
Take a closer look at children experiencing Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders. Review practices for practitioners and special issues.

Subject code: XCMH 10004 15 Hours. Fee: $329  
CRN 30109 Online Jan. 13 - Feb. 7

Mental Health II: Psychosis, Mood, Anxiety and Increased Risk
While psychotic disorders in children are rare, understanding them is important to be able to discern when further inquiry and support are necessary. Explore psychotic disorders, including childhood-onset schizophrenia, and mood and anxiety disorders. Examine the issue of suicide and self harming behaviours.

Subject code: XCMH 10005 15 Hours. Fee: $329  Not offered this semester.

Mental Health III: Physiological Needs and Theories for Intervention
Examine key factors relating to sleep disorders, substance use, and eating disorders. Examine Motivational Interviewing and the Transtheoretical Model of Change as the common interventions when working with children and their families experiencing these conditions. Know when referrals to professionals in the community are required.

Subject code: XCMH 10006 15 Hours. Fee: $329  
CRN 30381 Online Feb. 10 - March 6

Systems in Criminal Justice and Child Protective Services
Explore children’s mental health from the perspective of larger legislation systems – the youth criminal justice and child and family protective systems. The primary focus is on examining the different practices and system policies.

Subject code: XCMH 10007 15 Hours. Fee: $329  
CRN 30185 Online April 6 - May 1

Systems in Mental Health and Education
Examine children’s mental health from the perspective of larger systems – the mental health and education systems and their associated best practices. The primary focus is on exploring the different types and levels of services as well as the practitioner’s role in building capacity in families. 

Subject code: XCMH 10008 15 Hours. Fee: $329  Not offered this semester.

Systems Collaboration
Be introduced to systems collaboration and successful collaborative relationships. Explore collaborative planning and integration of services for the benefit of children and youth with complex needs and their families. Consider interagency communications to facilitate sharing information while providing integrated services.

Subject code: XCMH 10009 15 Hours. Fee: $329  Not offered this semester.



Ben Gallivan, MA, R. Psych.
Ben Gallivan has an undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology. He is a Registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta and has worked for over 17 years in the addiction and mental health field. Aside from instructing in both the Addiction Studies and Children’s Mental Health Certificate Programs, Ben also works for Athabasca University, supervises an addiction and mental health treatment program for Alberta Health Services and runs a successful private practice. Over two decades Ben has presented at international conferences, taught both classroom and online courses on a variety of subjects, and mentored many emerging therapists. Ben is currently a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. In his free time Ben enjoys traveling and wandering through the hills with family and friends.



Emma Climie, PhD, R. Psych
Emma Climie is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Victoria and her Masters in Cognition and Cognitive Development at the University of Calgary.  She then completed her doctoral work in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary.  Her research interests focus on children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  More specifically, she takes a strengths-based perspective to working with these children and examines factors such as resilience, social-emotional well-being, knowledge of ADHD, and stigma. 



Ellen Murray, BA, BEd, MEd, PhD
Dr. Ellen Murray currently instructs online courses for MRU after teaching on campus as a full-time faculty member for over a decade. Ellen effectively supports and engages students in online learning via research-based course materials and innovative practical assignments. Her range of professional experiences include: frontline practice, applied research, educational publication, elementary curriculum design and classroom teaching, as well as post-secondary course development and instruction. In addition to online course delivery, Ellen collaborates with organizations in Canada and beyond on rights-related advocacy initiatives to benefit and improve the lives of young people.


Michael Watts Photo

Michael Watts, MSW, RSW
Michael Watts is a Medical Social Worker whom specializes in pediatric chronic illness and psychosocial issues related to chronic illness impact on the family. Michael has been employed at the Alberta Children's Hospital for 10 years.  Michael also has 13 years of experience teaching at Mount Royal University in the Faculty of Child and Youth Studies and Social Work, and the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension. Michael's areas of expertise include individual, family and group counselling, mental health, substance abuse, psychosocial issues related to Type 1 diabetes, and psychosocial issues related to pediatric weight and health.  


Lana Bentley, MSW, RSW
Lana Bentley has been teaching with Mount Royal University since 2009.  She has worked in various community and hospital based settings.  Her recent work includes working as the Clinical Supervisor at the Calgary Eating Disorders Program.  Subsequent to that she managed an inpatient psychiatric unit and psychiatric emergency department for children and adolescents.  She currently works in a leadership position in a local women's serving organization.  Lana's clinical interests include: eating disorders; personality disorders, group intervention, and family intervention.

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Contact us

For information about this program:
403.440.6867 or 1.888.392.3655
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB T3E 6K6

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