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New degree will benefit mental health sectors

Open Polytechnic

Media Release: Immediate

Date: 26 January 2017

New Open Polytechnic degree will benefit mental health, addictions and disability sectors

Enrolments are now open for Open Polytechnic’s new Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing. Offered through a mix of online learning and face-to-face workshops, the degree prepares graduates to work in the mental health, addictions and disability sectors.

Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s specialist provider of online and distance education at tertiary level, has developed the degree after substantial engagement with stakeholders who are seeking to upskill their workforce to meet the changing needs of our most vulnerable citizens.

“The mental health, addictions and disability sectors in New Zealand are undergoing significant change”, says Dr Raymond Young, Head of School of Health and Social Sciences at Open Polytechnic. “Key to this transformation is a growing understanding of the complex interactions between mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and a person’s social context. The Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing has been co-designed with these sectors to ensure graduates have the skills and knowledge to forge new alliances with non-traditional community partners and work effectively across different contexts and health practice models.”

The degree focuses on innovative and future orientated health and wellbeing practices that improve the quality of life for the people who use mental health, addiction or disability support services, and for their family and whanau.

The Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing is NZQA accredited, and can be studied by distance part-time or full-time, allowing students to fit their studies around their existing work commitments. The qualification is suitable for those already working in the mental health, addictions and disability sectors who want to upskill, or for those who wish to enter the field.

Enrolments for Trimester 1 in the Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing are open until 14th February. Applicants can also choose to begin their studies in Trimester 2, which is open for enrolment until 25th June. For more information on Open Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing visit:

About Open Polytechnic

Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning, enrolling over 31,000 mainly part-time students per year. The majority of students are adult learners combining work and study, making the Open Polytechnic one of New Zealand’s major educators of people in the workforce.


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