Course Title: Work with people with mental health issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2020

Course Code: OHTH5919C

Course Title: Work with people with mental health issues

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4363 - Certificate IV in Community Services

Course Contact: Melinda Brown

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4580

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 80

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 course describes the skills and knowledge required to establish relationships, clarify needs, and then work collaboratively with people who are living with mental health issues.

This course applies to support workers in contexts outside the mental health sector, but who come into contact with people with mental health issues. The services and support provided are not mental health specific.

This course will be delivered via distance learning in Semester 2, 2020.

This course is delivered as a cluster with:

CHCSOH001: Work with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues


1. Establish respectful relationships with people with mental health issues

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Communicate in a way that develops and maintains respect, hope, trust and self-direction

1.2 Work in a way that reflects and prioritises the person’s right to self define and direct their own recovery

1.3 Recognise and respect the person’s social, cultural and spiritual differences

1.4 Support the person to understand and exercise their rights

1.5 Maintain confidentiality and privacy of the person within organisation policy and protocols


2. Determine the needs of people with mental health issues

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Gather and interpret information about the person’s needs from the person and other agreed sources

2.2 Identify and discuss with the person services and strategies that support empowerment and recovery

2.3 Support the person to express their own identity and preferences and avoid imposing own values and attitudes

2.4 Identify duty of care and dignity of risk considerations in collaboration with the person





3. Work with people with mental health issues to meet aspirations and needs

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Provide support that facilitates progress towards the person’s goals in collaboration with the person and their care network

3.2 Work in ways that uphold the person’s rights

3.3 Adapt service delivery within organisation policies and procedures to meet the person’s specific needs and requirements

3.4 Document interactions and services according to organisation policy and procedures

3.5 Respond promptly and supportively to people experiencing distress or crisis

3.6 Work within the limits of own knowledge, abilities and work role and make referrals to other services as indicated by the person’s needs

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

  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures
  • practical demonstrations
  • Blog/Wiki or other online discussion and participation
  • analysis/critique of relevant reading material
  • workshops
  • design activities or projects
  • group projects
  • peer learning
  • guest lecture/presentation
  • peer teaching
  • group discussion
  • research
  • independent project based work
  • group activities/projects
  • ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback
  • visits to galleries and events
  • practical placement
  • simulated workplaces.

Note: All learning activities are delivered via remote learning in Semester 2, 2020.

Teaching Schedule

Week Topic Assessment due dates
Week 1

Introduction to mental health in Australia

  • The arena in Australia, different contexts
  • Mental health myths and facts
  • The relationship between mental health and homelessness
  • The homeless experience: case scenario
Week 2

Mental health sector values and principles

  • Understanding the values of the mental health sector and the principles underpinning service provision
  • Holistic approach and recovery oriented practice
  • Social inclusion
Week 3

Understanding mental health issues from the consumer perspective

  • Mental health illnesses and disorders
  • Mental health in adulthood and older people
  • Adolescent and childhood mental health
Week 4

Communicating effectively with clients

  • Developing and maintaining respect, hope, trust and self-direction
  • Working in a way that reflects and prioritises the person’s right to self-define and direct their own recovery
Week 5

Empowering clients

  • Empowering clients to develop strategies that support recovery
  • Promoting dignity of risk and supporting individual choice
  • Overcoming effects of prejudice and discrimination
Week 6

Demonstrating recovery oriented practice

  • working with clients in practice
  • working with clients at risk of homelessness and who experience mental health issues
Week 7

In class Assessment - Role Plays

  • Participating in assessment role plays
Assessment Task 1&2  Mental Health - Due 23rd August
Week 8

Assessing a client’s homelessness risk or situation

  • Types of assessment tools and understanding homelessness risk criteria
  • Gathering information and requesting information from other sources
  • Identifying barriers to accessing accommodation services
  • Reporting children at risk of homelessness
Week 9

Providing and adapting service to meet needs

  • Determining how current service provision need to be adapted
  • Adapting service provision to meet needs
  • Making referral to relevant providers
 Assessment Task 3 Mental Health
Week 10

Providing advice and assistance on housing options

  • Working with client to help identify solutions
  • Researching housing options
  • Providing appropriate and relevant information
Week 11

Advocating for and with clients

  • Helping the client to advocate for themselves with government agencies and service providers
  • Advocating within the community to address homelessness and tenancy issues
Week 12

Negotiating for services

  • Working with or negotiating on behalf of clients
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Helping to create access to support services
Week 13

Assessment workshop - Homelessness Role Plays

  • Finalising assessments
  • Review of topics
  • Reflection on learning and applied tasks


Assessment Task 1, 2 & 3 Role plays Homelessness
Week 14 

Catch up & Unit Review

Assessment 4 Quiz Homelessness

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment Task 1: Role-play 

Assessment Task 2: Role-play 

Assessment Task 3: Quiz

Assessment Tasks

Assessment task 1: Role-play assessment task that requires you to demonstrate your skills working with 2 different clients, Richard and Juliette, in a role-play that simulates the workplace conditions

Assessment task 2: Role-play assessment task that requires you to demonstrate your skills working with a client who has a mental health issue, and is in distress

Assessment task 3: Quiz to demonstrate you understand the values and principles of the mental health sector along with the different contexts of mental health work

Assessment Matrix

A marking rubric for each assessment t ask is located on Canvas. 

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:


Course Overview: Access Course Overview