Course Title: Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: OHTH5772C

Course Title: Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4328 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs

Course Contact : Xenia Girdler

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4660

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Wayne Harrington


Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Not applicable

Course Description

This course provides you with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the recovery of people affected by a mental illness in the context of the impact of mental illness on clients, their carer/s and families.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCMH402B Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes


1. Work within the context of different mental health diagnoses

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Apply basic knowledge of a range of mental health diagnoses
1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the process used to determine a diagnosis
1.3 Identify a range of different service responses to a range of mental health diagnoses


2. Apply knowledge of the impact of mental illness on people's lives

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Work within the context of the client's experiences
2.2 Work within the framework of self perception and self-esteem issues of the person with a mental illness or mental health diagnosis
2.3 Respond to the person in a manner that reflects appreciation of their functional skills and social and financial well being
2.4 Recognise importance of employment/occupation/ vocation and potential impact of mental health diagnosis on that aspect of the person's life
2.5 Empathise with sense of loss and associated adjustments experienced by person with mental health diagnosis
2.6 Demonstrate understanding of a range of coping mechanisms used by the person


3. Apply an understanding of the impact of social determinants on health

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify a range of social barriers that impact on the life of the person with mental health issues
3.2 Identify the effect of and possible strategies to respond to the barriers that impact on the person
3.3 Identify others that can assist with the response to barriers that impact on the person
3.4 Identify strategies to engage support with the response to barriers that impact on the person


4. Work with families, carer/s friends and other networks to support people with mental illness

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Work with consideration and understanding of the impact of a client's mental health diagnosis on families, carer/s, friends and other social networks
4.2 Work with awareness of the everyday effects of the interaction of coping mechanisms used by person experiencing mental illness on their family, carer/s and other social networks
4.3 Work with understanding of the roles of consumer workers, carers and associated networks and their potential to positively impact the life of the person with mental health issues

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate their competency in each of the elements listed above.

Details of Learning Activities

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complimented by RMIT’s e-learning tool "Blackboard".

An important part of the learning in this course is to understand the complex and interconnected nature of addiction and drug use. Therefore learning activities have been designed to be holistic and take into account the many and varied aspects of alcohol and other drug use and the relationship it has with mental health. Therefore, learning in this course will complement and enhance your learning in other courses within the Certificate IV Alcohol and Other Drug Use over the year.

There are also activities which take place outside the nominated class time. In first semester you will go on a number of field trips:

  • Aradale Psychiatric Hospital in Ararat. This field trip will provide you with an understanding of the socio-political history of Victoria’s mental health service system and insight into the days of the large institutions.
  • Dax Gallery - an art gallery which houses one of the largest displays of art work created by people with mental illness (including addiction). This exhibition provides you with further understanding of our recent treatment of people experiencing a range of complex care issues.
  • The Neighbourhood Justice Centre - a specialist magistrates court for people experiencing a range of complex social and health issues.

In addition to these field trips, you will also undertake:

  • Standard Mental Health First Aid program. This fourteen (14) hour program will be delivered in the first three weeks of semester one. Completing the Mental Health First Aid program will provide you with basic skills and knowledge to assist people experiencing a range of mental health issues - including addiction.
  • Two day Motivational Interviewing workshop
  • Two day workshop exploring the impact of addiction and incarceration on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island population
  • Workshop exploring working with people who hear voices
  • Workshop on undertaking a mental state exam with a client

Teaching Schedule

1Standard Mental Health First Aid (session1 - 4)
2 & 3Field Trip Dax gallery
4Field Trip Aradale psychiatric hospital
5 & 6

Orientation to the mental health sector (session 1 - 3)

  • Overview of the historical socio-political context of the mental health service system in Victoria
  • Introduction to mental health service provision in Victoria
  • exploration of the impact of stigma
  • Introduction to Recovery orientated practice
 7 & 8 Introduction to working with people who hear voices
9 Introduction to the Mental State Exam
10 Exploration of non-clinical mental health services
11 Exploration of clinical mental health services
12Group presentations of myths and stigma
13Impacts of incarceration and addiction (session 1 & 2)
14Recovery orientated practice (session 1 and 2)
15Principals and practice of Coaching as a tool to work with people with complex support needs
16Collaborative Recovery
17Introduction to developing an Individual Treatment and Recovery Plan
18Presentations of Recovery Plans

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources. This course CHCMH402B -Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes will be delivered and assessed alongside the course CHCMH403A - Establish and maintain communication and relationships to support the recovery process.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this
course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software.
The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 
If you need additional support, visit RMIT’s Learning Lab, either in person or online:

Overview of Assessment

Students will be required to successfully complete a Mental Health First Aid Action Plan on a case study given out in class.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this course are graded.

Feedback throughout the course may be written for written assessments, verbal for verbal assessments or a combination of both.

To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not graded).

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Task One

In small groups you will be required to research and present your findings on two commonly held beliefs about Mental illness and those who experience it. These misconceptions will be assigned to you. You will be given time in-class to undertake some preliminary work however it is expected you will also work collaboratively outside of class to finalise your presentation.

This assessment task covers essential knowledge and skills within the Units of competency including:

  • Facts and myths about mental illness and psychiatric disability
  • Impact of stigma
  • Importance of social inclusion

Assessment Task Two

In pairs you will be observed roll playing a coaching session - and be assessed on your use of language and techniques consistent  with coaching practice.

Assessment Task Three

You will develop and present a Individual treatment and recovery plan - this plan must be submitted by the end of semester one and will also be critiqued by your peers in the final mental health practice (Recovery) session.

Assessment Task Four

In this task you are required to submit a reflective journal entry based on your learning’s post the field trip to Aradale, Dax Gallery and field research into our current mental health system. In this journal we ask you to consider what was gained by the closing of our large institutions and what, perhaps, has been lost.

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant course is available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information

The major learning experience involves a combination of in-class exercises complimented by practical placement. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive feedback verbally for verbal presentations and written for written presentations by teachers on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency.
Student feedback at RMIT :;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy :;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see: 

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:

  1. Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each day late.
  2. No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date without special consideration.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  • You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  • You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  • You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website: The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing 

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.

Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y 

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview