Community Mental Health

Subject NURS90013 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures
Total Time Commitment:






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
Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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.
  1. Written assignment of 3000 words mid semester (70%) - Due week 6
  2. Community portfolio equivalent to 1500 words (30%) - Due end of semester
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:

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

  • problem-solving skills by involvement in classroom discussions and activities;
  • analytic skills by your critical appraisal of the literature and development of arguments within the set assignment;
  • ability to work as a team member by your involvement in discussions and activities with your fellow students;
  • writing skills by completion of the assessment tasks;
  • time management skills by planning your work and submitting information by the required deadlines.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care)

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