Mental Health and Addictions Education in the Emergency Department

Evidence-based guidance for including Trauma-Informed Care principles in practice and reducing stigma in health care.


Welcome to Mental Health and Addictions Education in the Emergency Department (ED). This program has been designed to support the learning needs of health care staff working in the ED. This program is to help support your growth and learning in caring for individuals who present to ED with psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders, including psychological distress and/or crisis. 

Program goals

The overall goal of this project is to increase ED staff confidence and competencies to address substance use and mental health concerns with patients and their families.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. Support ED staff culture and practices, to reduce barriers to access, care, and recovery for persons with lived and living experience of mental health problems, illnesses, and/or substance use caused by stigma.
  2. Enhance ED staff knowledge, to understand substance use, concurrent disorders, and resources to support the Client.
  3. Build ED staff competencies related to substance use and concurrent disorders, focusing on interventions, delivered in collaboration with Client, that emphasize safety, choice, and personal control with the aim of minimizing harm and re-traumatization.

How to complete the modules

To complete the education, move through each module listed on this page, beginning with the foundational modules (1-4). Following this, the modules can be completed in your preferred order. Read all of the sections under the headings, ensure you have completed all the activities, then book some time with your Clinical Nurse Educator to complete the simulation component.

The modules will be available as follows:

# Module Title Release Date Applicable to


Stigma June 26th, 2023 Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff
2 Communication June 26th, 2023 Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff
3 Trauma-Informed Care Principles June 26th, 2023 Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff
4 Self Care June 26th, 2023 Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff
5 Accessing Mental Health and Substance Use Resources July 25th, 2023 Clinical Staff
6 Mental Status Assessments Coming Soon Clinical Staff
7 Substance Use Disorders Coming Soon Clinical Staff
8 CIWA Coming Soon Clinical Staff
9 COWS Coming Soon Clinical Staff
10 Response Model for Crisis Intervention Coming Soon Clinical Staff
11 Queer and Trans Health Coming Soon Clinical Staff
12 Mental Health Diagnosis Coming Soon Clinical Staff
13 Suicide Risk Assessments Coming Soon Clinical Staff
14 Involuntary Psychiatry Treatment Act (IPTA) Coming Soon Clinical Staff
15 Harm Reduction Coming Soon Clinical Staff

Certification of Completion