Course Title: Work effectively in mental health settings

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: HWSS5533C

Course Title: Work effectively in mental health settings

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4264 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work

Course Contact : Xenia Girdler

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4660

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 45

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


Course Description

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required in the context and across the range of settings where mental health work occurs

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCMH401A Work effectively in mental health settings


Apply knowledge of the mental health sector

Performance Criteria:

2.1Apply basic knowledge of the current issues and different models of work which impact on the sector
2.2Apply basic knowledge of the historical and social context of the mental health sector
2.3Apply basic knowledge of the political and economic context of the mental health sector
2.4In collecting information about the mental health sector, consider and apply appropriately views of relevant key stakeholders and representatives


Demonstrate an understanding of the range of mental health service options

Performance Criteria:

4.1Identify the range of mental health service options
4.2Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the contribution of different service options to the recovery process
4.3Identify broad job requirements in different service options
4.4Demonstrate consideration of the role of other health and community service providers in supporting a consumer in the recovery process


Demonstrate commitment to the central philosophies of the mental health sector

Performance Criteria:

3.1Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the underpinning values and philosophy of the sector in all work undertaken
3.2Demonstrate commitment to access and equity principles in all work in the sector
3.3Ensure clients participate in all aspects of service planning and support activities
3.4Identify and take into account personal values and attitudes regarding mental health and illness when planning and implementing all work activities


Work within the context of mental health sector

Performance Criteria:

1.1Demonstrate consideration of the historical context of the sector in all work
1.2Demonstrate consideration of the changing social, political and economic context in all work
1.3Clarify and work within individual, team and multi-disciplinary work roles and structures, using collaborative approaches to work in the mental health sector, including contribution of consumer workers

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

In this course you will be provided with a range of opportunities to enhance and extend your skills, knowledge and attitude in the field of AOD work. Classes are run three days per week. A detailed timetable is also available on the RMIT website. Most classes run for three hours and are facilitated by recognised professionals in the community services sector and RMIT staff. A variety of learning styles are catered for and learning will take place via interactive experiential tasks combined with more didactic theory based exercises. All in-class learning will compliment the practical placement competent of this course where you are required to complete a total of two hundred (200) hours over the course of the year. There will also be two course-related field trips - Arradale psychiatric institution and Dax Collection gallery - scheduled in March. These trips are intended to provide you with important insight into the socio-political and historical context of the community services sector in Victoria.

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

Teaching Schedule

DayTime StartTime EndCourseDate
Monday1.30pm4.30pmProvide services to clients with complex needs19/3/2012, 26/3, 2/4, 16/4, 23/4, 30/4, 21/5
 Monday 6pm 9pm Work effectively in the AOD sector
 6/2/2012 - 5/3/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm Use targeted communication skills to build relationships
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 1.30pm 4.30pm work effectively in mental health settings
 13/3, 27/3,17/4,24/4, 1/5, 22/5 - 12/6
 Wednesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Wednesday 1.30pm
 4.30pm work within legal and ethical framework
 18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Thursday 9.30am 4.30pm Apply advanced first aid
 9/2, 16/2, 1/3, 8/3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

There are a variety of tools used to assess this course including two hundred (200) hours of practical placement providing you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate the skills knowledge and attitude required. Other assessment tasks may involve:

  • Short essays where you will be expected to write an answer to a question in detail, and to draw conclusions about issues.
  • Class presentation where you will be expected to conduct a brief session in class, to lead discussion and to provide information for other students.
  • Participation in class discussions and activities.
  • Reflective Journals you will be expected to provide a written record of your experiences during the year - in class and in practical placement.
  • Blackboard/On-line assessment you will participate in regular on-line forums, blogging and small assessment tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task One

In small groups you will be required to research and present your findings one two commonly held belief 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

The Mental Health Act

Complete this mental health act questionnaire– using the self help guide to the mental health act (link appears below and is also on blackboard) as your reference:

1.How is a mental illness defined under The Mental Health Act (The Act)

2.Give three examples of what is not a mental illness under The Act

3.Provide examples of two (2) ways you may be able to seek help and treatment if you have a mental illness

4.If you have been refused admission to a hospital and you feel this is unfair, what are you entitled to do

5.What does being an Informal Patient mean?

6.What is an Involuntary Treatment Order (ITO)?

7.What are the five (5) criteria for an Involuntary Treatment Order

8.What is a Community Treatment Order (CTO)

9.What is a residence condition and why might it be applied as part of a CTO

10.What can happen, under The Act, if you do not comply with your CTO

11.Provide three (3) principles that mental health services must abide by when providing services to people with mental illness – and explain why these are important to uphold.

12.What does informed consent mean?

13.What is the Mental Health Review Board?

14.Provide the details of three people who may be of assistance if you are unhappy about the mental health service and/or treatment you are receiving.

Assessment Task Three:

In this task you are required to explore and comment on how are people with mental health issues are currently supported in your community in two ways -

•Using the DHS website ( as your primary resource, explore and provide information on the mental health services operating in your region (clinical and non-clinical). In your answer, you need to explain (briefly) what these services do to support people – eg. what needs are being met and how.

•In conclusion, provide a critical analysis of the existing mental health service system in your area – does it adequately meet the needs of people with mental illness or are there gaps which you feel need to be filled.

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview