Mental Health Practice

Mental Health Practice

Unit Description

Explore holistic approaches to mental health, including the recovery model and the Process Oriented approach to understanding altered states

This 2-credit point unit provides students with in-depth knowledge of common mental health presentations, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress and psychotic disorders, within social and individual contexts. Students will explore holistic approaches to mental health, including the recovery model and the Process Oriented approach to understanding altered states. This includes an understanding of a consciousness continuum, a meta-communicator and altered and extreme states.

Skills will be developed for assessment of mental health presentations and risks to safety, and in making referrals and working collaboratively with other mental health practitioners. Mental health practice knowledge and skills will be developed through case studies, practice sessions and exploring students’ own experience. Students will become familiar with the DSM-5 for the purpose of assessment, report writing, communicating with colleagues and understanding medical diagnosis and treatment.

A critique of the medical model and diagnosis will be presented, compared to the consumer advocacy movement, the recovery model and the holistic lens of Process Oriented Work.

Experiential methods of learning are used to familiarise students with their own experience of altered states of consciousness and to de-stigmatise and reduce fear often associated with these states.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 1, Semester 2

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Katrina Dickson

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Assess and plan interventions for common mental health presentations
  2. Analyse the assumptions underpinning the medical model of mental disorders and differentiate these from holistic approaches to mental health
  3. Apply the holistic process-oriented model to mental health, including the consciousness continuum, and competently demonstrate treatment planning skills
  4. Recognise contraindications and articulate referral processes and skills for collaborating with mental health practitioners and services

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their work and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Professionalism Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work and manage conflict skilfully
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Lifelong learning Our graduates will have the skills necessary to successfully manage their careers and continue their personal and professional development in rapidly changing environments across their career spans
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensives on-campus

Workshop Intensive 2: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm Saturday 5th – Friday 11th February 2022

6.5 hours of teaching and learning

Online delivery

1.5 hour Zoom discussion mid-semester

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 4.83 hours per week over the semester (77.25 hours in total).

  • On-campus workshop intensives: 6.5 hours in total
  • Zoom discussion: 1.5 hours
  • Study Buddy work: 5.25 hours
  • 64 personal study hours

Created: 27 Apr 2021, 4:11 p.m. • Updated: 16 Oct 2023, 2:06 p.m.