Course Title: Dual Diagnosis and Community Work

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Dual Diagnosis and Community Work

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.

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


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
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: Dr Lin Zhao

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7079

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.010

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will examine dual diagnosis within the context of mental health care.  Dual Diagnosis will explore policies and concepts related to developing strategies and interventions of working with consumers with co-existing mental health and drug and alcohol problems.  The course will also determine the complex needs often associated with providing care to consumers with a dual diagnosis as well as the health, social and economic impacts of substance use.   

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 1: The Mental Health Nurse acknowledges diversity in culture, values and belief systems and ensures his/her  practice is non-discriminatory, and promotes dignity and  self-determination
  • 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.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Examine the aetiology of substance use disorders across the lifespan of an individual.  
  2. Critically evaluate the impact of substance use on individuals and their families.  
  3. Examine overdose and withdrawal impacts from alcohol and other drugs  
  4. Justify the harm reduction paradigm and its importance in mental health nursing 
  5. Critically examine the services and support networks available to individuals and families with dual diagnosis.   

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities you will undertake during this course include a mixture of online recorded lectures, lectorial discussion and self-directed learning exercises including directed reading of academic literature.

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 online activities will also form part of your summative grade.

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. Recorded lecture material will be provided. Discussion Board interaction and Canvas Collaborate ultra sessions will support your learning RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

There are no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Minor assignment

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3

Assessment Task 2: Reflective Learning Activities

Weighting 10% 

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

Assessment Task 3: Critical analysis assignment

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 4 & 5