Level 4

Specialise in mental health and addiction support

Study health and wellbeing

Make a real difference to the health and well-being of the people in your community and gain an understanding of how an empowered mind promotes recovery and resilience with a career in this essential industry.

Programme highlights

Make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the people in your community and get a career in an essential industry.

This health qualification empowers you to learn the skills and knowledge you will need to help people access mental health services.

This entry-level qualification is the best place to start if you want to develop a career supporting the health and wellbeing of others.

Specialising as a mental health and addiction support worker, this qualification allows you to work alongside people, family and whanau. Learn how to support independence of our people, family and whānau by using relevant teaching tools and strategies to foster hope, support recovery and build resilience.

This qualification includes a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.

Other programme information:

  • VCA checking: When you apply for this programme you will need to undergo police vetting and VCA checking. This means you must provide two character references that attest to your suitability to work in a mental health or community support work setting

If you are Māori or Pasifika, find out how you could be supported on your MIT journey with Te Ara Oranga.

Please note: Although the Government vaccine mandate for health and disability workers ended on 11:59pm 26 September 2022, some employers can still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Placement is a compulsory component of MIT’s healthcare programmes. To go on placement in this sector, students will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to MIT. Students that hold a medical exemption that prevents them from being vaccinated are permitted to work in the healthcare sector, but will have limited placement opportunities in that sector. Students that are not vaccinated, or that do not wish to share their vaccination status with MIT, may not be able to go on placement in the healthcare sector. If you hold a medical exemption, or if you are unable or unwilling to provide proof of vaccination to MIT, your placement opportunities will accordingly be limited and MIT cannot guarantee availability with placement providers.  If this applies to you, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your options.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


  • Be 17 years of age or older.

English language entry requirements

Applicants must have sufficient competence in the English language to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English. Any applicant whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of their English language competency NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules.


Employees and volunteers working in the health and wellbeing sectors are required to undergo initial and ongoing checks to ensure they are a fit and proper person to provide support.
To establish a fit and proper person, checks will be required and, depending on the context they work in, may include:
- Police checks
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Two references
- Checks against Children's Act 2014
- Checks against any other relevant legislation.


Applicants must attend  an  interview  to  determine  their  suitability  for  the  programme.  During  the interview the applicant will be assessed against the requirements of the School’s policy for students accessing  placements  in  the  health  context  in  terms  of  their  suitability  for  placement   in the programme.  At interview the suitability of students to work with vulnerable populations will also be addressed to establish the students’ suitability. Vulnerable Children’s Act will also be addressed during the interview process.

Special & discretionary admission

Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

Within the first three weeks of commencing your programme, you will need to show evidence of your immunisation status (which will incur a cost) in order to enable you to go out to your practicum placement.

You will need to complete five compulsory courses and four elective courses from your strand (120 credits):

Compulsory courses

721.405 Effective communication (15 credits)

This course will allow you to develop communication styles which respect socio-cultural identity and self-knowledge about other cultural identities.

721.406 Cultural diversity (10 credits)

You will demonstrate an understanding of cultural safety in acknowledging the role of Māori as Tangata Whenua.

721.407 NZ healthcare system (15 credits)

You will demonstrate an understanding of the NZ Healthcare System and relevant legislation.

721.408 Professional practice in the role as a support worker (15 credits)

This course will allow you to demonstrate professionalism in the health and wellbeing setting.

721.409 Safety and quality within the healthcare setting (15 credits)

You will contribute to gaining an understanding of safety and quality within a healthcare setting.

Mental health and addiction support strand

724.409 Recovery in the context of mental health support work (10 credits)

This course will allow you to gain awareness and understanding of the principles and barriers to recovery in the mental health and addiction setting.

725.406 Mental health and wellness (10 credits)

You will gain an understanding of mental health and wellness in the New Zealand context.

725.407 The role of the mental health support worker (15 credits)

You will gain awareness and understanding of the mental health and addiction work setting and role of own self in a practice setting.

725.408 Experiencing the mental health setting (15 credits)

This course will allow you to gain a practical experience of working in the mental health and addiction work setting.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Further training or study

The qualification may lead to further study at Level 5, or bachelor's degrees in related health and wellbeing subject areas. It may also lead into leadership and management roles.

Career opportunities

Mental health and addiction support worker, and peer support worker. For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.

Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.

Information is correct as at 25 March 2024. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.