Course Title: Work with people with mental health issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: OHTH5815C

Course Title: Work with people with mental health issues

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5330 - Diploma of Community Services Work

Course Contact : Zaina Nehme

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4552

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Iren Citler

Nominal Hours: 50

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 describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by workers in community services and health settings to work in a consumer directed and oriented way with consumers who are living with mental health issues. This course applies to working with consumers who are affected by mental illness in a range of community services work contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCMH411A Work with people with mental health issues


1. Apply knowledge of the mental health sector

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Demonstrate basic knowledge of mental health organisations and services
1.2 Reflect an understanding of different service approaches in mental health in work
1.3 Apply basic knowledge of common mental health issues and associated signs and symptoms
1.4 Apply basic knowledge of how to respond appropriately to changes in mental health and mental distress and to report appropriately
1.5 Clarify statutory requirements and duty of care responsibilities applying to own work, including role, responsibilities, accountabilities and potential consequences of own actions


2. Establish appropriate working relationships with consumers who are living with mental health issues

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Demonstrate and apply understanding of and commitment to a consumer's right to self define and direct their own recovery
2.2 Use strategies to ensure all contacts with consumers reflect appropriate expression of value systems and consideration of emotional impact of intervention
2.3 Use appropriate communication and relationship building processes to facilitate strong positive relationships
2.4 Discuss with the consumer possibilities and options for responding to their needs and determine and prioritise preferred action
2.5 Respond promptly and supportively to consumers in distress or crisis, respecting the consumer's wishes to the extent possible in the circumstances, and in accordance with organisation policies and procedures
2.6 Work in collaboration with consumer and their support network to routinely ensure that:
- the consumer's desires, preferences, experiences, knowledge and life skills directly influence the nature and type of services provided
- the consumer's needs and goals are met
- individual and cultural differences are addressed
- potential barriers and challenges to achieving positive outcomes are identified and appropriately resolved
- appropriate levels of consultation are implemented
- relevant information is collected
2.7 Consistently comply with statutory requirements and duty of care responsibilities


3. Clarify the needs and issues of consumers

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify and document consumer's current needs, wants and preferences
3.2 Discuss with the consumer their abilities to address their own needs and aspirations and identify support they require


4. Provide non-clinical services to meet consumer aspirations and needs

Performance Criteria:

4.1 In collaboration with the consumer, consider their experience, knowledge, skills and abilities and ensure these are taken into account in determining strategies to address the impact of their mental distress
4.2 In consultation with the consumer, facilitate the use of appropriate strategies, services and resources
4.3 Negotiate short and long term strategies and implement as appropriate
4.4 Provide services in a manner which supports and encourages independence and consumer self direction
4.5 Follow organisation policy and procedures particularly in relation to consumer and carer rights, best practice principles, record keeping, confidentiality and privacy
4.6 Review progress and effectiveness of strategies with consumer, supervisor and others as appropriate
4.7 Acknowledge limits of own knowledge, abilities and work role and make appropriate referral to other services as required in accordance with organisation policies
4.8 Seek emergency assistance as required


5. Apply self-care strategies

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Maintain a positive work life balance
5.2 Regularly seek and undertake supervision and peer support
5.3 Demonstrate awareness of strategies to address personal physical and emotional needs and apply as appropriate
5.4 Undertake debriefing and seek access to employee assistance programs as required

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities for this course will be supported and complemented by RMIT’s learning management tool "Blackboard". Other essential learning activities will take place during the workshops, and you will also be required to undertake independent studies. Some of the learning activities that you will undertake are:

  • Class discussions
  • Case study analysis
  • Role plays

Teaching Schedule

This course will be delivered over four full day session. The delivery schedule is below:

1Introduction to the Mental Health sector
  • Historical context
  • Current/future
  • MH organisations- different service approaches
  • Statutory requirements
  • Facts and myths surrounding mental health
2Working relationship
  • Mental Health issues and understanding of signs, symptoms and associated stigma
  • Relationship building
  • Explore recovery process for mental health
  • Collaborative practice
3Needs and issues of consumers and Non- clinical services
  • Consumers’ right to self-define and direct their own recovery
  • Signs and symptoms of common mental health issues
  • Principles of duty of care
  • Impact on mental health, stigma, discrimination, self -esteem, motivation, daily living, self-care and relationships
  • The Recovery oriented process
4Crisis response and Self- Care - Part 1
  • MSE
  • Use of language
  • The Referral process
  • The implications of verbal non-verbal communication
  • Rights and responsibilities of workers and consumers
  • Relevant policy
  • The importance of supervision
  • Report writing and documentation
  • Students’ Presentations

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No textbook required


Other Resources

You will be provided with the resources and tools for learning in this course. This resources will also be available through Blackboard. You will also have access to the resources in the library.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is based on a written report, group research and presentation.

Assessment Tasks

For this course you will be required to complete two assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 1 – MH Local Service: for this task you will conduct a research on a Mental Health organisation on your local area identifying the services it offers, their eligibility criteria and the approach it implements to support clients.

Assessment Task 2 – Mental Health Disorder: as part of a group, you will be required to research a mental health disorder (definition, signs, symptoms, treatment). The presentation of the researched information will occur on the final day of class.

Assessment Matrix

This course is delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, grades include:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment

Other Information

Assessment Tasks Submission Cover Sheet
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all workshops in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency. Information regarding student feedback can be found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

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

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Information regarding application for special consideration can be found at:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity Web site:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview