Course Title: Work effectively in mental health settings

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

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

Wayne Harrington


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:

2.1 Apply basic knowledge of the current issues and different models of work which impact on the sector
2.2 Apply basic knowledge of the historical and social context of the mental health sector
2.3 Apply basic knowledge of the political and economic context of the mental health sector
2.4 In 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:

4.1 Identify the range of mental health service options
4.2 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the contribution of different service options to the recovery process
4.3 Identify broad job requirements in different service options
4.4 Demonstrate 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:

3.1 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the underpinning values and philosophy of the sector in all work undertaken
3.2 Demonstrate commitment to access and equity principles in all work in the sector
3.3 Ensure clients participate in all aspects of service planning and support activities
3.4 Identify 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:

1.1 Demonstrate consideration of the historical context of the sector in all work
1.2 Demonstrate consideration of the changing social, political and economic context in all work
1.3 Clarify 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

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.

  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures
  • practical demonstrations
  • Blog/Wiki discussion and participation
  • analysis/critique of relevant reading material
  • seminar presentations
  • practical placement
  • lectures
  • online activities
  • group projects
  • peer learning
  • guest lecture
  • group discussion
  • workshops
  • online research
  • independent project based work
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • site visits (observations)
  • tutorials
  • other activities as decided by teaching staff

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:

  • Youth 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

Day Time Start Time End Content Date
Monday 1.30pm 4.30pm Youth Mental Health First Aid (session1 - 4) 11 Feb - 4 March
Monday 9.30 4.30 Field Trip Dax gallery 25 March
Monday 8.00 6.00pm Field Trip Aradale psychiatric hospital 8 April
Monday 9.30 4.30

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

  • Overview of the historical sociopolitical 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
15 April - 22 April
 Monday  9.30  4.30  Introduction to working with people who hear voices  29 April
 Monday  1.30  4.30  Introduction to the Mental State Exam  6 & 11 May
 Monday  1.30  4.30  Exploration of non-clinical mental health services  20 & 27 May
 Monday  1.30  4.30  Exploration of cinical mental health services  3 June
Monday 1.30 4.30 Group presentations of myths and stigma 17 June
Wednesday  9.30 12.30 Impacts of incarceration and addiction (session 1 & 2) 27 Feb & 6 March
Wednesday 9.30 12.30 Recovery orientated practice (session 1 and 2) April 17 & 24
Wednesday 9.30 12.30 Principals and practice of Coaching as a tool to work with people with complex support needs 1 May - 15 May
Wednesday 9.30 12.30 Collaborative Recovery 22 & 29 May
Wednesday 9.30 12.30 Introduction to developing an Individual Treatment and Recovery Plan 5 & 12 June
Wednesday 9.30 12.30 Presentations of Recovery Plans 19 June

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.

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

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 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, verbal 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 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 Task Four:

In this task you are required to submit a reflective journal entry based on your learnings post the field trip to Aradale, Dax Gallery and field reserach 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 Unit of Competency 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 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.
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