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New social health and wellbeing qualifications launched

Open Polytechnic
Media Release: Immediate
Date: 22 June 2017

New social health and wellbeing qualifications launched at Open Polytechnic

A pathway for students wishing to study innovative new qualifications in social health and wellbeing is now on offer through Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s leading online and distance education provider.

Enrolments are open for Open Polytechnic’s new fee-free New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) (Support Work). The certificate is delivered online and is for those wishing to work in the disability, mental health and addiction sectors.

Enrolments are also open for Open Polytechnic’s New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Social and Community Services), which is also fee-free. Two strands are offered in this certificate, the Community Facilitation strand, and the Mental Health and Addiction strand.

At the start of the year Open Polytechnic launched its new Bachelor of Social Health and Wellbeing, which focuses oninnovative and future orientated health and wellbeing practices. Open Polytechnic worked closely with the disability, mental health and addiction sectors to design its new social health and wellbeing qualifications to ensure graduates are fully equipped to work in these rapidly transforming sectors.

Head of School of Health and Social Sciences Dr Raymond Young says Open Polytechnic’s new social health and wellbeing qualifications respond to the significant changes being experienced in the disability, mental health and addiction sectors in New Zealand.

“Key to the significant changes in these sectors is a growing understanding of the complex interactions between mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and a person’s social context. This shift in thinking and practice includes a focus on social and community orientated aspects of health that include advocacy, new models of person-centred care, and building community capacity and support,” Dr Young says.

“These qualifications have been co-designed with stakeholders to ensure graduates have the skills and knowledge to increase the choice and control that people and families have in their lives.”

Dr Young says the Open Polytechnic social health and wellbeing qualifications are a good option for New Zealand’s support workers, managers and leaders to co-create a system which positively influences the way health and disability support services are designed and delivered in New Zealand.

Graduate diplomas in disability sector leadership and mental health sector leadership are due to be launched in 2018.

These new qualifications will round-off the qualifications on offer through Open Polytechnic to equip graduates to work in the disability, mental health and addictions sectors. The programmes can be studied by distance part-time or full-time, allowing students to fit their studies around other commitments.

For more information on Open Polytechnic’s new Social Health and Wellbeing qualifications, visit:

About Open Polytechnic

Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning, enrolling over 30,000 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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