Course Outline

HLT301 Contexts of Practice: Mental Health Care

Course Coordinator:Christine Palmer ( School:School of Health - Nursing

2024Session 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Caboolture

UniSC Fraser Coast

UniSC Gympie


Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this course you will gain an understanding of the broad range of factors integral to mental health and mental illness and mental health as a global, national and regional priority. You have the opportunity to integrate theory and develop skills related to mental health promotion with a focus on individuals and/or families experiencing mental health concerns or a mental illness. You will explore and apply therapeutic communication skills, mental health assessment tools, and clinical management plans. The focus will be interdisciplinary using a person-centered recovery paradigm.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop 5hrs Week 2 4 times
Learning materials – Online asynchronous learning and teaching materials. Student support via 1 hour Zoom sessions that are offered 2 times per week 5hrs Week 1 8 times

Course Topics

Evolution of mental health care

Impact of mental illness on individuals/families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Recovery-oriented and trauma-informed approaches to care. 

Mental State Examination and Risk Assessment. 

Stress/distress and the management of stress; Childhood trauma; Intimate Partner Violence; Challenging behaviours. 

Anxiety; Depression; Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders; Schizophrenia Spectrum and other Psychotic Disorders; Trauma & Stressor-Related Disorders; Personality Disorders. 

Contemporary approaches to community and online mental health care. 

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Competencies from multiple Professional Bodies (see below) *
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of mental illness in individuals and the key elements of recovery and trauma informed practice as a model of person-centred mental health care. Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.2, 1.6, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.3.e, 5.3.f, 5.6.b, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.1, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
2 Demonstrate the ability to utilise mental status assessment skills to identify mental illness and apply clinical reasoning skills to a variety of complex mental health situations and cultural contexts. Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.1, 1.3, 1.3, 1.7, 2.1.f, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.3.f, 5.6.c
3 Critically reflect on the role that ethical practice can play in the reduction of stigma at an individual, social and political level. Ethical
1.2, 1.2, 1.4, 1.4, 1.5, 1.5, 1.7, 2.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.3, 2.4, 2.8, 3.4.b, 3.2, 3.4, 5.3.e, 5.6.b, 5.6.c, 7.3
4 Describe the key elements of recovery-informed practice as a model of person-centred mental health care. Knowledgeable
5, 6.1
5 Apply principles and practices of academic writing and referencing. Knowledgeable
6 Apply ethical use of intellectual property. Ethical
4.7.b, 5.3.b

* Competencies by Professional Body

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1.1 The RN accesses, analyses, and uses the best available evidence, that includes research findings for safe quality practice
1.2 The midwife accesses, analyses, and uses the best available evidence, that includes research findings, for safe, quality midwifery practice
1.3 The midwife uses health assessment and health education to support birth and reproductive health, and minimise the potential for complications
1.4 The midwife undertakes ongoing processes of reflection to ensure professional judgements acknowledge how personal culture impacts on practice
1.5 The midwife supports access to maternity care for the woman
1.6 The RN maintains accurate, comprehensive and timely documentation of assessments, planning, decision- making, actions and evaluations
1.7 The midwife identifies and promotes the role of midwifery practice and the midwifery profession in influencing better health outcomes for women
2.1 The midwife supports the choices of the woman, with respect for families and communities in relation to maternity care
2.2 The midwife partners with women to strengthen women’s capabilities and confidence to care for themselves and their families
2.3 The RN recognises that people are the experts in the experience of their life
2.4 The RN provides support and directs people to resources to optimise health related decisions
2.5 The midwife practises cultural safety that is holistic, free of bias and exposes racism
2.6 The midwife practises in a way that respects that family and community underpin the health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2.8 The midwife participates in and/or leads collaborative practice
3.1 The RN considers and responds in a timely manner to the health and well being of self and others in relation to the capability for practice
3.2 The RN provides the information and education required to enhance people’s control over health
3.4 The midwife contributes to a culture that supports learning, teaching, knowledge transfer and critical reflection
3.6 The midwife uses relevant processes to identify, document and manage complexity and risk
3.7 The RN identifies and promotes the integral role of nursing practice and the profession in influencing better health outcomes for people
3.8 The midwife considers and responds in a timely manner to the health and wellbeing of self and others in relation to the capability for practice
4.1 The midwife works in partnership to determine factors that affect, or potentially affect, the health and wellbeing of women, communities and populations
4.2 The RN uses a range of assessment techniques to systematically collect relevant and accurate information and data to inform practice
4.3 The RN works in partnership to determine factors that affect, or potentially affect, the health and well being of people and populations to determine priorities for action and/or for referral
4.4 The RN assesses the resources available to inform planning
5 Standard 5: Develops a plan for nursing practice
5.1 The RN uses assessment data and best available evidence to develop a plan
5.2 The RN collaboratively constructs nursing practice plans until contingencies, options priorities, goals, actions, outcomes and timeframes are agreed with the relevant persons
5.3 The RN documents, evaluates and modifies plans accordingly to facilitate the agreed outcomes
5.4 The RN plans and negotiates how practice will be evaluated and the time frame of engagement
5.5 The RN coordinates resources effectively and efficiently for planned actions
6.1 The midwife actively contributes to quality improvement and research activities
7.1 The RN evaluates and monitors progress towards the expected goals and outcomes
7.2 The RN revises the plan based on the evaluation
7.3 The RN determines, documents and communicates further priorities, goals and outcomes with the relevant persons
Paramedicine Board of Australia
2.1.f Identify and effectively manage communication barriers, including anxiety and stress, specific to individual patients and/or carers.
3.4.b Critically reflect on personal strengths and limitations to identify learning and development required to improve and adapt professional practice.
3.3.d Demonstrate a level of skill in the use of information technology appropriate to their practice.
4.7.b Share knowledge with colleagues.
5.3.e Understand psychological and social factors, including intergenerational trauma that impact and influence an individual in health and illness.
5.3.f Understand the clinical sciences underpinning paramedic practice, including physiological, pharmacological, behavioural and functional.
5.6.b Demonstrate sensitivity to the factors which shape lifestyle that may impact on the individual’s health and affect the interaction between the patient and registered paramedic.
5.6.c Utilise knowledge, reasoning and problem-solving skills to determine appropriate judgements and actions.
5.3.b Understand the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process.

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


NUR141 or NUR117 or HLT207 or PAR103


Not applicable


PAR341 or NUR301

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Short quizzes will provide early feedback in weeks 2 and 3. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 10%
Students will complete a multi-choice quiz in week 2 (covering workshop 1 content) and again in week 3 (covering workshop 2 content). Quizzes will be 15 minutes in duration and will be held in-class during the workshops.
Refer to Format Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Written Piece Individual 40%
2000 words
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Essay Individual 50%
2000 words
Week 8 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Quizzes
Review the content covered in modules 1 and 2.
Product: Quiz/zes
MCQ quizzes.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
The quizzes require students to review the content delivered during workshops 1 and 2.
1 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Mental State Examination Workbook
To apply a mental state examination to a person with a mental illness who is being interviewed by a health professional
Product: Written Piece
You will observe a video in which a person with a mental illness is interviewed by a health professional. You will then provide short responses in a workbook that assesses your application of knowledge of the mental state examination.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Assessment of a person’s mental state and associated risks for aggression, suicide, self-harm, vulnerability, and withdrawal from treatment, using appropriate medical terminology.
Description of proposed pathways of care and treatment
2 3 4
Application of principles and practices of academic writing and referencing.
Application of ethical use of intellectual property.
All - Assessment Task 3:Critical exploration
To critically explore a selected mental disorder.
Product: Essay
Choose one of the mental disorders listed on Canvas. Critically explore the chosen disorder and plan a pathway of care for a person experiencing the disorder.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical exploration of the disorder.
Sythesis of theoretical concepts relating to the chosen mental disorder including symptomatology and risk assessment
Demonstrate an advanced capacity to critically examine and choose an appropriate pathway of care for a person with the chosen disorder
2 4
Application of the principles and practices of academic writing and referencing
Ethical use of intellectual property.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890