Mental Health Practice

Subject PSYT90091 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Year Long, Hawthorn - Taught online/distance.
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

This is an online subject.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 60 hours of online learning
Total Time Commitment:

240 hours


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in the Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice (PR-MHPRAC). This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior completion or current enrolment in the Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD) Program whist undertaking the course.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


To make an enquiry or request more information please contact:

Subject Overview:

Mental Health Practice is an on-line program comprising 13 teaching blocks that address 45 topics across 4 main themes.

  1. Context of mental health practice
  2. Fundamentals of mental health practice
  3. Evidence-based practice and partnership
  4. Diversity in mental health practice

Each of the thirteen teaching blocks is delivered over a 2 week period via an on-line learning module. Students are allocated to a peer group with up to 4 other students from the main health professions that form the bulk of the mental health workforce (reflecting their day-to-day experience of working within a multidisciplinary team). Within each teaching block, students are presented with on-line practice-based materials which include consumer, carer and teamwork scenarios which they work on within their on-line peer group. Their understanding, integration and application of this material within their practice is built upon through: this on-line group work; and, the facilitator’s feedback and incremental presentation of further tasks which build on the original material, at scheduled intervals during the 2 week block.

The thirteen teaching blocks are as follows:

  1. Ethics in mental health care
  2. Explaining mental health legislation to consumers and carers
  3. Prevention and early intervention
  4. Recovery based mental health practice
  5. Consumers and carers: rights, roles and advocacy
  6. Generic skills for practice: Putting it all together
  7. From formulation to intervention plan
  8. Interventions: matching to need and explaining interventions to consumers
  9. Networks of care
  10. Incorporating lived experience and evaluating personal practice
  11. Culturally sensitive practice
  12. Co-occurring conditions in practice
  13. Age sensitive mental health practice

The teaching blocks are grouped into the 4 main themes (as described previously). Thus, the first 4 teaching blocks listed above constitute the first block and subsequent blocks each contain 3 teaching blocks (listed sequentially).

The learning will be assessed by the Professional Development Portfolio which integrates the learning from all the teaching blocks and the student’s reflective journal and constitutes 60% of the overall assessment. An assessment constituting 10% of the overall mark is completed after each theme (comprising 4 or 3 teaching blocks) is undertaken by the student and submitted to the facilitator for feedback during the course. These four assessments (comprising a total of 40% of the overall mark) are then submitted at the end of the course for marking along with the Portfolio.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject outlines the knowledge, skills and attitudes required when individual members of the five main mental health professions work in a mental health service (nursing, social work, occupational therapy and other allied health fields, psychology and psychiatry).

The subject aims to complement each of the professional groups’ discipline-specific practice standards or competencies and address the shared knowledge and skills required when working in a multidisciplinary mental health environment through critical analysis and practical application.

  1. Recognise the human rights of people with mental health problems, identify relevant mental health legislation and relate these to practice with consumers and carers.
  2. Identify ethical practice in everyday practice and reflect on how ethical breaches are addressed.
  3. Enhance the framework for mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention through critical analysis of strategies and the broader context.
  4. Examine and reflect on consumer and carer rights and identities and identify ways to improve the opportunities for consumer and carer participation, representation and advocacy in mental health services.
  5. Develop and broaden a definition of recovery which reflects an understanding of the concept as both a personal process and a paradigm for mental health care.
  6. Identify and reflect on consumers’, family members’ and/or carers’ unique physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions and apply these to practice.
  7. Develop and broaden the framework for understanding mental health across the lifespan and relate this to age-sensitive recovery processes.
  8. Analyse the connection between lived experience, knowledge, and evidence-based practice and apply to mental health practice.
  9. Identify the impact of factors (biological, psychological, social) on the consumer’s experience of mental illness and relate these to interventions to minimise negative and maximise positive outcomes in collaboration with consumers.
  10. Identify principles and practices of collaborative care planning and apply these to practice.
  11. Engage in reflective practice and self-directed professional development and reflect these learnings in practice.

These subject objectives are consistent with the National Practice Standards for Mental Health Services.


1. 4 x Written Assessments - including reflective summary, short answer questions, case-based article and reports (equivalent to 1000 words each) - 40%

  • First Assessment due at the end of Teaching Block 4
  • Second Assessment due at the end of Teaching Block 7
  • Third Assessment due at the end of Teaching Block 10
  • Forth Assessment due at the end of Teaching Block 13

2. Professional Development Portfolio (6000 words) - 60%

Prescribed Texts:

Class materials will be provided.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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


Graduates of the Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice will have:

  • a body of knowledge that consolidates their understanding of recent developments in evidence-informed and collaborative mental health practice, and how they relate to professional practice.
  • knowledge of the wider social and cultural context applicable to mental health practice.


Graduates of the Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice will have:

  • cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theories and skills; and to reflect critically on the theory and professional practice of mental health.
  • cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories within mental health to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  • cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex concepts at an abstract level

Application of knowledge and skills

Graduates of the Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice will demonstrate the application of knowledge & skills:

  • with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice

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