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Unit of study_

NURS5085: Mental Health Nursing Practice

Mental health issues and psychosocial distress are ongoing global concerns due to their substantial impact at personal, social and economic levels. One in five Australians aged 16–85 years has experienced a common mental health condition, and most of the population will experience variations in mental health and wellbeing during their life. This unit of study is the foundational mental health unit of study and is based on the principle that mental health is an integral aspect of overall health and wellbeing. Understanding mental health and mental health issues, and appropriate knowledge and skills to promote psychosocial wellbeing and effectively respond to psychosocial distress, are essential for all nurses. This unit is underpinned by a whole-person approach; it explores the issue of co-associated physical and mental health conditions, and privileges unique subjective experiences and perspectives of people encountering mental health issues. Students will be introduced to the spectrum of mental health and wellbeing and psychosocial distress and mental health conditions, and their conceptual premises. They will explore how these are experienced across the life span (early childhood to older age), and by different sociocultural groups (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; CALD; LGBTQI). Students will develop their understanding of the lived experiences of mental health issues and conditions, including the challenges of stigma and discrimination, and the impacts of personal and clinical recovery. Mental health issues will be examined using the biopsychosocial framework to increase understanding of the influence of risk and protective factors, variations in experiences and changes, and the evidence for diverse psychotherapeutic approaches and treatments. The role of the nurse will be explored in relation to: promoting mental health and supporting recovery; preventing mental health issues from developing or exacerbating; and working with in partnership with people and their family/support networks to effectively respond to psychosocial distress and manage the impacts of mental health conditions. Poor physical health can increase the complexity and burden of the experience of mental health conditions, therefore comorbid physical health concerns and their implications for nursing practice are also examined. Students will acquire knowledge and skills that will prepare them to work safely and effectively with people of diverse ages and sociocultural backgrounds. They will develop and demonstrate foundation interpersonal communication and documentation skills and biopsychosocial nursing assessment and interventions that encompass cultural safety, recovery and strengths-oriented language, and professional and legal responsibilities.

Code NURS5085
Academic unit Nursing and Midwifery
Credit points 6

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. comprehend the varied trajectories of mental health and well being and psychosocial distress and mental health conditions, and can integrate the potential influences of sociocultural contexts, risk and protective factors, and co-morbid conditions into their understanding
  • LO2. locate, critique, synthesise, and effectively discuss/convey the contemporary evidence for various therapeutic approaches and treatments for a range of mental health issues, and co-morbid physical health concerns experienced by people across the life span, and from various sociocultural groups
  • LO3. articulate a broad and coherent understanding of the nurse's role in promoting mental health, preventing mental health issues developing and helping people manage the impacts of mental health conditions, and can integrate this knowledge into planning and delivering nursing interventions, documenting nursing practice, and communicating with health professionals
  • LO4. integrate their understanding of a whole-person/biopsychosocial approach to nurse practice, by applying key principles related to valuing lived experience and working collaboratively with patients as partners in their care, and being recovery-orientated, trauma-informed, strength-focused and culturally safe in their therapeutic practice
  • LO5. demonstrate capability to provide therapeutic mental health care as a beginning practitioner within the multidisciplinary team, in the areas of mental health assessment, psychotherapeutic approaches, clinical treatments and interpersonal communication