A self-guided, online professional development certificate for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health.

YouthREX is excited to offer the Brain Story Certification to the Ontario youth sector in partnership with the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative and its parent organization, the Palix Foundation.

Brain Story is based on the understanding that lifelong health is determined not just by our genes but by experiences that we have at sensitive periods of development that change our brain in ways that increase or decrease our risk for later physical and mental illness.   

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative developed the Brain Story Certification to make Brain Story science available to professionals and the public. It is designed for those who want to learn more about the science of brain development.


  • The certificate provides detailed scientific information across 19 modules for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. 
  • The course is challenging, but is designed to be interesting to people with or without a science background. Each module includes video lectures from the expert faculty, some reading, and completion of a quiz.

Brain Story Certification Course faculty include more than 30 of North America’s and Europe’s leading experts in neurobiological development and its connection to physical and mental health.


The certificate is structured in a way that is flexible and easy to complete. All course content is available to you at once after registration so that you can work through the modules at your own pace.


  • If you want to earn a certificate, you will need to pass multiple-choice questions at the end of each module and answer 100% of the questions correctly. You have numerous attempts to answer the multiple-choice questions until you pass them.
  • If you are not interested in earning a certification, you may choose to answer some or all of the evaluation, or may skip the questions and focus just on the learning content.

Thanks to the generous support of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the entire course has been translated to French.

How Brains are Built: Introducing the Brain Story

After taking this certificate, you will be able to:

  • Explain how brains develop and how social interactions shape development
  • Describe the effects of stress on brain development, and the impact of adverse childhood experiences on physical and mental health outcomes, including addiction
  • Identify evidence-based approaches for children in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of childhood adversity
  • Describe the basic neurobiology of both substance and process addiction
  • Identify evidence-based approaches for adults in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of addiction
  • Identify ways to build the foundations of resilience in children and families

Successful completion of the 19 modules of the certificate, including the evaluation questions at the end of each module, will earn you a certificate in Brain Story Science!

The Brain Story Certification Course is eligible for accreditation through a number of professional bodies. Please check directly with your professional organization.

Just a note that when you register for the Brain Story Certification Course through YouthREX, you agree that your enrolment and progress through the certificate will be available to YouthREX.

We'd love to hear from you!


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