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COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


Examiner: Christine Chinchen


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH


Mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, are predicted to be the main health issues facing Australians in coming years, according to the World Health Organisation. Understanding the context in which mental health conditions present in society, and the services established to provide treatment, are vital for mental health professionals. This is particularly relevant when professionals are required to work in multi-disciplinary teams. This course will address the professional issues involved in working with mental health clients.

This course aims to contextualise mental health practice in historical and geographic terms. It introduces students to the theories, legislation, policies and standards that underpin mental health practice in Australia. Students will also gain an understanding of the rights of mental health consumers and their carers, and how to optimise the participation of consumers in the services developed for their care and support. This course seeks to assist counselling practitioners wanting to work in the mental health sector, by developing their knowledge and understanding of the factors that govern the scope of practice of mental health professionals. Students will examine their professional role within the context of transdisciplinary practice and current service delivery models and the evidence that supports such an approach.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Reflect on their own diversity, and how that influences their approach to mental health and illness
  2. Articulate integrated knowledge of the historical development of mental health and illness, including Australian and global perspectives
  3. Critically discuss the relevant theoretical, legal and ethical frameworks in which mental health practice is conducted
  4. Articulate an Advanced and synthesised knowledge of the rights of people with mental health issues and their carers, and ways to promote access to and participation in services provided for the care of these mental health consumers
  5. Critically analyse the principles of inter-professional practice in mental health service provision, and the contribution of each professional group to effective service provision
  6. Critically evaluate the mental health services available in the student’s own community


Description Weighting(%)
1. Society, Mental Health and Illness 10.00
2. A consumer perspective to mental distress 10.00
3. The global perspective on mental health 10.00
4. Delivering mental health care 10.00
5. Mental health services in Australia 10.00
6. Mental health services in the Australian States and Territories 10.00
7. Mental disorder in Australia 10.00
8. The participants in mental health services 10.00
9. Working collaboratively 10.00
10. Research in mental disorders and mental health practice 5.00
11. Evaluation and the concept of quality in mental health care 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Meadows, G., Farhall, J., Fossey, E., Happell, B., McDermott, F., & Rosenberg, S. (Eds.). 2020, Mental Health and Collaborative Community Practice:, An Australian perspective, 4th edn, Oxford University Press.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Reflection (personal/clinical) No 30 1
Assignments Written Critique (written) No 40 2,3,6
Assignments Written Essay No 30 4,5
Date printed 17 May 2022