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Advanced Concepts: Medications, Therapies, and Special Populations

This is 1 of 2 non-credit online courses covering adult mental health care in community settings. This course was developed primarily for nurse practitioners who want a deeper understanding of how to care for clients with mental health issues.

This course may also be of interest to anyone with some basic or formal health care education, including:

  • registered nurses
  • psychiatric nurses
  • social workers
  • psychologists
  • pharmacists

While Advanced Concepts, Medications, Therapies, and Special Populations builds on the foundational concepts course, the foundational concepts course is not a prerequisite. These courses are meant to be taken according to individual learning need, or sequentially.

See the foundational concepts course


Advanced Concepts: Medications, Therapies and Special Populations will help you develop your knowledge and approach to the treatment of common mental disorders. Topics include:

  • pharmacotherapeutics within the context of neurobiology
  • drug selection based on rational prescribing principles defined by the World Health Organization, and on current recommendations
  • switching, monitoring, and discontinuing psychoactive medications
  • evaluating medication efficacy and duration of treatment
  • dealing with common side effects

Common psychotherapies are reviewed in theory but are not taught in this course. Also note that this course does not include care of persons with mental health concerns in an acute care setting.

Structure and cost

This is an online course; learning is self-paced. You can start at any time. Topics are covered sequentially so learning builds continuously and integrates previous content.

The course is divided into units. Learning activities, video footage, audio recordings, and reflective exercises are offered at various intervals. Each unit has several short quizzes designed to reinforce critical knowledge. You may take the quizzes as many times as you wish.

You have 6 months to complete the course once you register. It is estimated that you will be able to complete the course in approximately 45 hours.

A certificate of completion is awarded when you have completed all the quizzes and learning activities.

When you have finished the course, you are invited to complete the course evaluation, which will inform future revisions.

Cost: $200 + 5% GST ($10) = $210 (non-refundable)*

*Refunds will only be granted upon request when the course has not been accessed. Refunds will not include the registration processing fees charged by Eventbright.

Course goals

Advanced Concepts: Medications, Therapies, and Special Populations builds on basic foundational knowledge of neurodevelopment, physiology, pharmacology, and some familiarity with the approach to care of the adult in the primary care or community setting.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • understand the approach to prescribing for mental disorders
  • safely manage and monitor selected classes of psychotherapeutic agents
  • describe and recommend evidence-based psychotherapies commonly used in the community setting
  • collaborate with other mental health professionals to optimize care

You will also have a have a deeper understanding of:

  • pregnancy-related mental disorders
  • attention deficit disorder in adults
  • mental health issues in settings like prisons or the military
  • identify mental health emergencies and respond appropriately

Course materials

All learning materials are accessed through the online course. These include a study guide and links to articles, references, and websites.

There are no required textbooks for this course.

Recommended, but not supplied, is:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Technical requirements

To successfully complete this course, you must have ready access to a computer with reliable Internet access.


To register, use the PD Modules Online Registration Form. Select Mental Health Modules: Part 2 from the Tickets page. You will need a valid credit card.

If you have questions, please email

Updated November 27, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (