Course Title: Therapeutic Initiatives in Mental Health

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Therapeutic Initiatives in Mental Health

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Phil Maude

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7447

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.001

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To be eligible to undertake this course you must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as a Division One Registered Nurse.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to:

Course Description

This course will equip you with enhanced knowledge, skills and their application to undertake counselling with individuals and their families. Attention will be given to language and communication practice within the context of individual and group counselling situations. Particular attention will be given to triage, assessment of the individual using motivational interviewing and applying and evaluating cognitive behavioural strategies with complex client presentations.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes for GD158 Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing in the following way:

  • PLO 2: The Mental Health Nurse practices within a professional and ethical nursing framework.
  • PLO 3: The Mental Health Nurse develops a therapeutic relationship that is respectful of the individual’s choices, experiences and circumstances. This involves building on strengths, holding hope and enhancing resilience to promote recovery.
  • PLO 8: The Mental Health Nurse’s practice incorporates and reflects common law requirements, relevant statutes and the nursing profession’s code of conduct and ethics. The Mental Health Nurse integrates international, national, local and state policies and guidelines with professional Standards and competencies.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Critically examine the principles and processes underpinning effective engagement with clients and groups
  2. Apply advanced knowledge and skills in dealing effectively with difficult clients.
  3. Demonstrate principles of conflict management as appropriate to presented case studies.
  4. Consolidate knowledge and skills of counselling in helping clients challenge themselves.
  5. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of self as a therapeutic tool when in professional practice.
  6. Analyse the application of differing techniques available to the skilled clinician to achieve effective assessment and therapeutic tools.
  7. Identify the role of the mental health nurse as a therapist and synthesise skills in assessment and triage of clients with mental illness

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities you will undertake during this course include a mixture of lectures, class discussion and self-directed learning exercises including directed reading of academic literature. You will also be expected to participate in experiential exercises and discussion on role plays to provide a solid theoretical basis to help you to achieve professional practice.

The assessment associated with this course will comprise formative and summative elements and incorporate a variety of assessment modes. Your formative and summative assessment will take the form of a written piece of work requiring reflection and application on learning and practice undertaken during the course. Your participation in classroom or on line activities will also form part of your summative grade.

Teacher Directed Hours: 36

Independent Learning Hours: 84

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. All material to be chosen will be digitally available to you. Lecture material will be delivered via Lectopia, Discussion Board interaction and Blackboard Collaborate workshops. Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways, including simulated learning activities. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Critique of Evidence for MH Practice

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4 

Assessment Task 2: Reflective Learning Activates

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 5, 6 & 7

*Assessment 2 – Reflective learning activities will be conducted in class or on line if enrolled in distance education mode. Students can attend for some classes or work on line.

Assessment Task 3: Case Study with application of Assessment and Therapy

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 6 & 7