Mental Health Theory 1

Subject NURS90015 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 42 hours on-campus lectures
Total Time Commitment:

In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 7 hours a week to this subject.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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 think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject provides the opportunity for students to enhance their specialty practice by gaining beginning theoretical knowledge relating to caring for mental health consumers.

Students will learn the theoretical principles underpinning the practice of: completing a psychiatric admission assessment, conducting mental status examination, understanding the classification and diagnosis of the major mental disorders across the lifespan, and conducting a psychiatric risk assessment. Students will become familiar with immediate interventions required to establish patient safety and a therapeutic environment; ongoing monitoring requirements; the underpinning biological basis of mental health and illness; and principles behind treatment, symptom management, and recovery from mental illness.

Interventions initiated by nurses at a beginning level of specialty practice will be described in terms of the research evidence underpinning practice.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • the ability to understand, apply and evaluate assessment data to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to mental health and wellness;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for understanding the delivery of care at the beginning level of specialty practice for mental health consumers;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply theoretical knowledge to beginning level practice for caring for mental health consumers;
  • an understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to the specialist area.
  1. Written assignment of 2000 words (40%) - Due week 6
  2. Closed book, 3 hour written examination (60%) - At the end of semester
Prescribed Texts:

Elder, R., Evans, K., & Nizette, D. (2005). Psychiatric and mental health nursing. Marrackville: NSW: Elsevier.

Stuart, G. & Laraia, M. (2005) Prinicples and practices of psychiatric nursing. (8th ed.). St Louis: Mosby.

Recommended Texts:

Bloch, S., & Singh, B.S. (Eds.). (2002). Foundations of clinical psychiatry (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

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

Gamble, C., & Brennan, G. (2000). Working with serious mental illness: A manual for clinical 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.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

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 written modes of communication;
  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Mental Health Theory)

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