Course Title: Context of Mental Health Nursing

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Context of Mental Health Nursing

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


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 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 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,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Sarah Mcfadyen

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.005

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 provides an historical perspective of mental health, treatment modalities and therapeutic approaches to mental health care. Content to be addressed includes comparing different theoretical models of mental illness to enhance understanding of treatment approaches. 

This course also focuses on the development of your abilities to recognise and differentiate between the psychiatric disorders within the context of the existing criteria for classifications and diagnosis of mental illness. Finally, this course addresses the concept of mental health and wellbeing of individuals.  Cultural beliefs and concepts of mental illness will be explored in terms of caring for consumers.  

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 4: The Mental Health Nurse collaboratively plans and provides ethically based care consistent with the mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and cultural needs of the individual.
  • PLO 5:  The Mental Health Nurse values the contributions of other agencies and stakeholders in the collaborative provision of holistic, evidence based care and in ensuring comprehensive service provision for people with mental health issues.
  • PLO 6:  The Mental Health Nurse actively pursues opportunities to reduce stigma and promotes social inclusion and community participation for all people with mental health issues.
  • 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.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Critically review historical and contemporary of mental health and mental illness  
  2. Explore the emergence of the recovery model within mental health nursing practice and consider its implications for future care.  
  3. Examine the classification of mental disorders using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition) 
  4. Explore the use of mental status examination in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.  
  5. Critically examine symptom presentation and psychopathology patterns associated with a range of mental disorders. 
  6. Evaluate the appropriate application of psycho-therapeutic interventions, psychopharmacological considerations and holistic management of consumers. 
  7. Critically analyse the ethico-legal requirements that guide treatment of people living with mental illness within health care settings.  

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. This literature may include journal articles, exercises based on readings, reflective exercises, clinical based activity and recovery focused care plans.

The assessment associated with this course will comprise formative and summative assessment and incorporate a variety of assessment modes. Your assessments will primarily take the form of written work requiring reflection and critical analysis. Your participation in classroom and on line activities will also form part of your summative grade.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include lecture notes, self-directed learning packages, and targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Course material will be delivered via Canvas LMS, Discussion Board interaction and Canvas Collaborate ultra sessions. 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: Reflective Learning Activities 

Weighting 10% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 

Assessment Task 2: Context of Mental Health Care (Written Essay)

Weighting 40%

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

Assessment Task 3: Critical Analysis of Care within Mental Health (Written Essay) 

Weighting 50% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5