Community Mental Health

Subject 514-846 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Total Time Commitment: Students are expected to devote approximately 6-10 hours per week to this subject.
Prerequisites: n/a
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Natisha Sands
Subject Overview: This subject provides theoretical foundations for best practice in community-based mental health nursing. The focus of the subject is on role and function of the psychiatric nurse in the delivery of recovery focused care and treatment in a range of community settings. The subject emphasises the development of knowledge and skills required to organise and implement care of the seriously mentally ill across the lifespan, and introduces students to a variety of community resources and services necessary for the provision of immediate crisis, short term and ongoing care of the seriously mentally ill. A focus on recovery oriented care planning, relapse prevention, case management, and psychosocial rehabilitation underpins the core content of the subject. Students will critically examine concepts and principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and various models of community-based mental health care, including partnerships with primary health. The subject emphasises recovery focused approaches to mental health care, where the consumer is at the centre of all aspects of treatment planning and implementation.
Assessment: Written assignment of 3000 words mid semester (70%). Community portfolio equivalent to 1500 words due end of semester (30%).
Prescribed Texts: Gamble, C., & Brennan, G. (2000). Working with serious mental illness: A manual for clinical practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
Recommended Texts:

Brooker, C., & Repper, J. (1999). Serious mental health problems in the community: Policy,Practice and Research. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Carson, V. (2000). Mental Health Nursing: The nurse-patient journey (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders

Consumer Focus Collaboration. (2001). The Evidence: Suppporting consumer partcipation in health. Canberra: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.

Human Services. (1996). Victoria's Mental Health Service Resources for Case Managers: Needs for service assessment and review A collaborative approach. Melbourne: Department of Human Services.

Powell, S. (2000). Nursing Case Management: A practical guide to success in managed care, Philadelphia: Lippincott

Repper, J. & Perkins. (2003). Social inclusion and recovery: A model for mental health practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Rogers, A. & Pilgrim, D. (2006). A sociology of mental health and illness. (3rd ed.). New York:Open University Press.

Townsend, M.C. (2006). Psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of care in evidence-based practice. Philadelphia: Davis.

Varcarolis, E.M. (2006). Manual of psychiatric nursing care plans. New York.Elsevier.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their proficiency in specialty nursing practice through:

  • integration of the theoretical content covered within the subject to develop new knowledge that supports safe practice as a beginning specialty nurse in community mental health;
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and skills learnt in the subject to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of community mental health;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for participating in the delivery of community-based mental health care at the beginning level of psychiatric nursing practice;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply knowledge learnt in the theoretical component of the subject to beginning level psychiatric nursing clinical practice;
  • an understanding of the changing knowledge base in community mental health nursing;
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to community mental health nursing.

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills of the Melbourne graduate and postgraduate coursework student:

  • a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written modes of communication;
  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
Links to further information:
Notes: Level: 4th Year

This subject has a multi-media tutorial component delivered via the University's on-line Learning Management System (LMS). Students must have access to appropriate computer facilities and the Internet.

The minimum computer hardware and software specifications for the subject are consistent with the University's guidelines on the expected standard of computer equipment (

No special computer skills are required. Students are required to have skills consistent with the University's Statement of "Basic Expectations of Student Computer Skills" : which includes basic knowledge of computer operating systems, word-processing skills, email use, and the internet. Specifically students need to be able to write, edit and save an essay on the computer and be competent in the use of standard WWW browsers and should be able to use information searching techniques.

Download PDF version.