Course Outline
Mental Health
HLTH 1037 Study Period 5 - 2019
Internal - Mt Gambier



Welcome to Mental Health [HLTH 1037].

Mental illness is increasingly becoming a common experience in the community and as a consequence more effort is being made to prepare to engage with, assess and care for people with mental illness. UniSA involved consumers and carers in the writing of these course materials. This was done to reinforce the person-centred approach to care and helped the course writers to re-think how best to communicate a narrative of human caring throughout the course.

Please familiarise yourself with the contents of the Course Outline. This will inform you about important aspects of this course. It is vital that you have internet access to the learnonline site as this will be your study guide for the course. Students will need to work through the course topics, doing the required readings and undertaking the various activities indicated on the learnonline site.

A member of academic staff will be allocated to each class at the beginning of the study period. This designated lecturer is here to facilitate and support your learning, and it is vital that you communicate with them. Every lecturer in the course teaching team is a health professional with experience working with people with mental health problems and mental illness. Any questions you have about the course content should be directed, in the first instance, to your designated lecturer.  E-mail is the preferred method of correspondence. Please note that students should use their UniSA student Email account only.

Dr Sandra Ullrich
Course Coordinator


Dr Kate Rhodes

Associate Course Coordinator

Course Teaching Staff

Dr Kate Rhodes
School of Nursing and Midwifery
+61 8 8302 2102
Staff Home Page:
* Please refer to your Course homepage for the most up to date list of course teaching staff.

Contact Details

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Physical Address:
Level 6, Room 54, Centenary Building (C)
North Terrace
City East
Adelaide 5000
Postal Address:
GPO Box 2471
Adelaide 5001
+61 8 8302 1832
+61 8 8302 2168

Course Overview


There are no prerequisite courses to be completed before this course can be undertaken.


There are no corequisite courses to be completed in conjunction with this course.

Course Aim

The aim of this course is to develop students' knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them to understand mental health nursing care and common mental health issues.

Course Objectives

On completion of this course, students should be able to:
CO1. Describe the biopsycholosocial, cultural and historical factors that shape the conceptualisation of mental health, common mental illnesses and mental healthcare.
CO2. Apply the principles of mental state assessment to practice.
CO3. Differentiate between the clinical presentations associated with common mental illnesses.
CO4. Explain the statutory regulations that apply to people experiencing serious mental illness.
CO5. Explain how recovery values and attitudes inform contemporary person-centred mental health practice.
Upon completion of this course, students will have achieved the following combination of Graduate Qualities and Course Objectives:

Graduate Qualities

A graduate of UniSA:
GQ1. operates effectively with and upon a body of knowledge of sufficient depth to begin professional practice
GQ2. is prepared for life-long learning in pursuit of personal development and excellence in professional practice
GQ3. is an effective problem solver, capable of applying logical, critical, and creative thinking to a range of problems
GQ4. can work both autonomously and collaboratively as a professional
GQ5. is committed to ethical action and social responsibility as a professional and citizen
GQ6. communicates effectively in professional practice and as a member of the community
GQ7. demonstrates international perspectives as a professional and as a citizen

Course Content

Mental health and wellness across the lifespan; cultural and social construction of mental illness; mental state assessment; therapeutic communication skills; introduction to mental health conditions: schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders; self-harming behaviours; suicide; de-escalation; psychopharmacological and psychosocial interventions; recovery; evidence-based practice; safety and quality; law and ethics; Mental Health Act; Guardianship and Administration Act.

Teaching and Learning Arrangements

Tutorial 3 hours x 9 weeks

Unit Value

4.5 units

Further Course Information

Academic staff and visiting speakers may be unable to attend their scheduled teaching session due to illness or unanticipated life events. When this occurs the Course Coordinator will make every effort to ensure that the teaching session takes place supported by an appropriate member of staff. In the event that cancellation of the session becomes necessary, students will be notified by email and alternative arrangements made. To avoid an unnecessary journey, as a result of cancellation, students need to routinely check their student emails PRIOR to lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Communication with Students
The University’s primary method of communication with students is electronic, through the UniSA student email account and the student portal. Students may re-direct their University email to a personal account, but University staff will only use the UniSA student email account.

All students are expected to check their UniSA student email account and any announcements on the student portal on a regular basis (every second day).

Special provisions will be made for students who do not have access to electronic communication. Normally this will be in writing to the student at the mailing address on the student record system. Refer to Guidelines on Electronic Communications with Students at the following website:

Student Workload
For 4.5 unit courses

The assumed student workload for a 4.5 unit course is 35 hours per unit which is 157.5 hours for a 15 weeks study period. This equates to approximately 10 hours/week and includes approximately
  • 7.5 hours/week for activities such as attendance at lectures, tutorials, workshops, practicals, participation in online activities, self-directed and independent course related reading, and reflection to enable deep engagement with theories and concepts.
  • 2.5 hours/week for researching, reading and completing course assessments for submission.

Disability Access Plans
Students should contact the Course Coordinator before the start of each course if they have a current Disability Access Plan (DAP) and believe they may need any adjustments to the course. This includes extending timelines for assessment tasks, predicted absence from course activities or accommodations in the PBLs. The DAP and course requirements will be reviewed with a course specific plan developed before the student commences the course.  Students with disabilities or medical conditions may be entitled to reasonable adjustment to assessment arrangements including extra time and alternative forms of assessment. See:

Learning Resources


You will need continual access to the following text(s) to complete this course. Where possible the Library will make the book available for student use. Please check the Library catalogue before purchasing the book(s). The Library will always seek to purchase resources that allow an unlimited number of concurrent users, however availability is dependent on license arrangements with book publishers and platforms.
Procter, NG, Harmer, H, McGarry, D, Wilson, R, Froggatt, T. 2017, Mental Health: A person-centred approach, 2, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.


Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia web page: and follow links to the
  • Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse / Midwife
  • Code of Ethics
  • Code of Professional Conduct

Catalogues and databases
These can be accessed from the database link on the University of South Australia Library web site:

The following are bibliographic databases. This means they may not contain the full text of the article, just the citation and often an abstract. To locate an article from a database, use the Find It link or use the Library's catalogue to see if the Library has the journal in print and/or electronic format:

- Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature indexes many English language nursing journals, publications from the American Nurses' Association and the National League for Nursing and journals from various allied health disciplines

MEDLINE database contains bibliographic and abstract coverage of medical literature
Sociological Abstracts provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews and conference papers for the literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences.

Full text databases
The following are also useful for this course with the added advantage that they contain the full text of many articles:
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Health Sciences: a SAGE full text collection
  • Health Source®: Nursing/Academic Edition
  • Informit Health Collection has some Australian information on health and medical topics
  • Ovid Nursing Database has full text journals plus contains a nursing subset of MEDLINE
  • Wiley InterScience (formerly Blackwell Synergy)
  • Access a complete list of Nursing databases via
Web sites
Assignment help
Check the Assignment help information at to see if there is an online workshop to help you with completing an assignment for your course.

Materials to be accessed online

learnonline course site

All course related materials can be accessed through your learnonline course site which you will be able to access from the my Courses section in myUniSA.


All study related materials can be accessed through:


Assessment Details

Details of assessment submission and return are listed under each assessment task. Assessment tasks will be returned to you within two to three weeks of submission.


Cover sheets

A cover sheet is not required for assessment tasks submitted via learnonline, as the system automatically generates one.


If the Course Coordinator allows submissions in hard copy format, you will be required to attach an Assignment Cover Sheet which is available on the learnonline student help ( and in myUniSA.


Assessment Summary

#Form of assessmentLengthDurationWeightingDue date (Adelaide Time)Submit viaObjectives being assessed
1Assignment1000 words-25%16 Aug 2019, 5:00 PMlearnonlineCO1, CO4
2OSCA1500 words equivalent-35%13 Sep 2019, 5:00 PMlearnonlineCO2, CO3, CO4
3Case study2000 words-40%11 Oct 2019, 5:00 PMlearnonlineCO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5

Feedback proformas

The feedback proforma is available on your course site.


Written assignment

Assessment 1

Aim:The purpose of this assignment is to explore the lived experience and personal impact of mental illness on individuals from a client centred perspective, the principles of recovery and to explore what services are available in your local community to support individuals who experience mental illness and their families or carers.
Assessment Task
Students are required to construct a written assignment demonstrating their knowledge of the following three areas, including reference material to support your understanding;

1. Discuss the impact of mental illness from a client centred perspective, this includes family and carers perspectives.  

2. Provide an outline of the principles of Recovery, Consumer Participation and how this can assist clients and their families/carers.

3. Record what services are available in your local community to support clients and their families with a mental illness. To ensure authenticity of this assessment item, students must indicate contact telephone numbers and addresses of relevant services in their local community.  If you are an International student you are expected to explore services within your local community in Australia only.


Additional resources

Please watch the following video titled "Real lives, Real people, Real journeys": (Please note this video is 19:47 in length).

You may want to watch this video several times to gain sufficient understanding of the personal experiences of clients, family members and carers. You may also want to read Chapter 1 of the required course textbook for this course "Introduction to mental health and mental illness: Human connectedness and the collaborative consumer narrative" pages 1 - 22, which will help you to develop an understanding of "Recovery and Consumer Participation" in mental health.


Please Note: 

  • Resubmissions are not available for this assessment item.
  • Given the large number of students in this course, it is advisable not to contact Mental Health organisations directly as this will disrupt their ability to provide essential and ongoing services or crisis responses to individuals. Think about how you can find out about Government and Non-Government services and what might be available that describes these services.

OSCA - Mental State Assessment/Examination

Assessment 2

Aim: The purpose of this assignment is to review a clinical assessment video, and to complete an ISBAR clinical handover including a Mental State Assessment based on a patients presentation that you observe and information obtained by the clinician during the assessment. It is important to use the patients own words as they describe the personal impact and symptoms of their mental illness.


Instructions to students:
During week 5 of the course you will have the opportunity to engage in activities and discussion related to ISBAR and clinical assessment, in particular Mental State Assessment. You will also have the opportunity to watch some clinical assessment videos to practice conducting a Mental State Assessment.


On Monday 9th September at 9:00AM a video link and answer template for this assessment item will be made available on the Mental Health learnonline course News Forum. Students will be able to watch the video several times to assist in completing this assignment. The video will be accessible for students to view from Monday 9th September 9:00AM until Friday 13th September 5:00PM.

Please note: This OSCA is equivalent to one hour. This does not mean that students have to take one hour to complete the assessment. This OSCA assessment is an individual piece of work, which means that students are not allowed to collaborate on this assessment item.


Assessment Task
Students are required to complete two parts to this assignment:

  1. Use the ISBAR - Clinical Handover template to complete a written handover as if you are the Registered Nurse handing a patient over to the oncoming shift.
  2. Complete a Mental State Assessment and Risk Assessment using the template provided.

You may find that some information is missing - Students can use poetic licence to complete sections where information appears to be missing so long as this is in context of the clinical presentation.

In completing this assignment concentrate on:

  • The questions asked by the clinician
  • The responses provided by the patient
  • Your observation of the patient and their behaviours
  • What types of questions are asked and why do you think they have been asked?
  • What are there the possible risk issues?
  • The assessment rubric.

Please Note - Resubmissions are not possible for this assessment item. Extensions are not possible for this assessment item.

Case Study Analysis

Assessment 3


Aim: The purpose of this assignment is to explore the personal and social implications of mental illness, as well as, the ethical, legal and clinical practice implications related to a mental health patient being admitted to a medical ward. Using a recovery and person-centred approach, explore the issues raised in the case study and how you can support this person during your early shift.

Case Study Instructions

You will be provided with a number of important documents related to this case study of a person who experiences a major mental illness.  These documents are contained in a folder on the learnonline course page.  Please access these documents in order to complete this case study.  You are expected to use the Case Study template (also available from the learnonline course page) to complete this case study. Please read the sections on the Case Study template and ensure that you answer all sections. Please note. Students who do not use the template will receive a Zero F2 Grade.  

Please also take note of the Assessment rubric / Marking guide for this assessment item as this will provide you with some additional guidance.

You will be expected to analyse the case study documents, extract the main issues and reflect on how the information impacts on the client, their family, and how it informs your nursing care and approach. You will have an opportunity to discuss these documents in your tutorial sessions or in the Virtual Classroom beforehand.


Assessment Task Scenario

You are a newly registered nurse working in a large metropolitan hospital on an early shift in a busy medical ward.  You have been allocated Amanda Citizen to care for as a 1:1 special in a single bed side-room. You are given the following hand-over by the night duty RN:


Amanda is a 28 year old woman admitted yesterday post overdose of Diazepam, Lithium Carbonate and Quetiapine. Amanda has a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and is currently on an ITO-L1 which requires review today. Overnight Amanda has been occasionally drowsy, but at other times very restless and agitated.  Her conversation has some delusional content at times. Amanda appears confused and is likely to be experiencing a delirium related to the intentional overdose of prescribed medications. 

Amanda has an intravenous line of normal saline 1 litre over 8 hours – started 4 hours ago. The last ECG showed lengthening of the Q-T interval and a repeat ECG is booked for 10:00 AM today. T
PR & BP are within normal limits – check vital signs 4 hourly along with neurological observations until reviewed by the treating Medical team. 

Amanda's behaviour has not presented any significant management problems overnight in the ward.  However when she presented to the Emergency Department she was in a severely agitated state and a Code Black (Aggressive incident & security response) was initiated. Because of Amanda's fluctuating sensorium she is to be considered 'at risk' and steps are needed to ensure her protection.

Amanda is not to be given any medication unless severely agitated. The Consultation-Liaison psychiatry team are aware of her admission to the medical ward and will review Amanda later this morning. Over the next few hours it is likely that Amanda will become more alert and likely more distressed and agitated. You are advised to call for assistance if you have any concerns.


In a parting comment the night duty RN states, "I don't know why we are wasting our time looking after a woman who wants to kill herself when there are plenty of sick people out there who need hospital beds".

Following this handover you have the time to review Amanda's admission notes where you find the following documents which highlight past and recent concerns. (All of these documents can be found in the learnonline blue Assessment Tab on the Homepage).

  1. Emergency Department Mental Health Assessment
  2. Private Psychiatrist letter to Mental Health case manager
  3. Letter from employer to Mental Health case manager
  4. Letter from Mother to Mental Health case manager
  5. Recent letter from identified client to Mental Health case manager

Please note - Resubmissions are not available for this assessment item.

Submission and return of assessment tasks

See above under Assessment details.

Negotiable assessment methods


School of Nursing & Midwifery - Assessment Extensions for Undergraduate Courses

Time management is an important attribute for your overall success as a student and in preparing you for your future role as a registered nurse or midwife. As a student you are required to submit your assignment on the due date and to do this you need to successfully manage you time.

Resources to assist with time management are available through the Learning and Teaching website at the following address:

Assessment Extension
Extensions to assessment task will follow the University of South Australia Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM) clause 7.3.4 -  Extension to complete an assessment task.

Please refer to Item 7.3.4 in the APPM 2015, p.30 for extension policy regarding the time frame for students to submit an extension request along with supporting documentation.

The following reasons are not grounds for requesting an extension:
  • Assessment tasks in another course due within a similar timeframe
  • Computing problems
  • Work commitments
  • Social commitments such as recreation leave, domestic or international travel
  • Scheduled clinical placement
Note: Please be advised that in approving an extension request, the School will take into consideration students’ extension request history.  An application may be rejected if no documentary evidence is provided.

Late applications without a clear indication of the reason for the request and/or documentary evidence will be rejected and the School of Nursing and Midwifery penalty for late submission of assignments will apply. 
Please provide your course coordinator with a copy of your access plan early in the study period so that your needs may be accommodated.

Late Submission of Assignments Policy
Late submission of assignments (where an extension has not been granted) will result in a penalty. The penalty for late submissions will be:
  1. a deduction of 10% per day or part day, for each day that the assignment is late up to a maximum of 5 days.
  2. assignments which are more than 5 days late will not be marked and will be assigned a zero grade.
Example 1: If you submit a paper one and a half days late you will receive a penalty of 20%. Your paper will be marked and 20% will be deducted from the mark which you would have obtained if your paper was submitted by the due date.

Exam Arrangements

This course does not have an exam.

Variations to exam arrangements

Variation to exam arrangements does not apply to this course.

Supplementary Assessment

Supplementary assessment or examination offers students an opportunity to gain a supplementary pass (SP) and is available to all students under the following conditions unless supplementary assessment or examination has not been approved for the course:

  1. if the student has achieved a final grade between 45-49 per cent (F1) in a course
  2. if a student who has successfully completed all of the courses within their program, with the exception of two courses in which they were enrolled in their final study period, a supplementary assessment or examination may be granted where the final grade in either or both of these courses, is less than 45 percent (F1 or F2) and all assessments in the courses were attempted by the student. Supplementary assessment will not be available for a course under investigation for academic integrity until the investigation is completed, and determined that it did not constitute academic misconduct.

More information about supplementary assessment is available in section 7.5 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual.

Important information about all assessment

All students must adhere to the University of South Australia's policies about assessment:

Additional assessment requirements

There are no additional assessment requirements identified for this course.

Students with disabilities or medical conditions

Students with disabilities or medical conditions or students who are carers of a person with a disability may be entitled to a variation or modification to standard assessment arrangements.  See Section 7 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual (APPM) at:


Students who require variations or modifications to standard assessment arrangements should make contact with their Course Coordinator as early as possible in order to ensure that appropriate supports can be implemented or arranged in a timely manner.


Students can register for an Access Plan with UniSA Access & Inclusion Service. It is important to make contact early to ensure that appropriate support can be implemented or arranged in a timely manner. See the Disability Hub for more information:

Students are advised there is a deadline to finalise Access Plan arrangements for examinations. Further information is available at:

Deferred Assessment or Examination

Deferred assessment or examination is not available for this course. APPM 7.6.4

Special Consideration

Special consideration is not available for this course. APPM 7.7.4

Variations to assessment tasks

Variation to assessment methods, tasks and timelines may be provided in:

Unexpected or exceptional circumstances, for example bereavement, unexpected illness (details of unexpected or exceptional circumstances for which variation may be considered are discussed in clauses 7.8 - 7.10 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual). Variation to assessment in unexpected or exceptional circumstances should be discussed with your course coordinator as soon as possible.

Special circumstances, for example religious observance grounds, or community services (details of special circumstances for which variation can be considered are discussed in clause 7.11 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual). Variations to assessment in expected circumstances must be requested within the first two weeks of the course (or equivalent for accelerated or intensive teaching).


Students with disabilities or medical conditions please refer to Students with disabilities or medical conditions.

Marking process


Moderation in this course will be carried out in accordance with processes set out in Section 3 of the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the foundation of university life and is fundamental to the reputation of UniSA and its staff and students. Academic integrity means a commitment by all staff and students to act with honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, respect and responsibility in all academic work.

An important part of practising integrity in academic work is showing respect for other people's ideas, and being honest about how they have contributed to your work. This means taking care not to represent the work of others as your own. Using another person's work without proper acknowledgement is considered Academic Misconduct, and the University takes this very seriously.

The University of South Australia expects students to demonstrate the highest standards of academic integrity so that its degrees are earned honestly and are trusted and valued by its students and their employers. To ensure this happens, the University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. For example, work submitted electronically by students for assessment will be examined for copied and un-referenced text using the text comparison software Turnitin

More information about academic integrity and what constitutes academic misconduct can be found in Section 9 of the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM): The Academic Integrity Module explains in more detail how students can work with integrity at the University:

Further Assessment Information

Details of assessment submission and return are listed under each assessment task. Assessment pieces will be returned to you within two to three weeks of submission.
All assignments must use the Assignment cover sheet (available from your LearnOnline course homepage and in myUniSA)—whether submitted electronically or in hard copy.

In this course you are required to submit your assignments via LearnOnline: GradeBook, if you have not used this method before go to the link below for instructions on how to use GradeBook.

Action from previous evaluations

Evaluation of this course will be done online using the Universities standard Course Evaluation Instrument (CEI). You will be notified by email when this becomes available. As this course has been substantially changed this year we would particularly value your feedback.

Course Calendar

WeekDatesTopicAssessment details (Adelaide Time)
15 - 21 JulyPre-teaching
22 - 28 JulyPre-teaching
129 July - 4 AugustIntroduction
205 - 11 AugustHistorical aspects of mental health and illness
312 - 18 AugustLegal and Ethical issues in Mental HealthWritten assignment due 16 Aug 2019, 5:00 PM
419 - 25 AugustCultural considerations of Mental Health and Illness
526 August - 1 SeptemberClinical Assessment
02 - 8 SeptemberMid-break
609 - 15 SeptemberMental IllnessOSCA - Mental State Assessment/Examination due 13 Sep 2019, 5:00 PM
716 - 22 SeptemberSpecial Populations
823 - 29 SeptemberMental Illness Treatment and the Recovery model
930 September - 6 OctoberPhysical Comorbidity
1007 - 13 OctoberNon teaching weekCase Study Analysis due 11 Oct 2019, 5:00 PM
1114 - 20 OctoberNon teaching week
1221 - 27 OctoberNo teaching 
1328 October - 3 NovemberNo teaching
1404 - 10 NovemberNo teaching
1511 - 17 NovemberNo teaching
1618 - 24 NovemberNo teaching
1725 November - 1 DecemberNo teaching