Employment & Education

Employment boosts self-confidence, adds meaning to our lives, and improves financial independence. Returning to work or beginning training that supports a return to work is both a milestone in recovery and a pathway to a better future. 

Coast’s key employment and employment-based training programs – Culinary Training Programs and Transitional Employment Program, including the Young Adult Program – focus on building clients’ skills and supporting them in transitioning into meaningful work. Through the Coast Social Enterprise Foundation, Coast also operates two social enterprises: Social Crust Cafe & Catering and Landscaping with Heart. Supporting these businesses is another way to help reduce stigma and support those recovering from mental illness. 

Culinary Training Program

Culinary Training Program

This is a 10-week culinary training program for young adults (19-30 years old). The program is designed to support young people living with mental illness who are experiencing barriers to employment.

Book your spot in the program today! 

The Culinary Training Program provides job-ready skills to support employment in restaurants, kitchens and cafes. Our collaborative approach helps students build and practise foundational employment skills while making new connections. 

Do you enjoy cooking and connecting with avid foodies who have an interest in combining tasty food with learning new cooking techniques? Check out our Community Cooking Club, which is held once a month. It’s also a great space to practice your new skills, bake, and share your food creations. 

What you’ll learn:

During the first five weeks of the Culinary Training Program, students will focus on foundational kitchen skills, including: kitchen prep skills, recipe comprehension, and how to navigate a commercial kitchen. This is followed by a five-week internal practicum.  Students will also receive access to our popular Brain Training and Essential Skills program. 

A number of our graduates have gone on to gain valuable work experiences through positions at Coast Mental Health’s social enterprise: Social Crust Cafe & Catering. 

Read more about one of our graduates. Marcus and his family: Learning to trust the recovery process.

The Program Schedule:

1)Begins April 15/ Registration deadline: March 26, 2024

2)Begins August 5 / Registration deadline: July 5, 2024

3)Begins October 21/ Registration deadline: September 21, 2024

 The Program operates Monday to Thursday. Friday is designated as a Wellness Day for students. Students are encouraged to engage with their support network or arrange appointments.

The schedule for Monday through Thursday is as follows:

  • Practical skill building in the kitchen occurs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a family meal scheduled for 1 p.m. Students are encouraged to taste the food they help prepare.
  • Brain Training and Essential Skills take place in the mornings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Location: 337 West Pender, Vancouver, B.C.

Complete the application form to get started.

How can this program meet your needs? Give us a call.

Chef Margaret can be reached during office hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Thursday.

Contact number: 604-838-3533 

Email inquiries can be sent to

Join our Community Cooking Club 

Welcome to our first Community Cooking Club. Each workshop focuses on the basics of cooking. Students learn how to use a knife safely, execute different recipes, and gain an introduction to working in a team. Come meet new people and enjoy food together.

We encourage prospective students to join too. This is a discovery workshop to help you explore the Culinary Training Program without a large commitment. 

The Community Cooking Club is hosted by Chef Margaret, the program manager for Coast’s Culinary Training Program.

Would you like to sign up for the next workshop?

Sign-up on EventBrite to book your session. Workshops are scheduled every last Friday of the month. 

Our next workshops are scheduled for:

Friday, January 19, 2024

Friday, February 23, 2024

Friday, April 26, 2024

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: 337 West Pender, Vancouver.

Questions?  (click on the text to locate our contact info.)

Social Crust Café & Catering

Social Crust Café & Catering is a social enterprise, operated through Coast Mental Health.  The café and catering services are located in Pacific Coast Apartment’s commercial space.

There are many ways you can support us:

Come grab coffee, breakfast, or lunch at the café. Order drop and go catering for your next gathering. We also have gift cards for purchase.  Your support directly impacts the lives of young adults living with mental health challenges.  Visit the Social Crust Cafe & Catering website to view our menu

Landscaping with Heart

The Landscaping with Heart social enterprise offers clients professional landscaping training and employment. The landscape team takes pride in their work and has excellent relationships with their customers who are social housing, private residents and community agency properties. Landscaping with Heart offers professional pruning, power raking, leaf raking and removal, seeding, weeding, edge trimming, fertilizing, mowing and lawn aeration, and spring and fall clean-up.

For more information and a free estimate, call 604.675.2348 or email


Transitional Employment Program (TEP) & Coast On-Site Solutions

The Clubhouse is home to Coast’s Transitional Employment Program and Coast On-Site Solutions street cleaning team. Once clients gain experience in one of the Clubhouse employment units, they may join this program, which gives them the opportunity to take on temporary, paid work contracts in entry-level positions and includes a work reference based on their contributions to the Clubhouse. It also allows individuals to try various jobs in a supportive environment without the stress of interviews, being trained by strangers or losing a job because of health-related absenteeism.

Clients re-enter the workforce with support from Clubhouse staff who are certified employment counselors. Once members have completed their TEP contracts, they may start another TEP placement or seek independent employment or training equipped with a recent work reference. Coast On-Site Solutions, a street cleaning team used by some 20 local businesses and organizations, is one of Coast’s most successful TEPs.


Coast Clubhouse Employment

The Clubhouse employment training program is integral to the Clubhouse’s smooth daily operations. When members join, they must choose to participate in one of three employment units that help them gain meaningful vocational skills and experience while becoming part of the community. At the same time, these units are a springboard to further employment and education opportunities within Coast and with Coast partners. The employment units include: 

  • The Environmental Unit, which teaches janitorial and gardening skills. Workers in this unit are responsible for keeping the Coast administration building clean and surrounding gardens beautiful.
  • The Food Service Unit, which teaches members how to plan, prepare and serve daily lunches while learning cooking, cleaning and cashier skills.
  • The Communications and Reception Units, which assist with Managing reception and member communications. Members learn computer skills and reception duties, and publish a newsletter.
    The Clubhouse is located at 293 East 11th Avenue  in Vancouver, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45  p.m. Individuals wishing to become members are welcome to drop in and speak to staff about membership and to learn more about our employment programs.


Coast Young Adult Program

Based out of the Coast Clubhouse, the Young Adult Program is designed for young adults (ages 19 to 32), and incorporates creating a supportive community based on learning life skills, exploring recreation and building a peer platform.

With guidance, members work towards their mental, physical and emotional well-being through support and recovery in mental illness. The program prepares participants in discovering appropriate and enjoyable future work/volunteer opportunities in their communities. They create their own participation goal plan based on their individual situation at time of intake. Intake and program is ongoing and flexible working with members where they are at; absences and change are expected throughout program.

Participants of this program are also members of the Coast Clubhouse and are encouraged to participate in regular Clubhouse activities including meals, volunteer work and our Transitional Employment Program (TEP).

For more information, referrals, or to schedule an intake, please contact the YA PROGRAM at Coast Mental Health Clubhouse. 

Contact Details:
Phone: 236-982-7921
Information sessions are available by request.

Click on the calendar below to find out what activities are happening with the Young Adult Program for June 2024.



Coast Clubhouse Learning Centre

In partnership with Vancouver Community College (VCC), Coast is proud to offer classes for individuals who wish to upgrade their english, mathematics, and basic computer skills. Grade 3 through 8 equivalency courses are taught by a VCC instructor. Sessions take place every semester and run twice a week in the afternoons. For more information, contact the Coast Clubhouse Learning Centre at 604.675.2363.


Education Assistance Fund

Coast’s Education Assistance Fund has been helping clients improve their career prospects for more than 20 years. Recipients have gone on to careers such as professional cook, medical lab assistant, tea sommelier, community mental health worker, building service worker, carpenter, licensed caregiver, custom broker, longshoreman, building manager, early childhood educator, security guard, and computer network instructor. Many clients also receive funding for first aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training, and FoodSafe certifications which can then lead to job opportunities.

 Applicants must have clear employment goals and demonstrate that the courses they want to take will improve their ability to find work. They must also demonstrate they have the support required to successfully complete their courses. The Education Assistance Fund is made possible by donations; the number of people who are assisted annually depends on the amount donated each year.


English for Life

This class runs two days a week for six weeks and is taught by a specialized consultant and co-facilitated by a Clubhouse employment counselor with a teaching background. English for Life is geared towards people who may not fit into regular ESL classes. It aims to build confidence in order to address social isolation and encourage participants to take steps to improve their quality of life.  Students learn general skills such as talking on the phone, asking directions or finding out banking information. Graduates have improved their confidence and English-speaking skills and several have gone on to paid employment and active volunteering. English for Life is offered based on available funding.

For more information, contact the Clubhouse at 604.675.2357.


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Your donation to Coast Mental Health Foundation provides essential housing, support, and employment services for people with mental illness so they can find their meaningful place in our community – a place to live, a place to connect, and a place to work.



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