Mental Health and Substance Use

Subject PSYT90085 (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: 22
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours total time commitment

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Minimum of five years’ experience in either mental health and/or alcohol and other drug service delivery.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Academic Contact

James Olver

Administrative contact

Aris Cologon

Subject Overview:

The subject will provide an introduction to the area of substance abuse – definitions, classification systems, and epidemiology. It will cover the major substances of absue including alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens. The interface between the substance use disorder and mental health, and the issue of “dual diagnosis”, that is the co-occurrence of serious mental illness and substance use disorder, will be a major focus.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject seeks to develop the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills of students to ensure improved service access, and the delivery of high quality co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders responses. The subject will provide students with an overview of comorbid substance use and serious mental illness within the context of contemporary mental health and drug and alcohol service delivery and treatment. People with co-occurring conditions tend to have complex care needs that require a holistic, person-centred approach to care with increased focus on integrated service delivery. Epidemiology, aetiology, and risk factors, interactions, diagnosis, formulation and integrated treatment are considered in the assessment, treatment, and management of co-occurring conditions. Specifically, examples of complex cases in young adults are used to critique treatment issues relevant for this population, given the high prevalence of comorbidity of alcohol and other drug use and serious mental illness among this cohort of the population.

  • Learning journal of 2,000 words due end of semester (worth 25%)
  • Case based report of 1,000 words due Week 6 (worth 35%)
  • Essay of 2,000 words due end of semester (worth 40%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Outline international, national and local policy and legislative frameworks for co-occurring disorders.
  • Compare and contrast the existing co-occurring disorders models of treatment.
  • Define and analyse the complexities associated with co-occurring disorders.
  • Construct an integrated treatment plan that draws from the screening, assessment, diagnosis, formulation of an individual who has co-occurring disorders.
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Science
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Science
Master of Mental Health Science

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