NURSING 7104 - Introduction to Mental Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

Mental health nursing uses the study of human behaviour as its science and the purposeful use of self as its art. This is an introduction to the practical body of knowledge that constitutes the art and science of mental health nursing. The course covers the current policy and legislative frameworks including recovery approach and consumer focussed care. It provides an introduction to the major groups of disorders and intervention approaches. Mental health across the lifespan and for indigenous and cross cultural population groups is also included. While the course addresses the theoretical aspects of mental health nursing, it maintains focus on the practical aspects of the specialty area of practice. What is the nature of the relationship between nurse and client; how do you make an assessment; what are effective interventions in the kind of everyday situations that mental health nurses find themselves?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 7104
    Course Introduction to Mental Health
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact A two day workshop and weekly online tutorials
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description Mental health nursing uses the study of human behaviour as its science and the purposeful use of self as its art. This is an introduction to the practical body of knowledge that constitutes the art and science of mental health nursing.
    The course covers the current policy and legislative frameworks including recovery approach and consumer focussed care. It provides an introduction to the major groups of disorders and intervention approaches. Mental health across the lifespan and for indigenous and cross cultural population groups is also included. While the course addresses the theoretical aspects of mental health nursing, it maintains focus on the practical aspects of the specialty area of practice. What is the nature of the relationship between nurse and client; how do you make an assessment; what are effective interventions in the kind of everyday situations that mental health nurses find themselves?
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Patricia Mead

    Course Coordinator: Pat Mead
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4877
    Location: Level 3, Eleanor Harrald Building, RAH

    School Office
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3595
    Locatio: Level 3, Eleanor Harrald Building, RAH
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate an understanding of mental health legislation and organisational policies and guidelines relevant to mental health nursing practice.
    2 Establish therapeutic relationships as the basis of mental health nursing assessment
    3 Recognise the features of a range of mental disorders and be able to classify them in accordance with recommended classification systems.
    4 Describe the range of interventions including psychosocial and pharmacological approaches in mental health care
    5 Reflect on practice and manages own response to the work environment
    6 Modifies practice in response to client characteristics including values, beliefs, age and cultural background
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Elder, R, Evans, K & Nizette, D 2013, Psychiatric and mental health nursing, 3rd edn, Mosby Elsevier.

    Edward K-L and Alderman C 2013 Psychopharmacology: practice and contexts Oxford University Press

    The readings for this course are available electronically via MyUni.
    Please note: it is your responsibility to organise printing should you prefer a hard copy of the reader.
    Recommended Resources
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
    Norman, I & Ryrie, I 2009, The art and science of mental health nursing. A textbook of principles and practice, 2nd ed Open University Press.

    Nizette, D, McAllister, M and Marks, P 2013 ‘Stories in Mental Health’ Elsevier NSW
    (This is a prescribed text for the course Art & Science of Mental Health)

    Meadows, G, Farhall, J, Fossey, E, Grigg, M, McDermott, F and Singh, B 2012, Mental health in Australia, collaborative community practice, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press
    (This is a prescribed text for the course Art & Science of Mental Health)

    Abnormal Psychology
    Butcher, JN, Mineka, S & Hooley, JM 2013, Abnormal psychology 15th Edition, Allyn and Baker.

    Durand, VM and Barlow, DH 2013 ‘Essentials of Abnormal Psychology’ Wadsworth Cengage Learning CA USA

    Bullock, S, Galbraith, A & Manias, E 2007, Fundamentals of pharmacology, 5th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall.

    Lehne, R 2010, Pharmacology for nursing care, 8th edn, Saunders Elsevier.

    Usher, K, Foster, K & Bullock, S 2009, Psychopharmacology for Health Professionals, Mosby Elsevier.
    Drug and Alcohol Addiction

    Baker, A & Velleman, R 2007, Clinical handbook of co-existing mental health and drug and alcohol problems, Routledge, London and New York.

    Allsop, S 2008, Drug use and mental health. Effective responses to co-occurring drug and mental health problems, IP Communications, Melbourne.

    Counselling (this is a Prescribed Text for the Course Counseling & Comorbidity)
    Geldard D and Geldard K. 2012 Basic Personal Counselling. A training manual for counsellors. 7th Edition. Pearson Education Australia

    Note: You are not required to buy recommended texts. However, they provide valuable supplementary reading on various aspects of the material covered within this course and you are encouraged to have a look at them.
    Online Learning
    Virtual Classroom
    The virtual classroom (VC) technology will be used for lectures and tutorial discussions on a fortnightly basis. Information on the VC will be provided within the Study Guide, you need to familiarise yourself with this technology to become reasonably comfortable with using it prior to the start of the semester.

    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework nursing program have access to the School of Nursing – Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site. This site will also feature information about the latest news and events at the School of Nursing.

    UNIFIED is your one-stop shop for email, calendar, MyUni and Access Adelaide. It even allows you to search the Library.
    UNIFIED is available to all active students; with a single login you can access your student systems and personal information through a central website. Login with your Student ID ("a1234567") and Password.

    For more information, including easy to follow instructions visit

    Library Resources
    Help for Nursing Students
    The University of Adelaide Library has a website to help nursing students use the library and its resource (

    Remote student library service
    The University of Adelaide Library provides a document delivery and loans service to non-metropolitan students who do not visit a University of Adelaide campus to attend classes (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is in the format of blended learning including self-directed learning, online tutorials and workshops. You will be provided with a series of topics in the course and you will address these topics through readings and activities. Interactive activities have been designed to test and consolidate your knowledge and to assist in developing skills to critique the literature reviewed.

    Online tutorials will be conducted via the Virtual Classroom. All students are expected to log on and participate in the discussion. The tutorial will address the week’s readings and activities.

    Each topic has been designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of the theory required to underpin the holistic client-centred care of a person with a mental health problem. It also aims to build on knowledge already acquired, encourage you to research and examine the literature in the area of mental health nursing and look for evidence based practice to further support and evaluate the care provided to the person with a mental health problem, their families and friends.
    Throughout this study guide you will encounter activities which will give a greater understanding of the particular topic and its application to mental health nursing. These activities will make up part of the assessment for Introduction to Mental Health.

    Employment in the mental health setting complements the theory based learning and provides the development of clinical practice with support of a mentor / facilitator.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Introduction to Mental Health is a 3 unit course within the Graduate Diploma/Master of Nursing Science (Mental Health Nursing). The ‘Virtual Classroom’ tutorial is one hour in length. It is expected that with this and your own private learning and completion of activities you will require 12 hours per week of study to successfully complete the course. Experiential learning in the clinical area will clearly contribute to your learning. It is recommended that you plan your time commitment to the course at the beginning of the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course content will include the following:
    Overview of mental health legislation
    Describing the scope of mental health practice with the support of professional practice standards
    Introduction to the major frameworks in mental health practice such as Recovery Model and consumer involvement.
    The basis of therapeutic relationship including working within professional boundaries and participation in clinical supervision.
    Comprehensive assessment in mental health practice
    Understanding diagnostic classification systems relevant to mental health
    Contemporary approaches to intervention including psychopharmacology
    Overview of mental health and mental illness across the lifespan
    Cross cultural perspectives and considerations in mental health practice.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students are required to be working a minimum of 0.6FTE in a mental health setting. The completion of Clinical Skills Assessment will be supported by workplace facilitators / preceptor / mentor. The completed clinical skills book will form part of the assessment – Non Graded Pass is required.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Online Quiz Formative N/A 1, 2
    Essay - Case Study Formative/Summative 40% 1-3, 5-6
    Portfolio Activities Formative/Summative 50% 2-6
    Clinical Skills Assessment Clinical Skills Workbook 10% 1, 5
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1
    Online Quiz
    An online Quiz will be provided on MyUni.
    This assessment is formative. It will have no marks assigned, however it will be marked and feedback will be provided to assist you in developing skills for future assessments.
    Length – N/A                           Weighting – Non Graded Pass                         Due - Week 3

    Assessment 2
    Essay - Case Study
    You will be required to provide a mental health assessment based on your clinical practice
    Length – 1200 words                           Weighting: 40%                                  Due – Week 5

    Assessment 3
    Portfolio activities
    Portfolio Activities are included in the Study Guide from Week 5 – Week 10. You are required to complete these activities each week and submit as assessment at the end of the Semester.
    Some activities will require completion through attendance at workshop and participation in online tutorials through the Semester.
    Length – 1500 words                           Weighting 50%                                Due Week 11

    Assessment 4
    Clinical Skills Assessment Workbook
    In collaboration with your facilitator / preceptor / mentor in your workplace, you will identify goals to guide and monitor the development of clinical practice.
    You will be required to submit the completed workbook which will include self assessment as well as assessment and comments from your workplace preceptor / facilitator / mentor.
    Length 1000 word equivalent               Weighting : 10%                              Due Week 13

    Assessments, unless otherwise stated in this study guide,
    are to be submitted electronically via Assignments in MyUni on the due date
    identified in this study guide. Instructions for assignment submission are
    available under Tutorials at
    Formatting and presentation of assignments must comply with School policy as
    indicated in the School Manual.

    An assessment submitted via MyUni must be submitted as an
    acceptable file type (i.e. .doc, .docx, .rtf .ppt, .pdf). It is also important
    to submit the file such as surnamestudentid (i.e. knight1234567). MyUni stamps
    all the other details against the filename once the assessment is submitted.
    The assignment should be submitted as one
    file, Information on avoiding plagiarism is available at

    Contact the MyUni helpdesk on +61 8 8313 3335 or email for
    assistance with assignment submission.

    Important note: copies of assignments
    should always be kept.


    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Students are reminded that plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty constitute a serious offence and can result in disciplinary procedures. Students are advised to read the policy Academic Honesty and Assessment Obligations for Coursework Students Policy & Coursework Students: Academic Dishonesty Procedures policy, available at The following definitions should be noted.

    Referencing: providing a full bibliographic reference to the source of the citation (in a style as determined by the School).
    Quotation: placing an excerpt from an original source into a paper using either quotation marks or indentation, with the source cited, using an approved referencing system in order to give credit to the original author.
    Paraphrasing: repeating a section of text using different words which retain the original meaning.
    Please note: changing just a few words does not constitute paraphrasing.

    Marking Guide - Portfolio
    Structure and Presentation 20%
    Structure (15%)
    • Each section of the portfolio is structured in a logical sequence so that the content flows (headings may be used to develop the structure of the portfolio).

    • Where appropriate introduces/outlines/situates the activity/discussion.

    • Where appropriate each section of the portfolio ends with a cogent, defendable conclusion that summarises the discussion within the body of the paper.

    Writing Style (5%)
    • The portfolio is written with clear sentence structure and the spelling and grammar are correct.
    Content 70%
    • Demonstrates an understanding of the activities/discussions chosen by identifying the main components/issues/focus of the topic area.

    • Provides evidence of support from contemporary literature to support argument/points of view.

    • Where appropriate for the activity demonstrates critical thought.

    • Has completed all activities/discussion points.
    Referencing 10%
    • The referencing style used throughout the summary paper is congruent with the School’s Student Handbook and Style Guide.

    • The reference list is accurate (i.e. no missing page numbers, volumes, correct title etc), complete (i.e. no references in the body of the paper are missing from the reference list) and consistent with the School’s Student Handbook and Style Guide.

    • The references cited are contemporary (i.e. less than 10 years old unless seminal papers).

    • Primary references are used predominantly (i.e. the original reference has been cited rather than a secondary source).

    • There is evidence in the summary paper that the student has searched widely for information related to the topic/issue.

    • The student has acknowledged all sources of information.

    • Direct quotations are only used to make crucial points or to support the discussion/argument.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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