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Unit of study_

OCCP5247: Mental Health Interventions

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Cumberland, Sydney

This elective unit will extend students' knowledge and skills in occupational therapy mental health practice. A large experiential learning component will build student confidence in working collaboratively with people living with mental illness to identify their needs and to use both occupational therapy specific and generic mental health strategies to support their mental health recovery. In line with current state and national directions, the unit will focus on trauma-informed care, well-being and recovery-oriented practice. We will cover adolescent, youth and adult mental health practice across acute, rehabilitation, community and forensic contexts.

Unit details and rules

Unit code OCCP5247
Academic unit
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Nicola Hancock,
Lecturer(s) Karen Wells,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Final assessment
Case study
40% Formal exam period
Due date: 09 Jun 2020 at 09:00
3500 - 5000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Translation of evidence poster
Critical review/translation
30% Week 11
Due date: 11 May 2020 at 09:00
Concise written task
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Weekly Canvas quizzes
3 short answer questions
30% Weekly 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Weekly quizzes: Typically 3 short answer questions based upon the pre-reading content for each week. 
  • Translation of evidence poster: Optional assessment which consists of a critical review and translation of the evidence so that it is accessible to consumers.
  • Final assessment: Application of coursework content to film-based scenario and client.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

 A detailed rubric for each Ax is provided in Canvas


75 - 84

 A detailed rubric for each Ax is provided in Canvas


65 - 74

 A detailed rubric for each Ax is provided in Canvas


50 - 64

 A detailed rubric for each Ax is provided in Canvas


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction activities and housekeeping; 2. Meshing expectations regarding Learning Outcomes; 3. Watching case-study film Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 02 Recovery - consumer (and clinical) perspectives /understandings Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 03 1. Overview of services and OT roles; 2. Recovery-oriented ways of practicing; 3. Relational recovery – family and carer involvement and needs Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 04 1. Overview of commonly used assessments + debate their applicability/use in various OT contexts and recovery oriented (or not); 2. Therapeutic use of self; Motivational Interviewing; LEAP; Rapport and Engagement; self-disclosure Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 05 1. Recovery-oriented and collaborative goal setting processes; 2. Experiential class: Psycho-education principles; relapse prevention; advanced directives; re-framing using strengths based approach; stress-vulnerability model; cognitive and behavioural interventions (CBT) Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 06 Child Mental Health - online module Online class (4 hr)  
Week 07 1. A rights perspective – risk assessment vs. dignity of risk; 2. Strategies to de-escalate; staying safe - suicide and self-harm; assessing and managing risk (yours and consumers) Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 08 1. A rights perspective – advocacy and health promotion; 2. Family, social relationships; trauma informed care (TIC) Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 09 Forensic mental health, working with children, drug and alcohol Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 10 1. Experiential class: Occupational Performance; ADLs (showering dressing eating), IADL (money, transport, cleanings, cooking) routines, travel, employment, meaningful activity – task analysis…activity adaptation, skills training; 2. Meaningful, purposeful activity Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 11 Experiential class: activities continuing from week 10 Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 12 1. Standing out from the 'pack'; 2. What are the ‘right’ positions for you; 3. Thriving in your first years out Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 13 What you say you need/want more on Workshop (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and actively participate in discussions, activities and weekly in-class assessments. If you do not attend at least 10 of the 12 scheduled classes you must provide written documentation explaining your absence to the unit Coordinator.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

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

  • LO1. understand the recovery paradigm and be able to critically examine and confidently apply recovery-principles to service orientation generally and OT practice specifically
  • LO2. critically appraise various methods of collecting information required to collaboratively plan interventions with clients/consumers
  • LO3. critique the diverse roles and range of interventions engaged in by mental health occupations therapists, frame these using OT practice models and use critical reasoning skills to identify appropriate and best practice interventions which meet individual consumer needs.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Australian occupational therapy competency standards 2018 -
Competency code Taught, Practiced or Assessed Competency standard
1.10 A Practises within limits of her/his own level of competence and expertise
1.11 A Maintains professional competence and adapts to change in practice contexts
1.12 A Identifies and uses relevant professional and operational support and supervision
1.14 A Recognises and manages her/his own physical and mental health for safe, professional practice
1.15 A Addresses issues of occupational justice in practice
1.16 A Contributes to education and professional practice development of peers and students, and
1.17 A Recognises and manages any inherent power imbalance in relationships with clients.
1.3 A Maintains professional boundaries in all client and professional relationships
1.4 A Recognises and manages conflicts of interest in all client and professional relationships
1.5 A Practises in a culturally responsive and culturally safe manner, with particular respect to culturally diverse client groups
1.6 A Incorporates and responds to historical, political, cultural, societal, environmental and economic factors influencing health, wellbeing and occupations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
1.7 A Collaborates and consults ethically and responsibly for effective client-centred and interprofessional practice
1.8 A Adheres to all work health and safety, and quality requirements for practice
1.9 A Identifies and manages the influence of her/his values and culture on practice
2.1 A Applies current and evidence-informed knowledge of occupational therapy and other appropriate and relevant theory in practice
2.2 A Applies theory and frameworks of occupation to professional practice and decision-making
2.3 A Identifies and applies best available evidence in professional practice and decision-making
2.5 A Maintains current knowledge for cultural responsiveness to all groups in the practice setting
2.6 A Maintains and improves currency of knowledge, skills and new evidence for practice by adhering to the requirements for continuing professional development
2.8 A Reflects on practice to inform current and future reasoning and decision-making and the integration of theory and evidence into practice
2.9 A Maintains knowledge of relevant resources and technologies, and
3.1 A Addresses occupational performance and participation of clients, identifying the enablers and barriers to engagement
3.10 A Reviews, evaluates and modifies plans, goals and interventions with the client and relevant others to enhance or achieve client outcomes
3.11 A Evaluates client and service outcomes to inform future practice
3.12 A Uses effective collaborative, multidisciplinary and interprofessional approaches for decision-making and planning
3.14 A Contributes to quality improvement and service development.
3.2 A Performs appropriate information gathering and assessment when identifying a client’s status and functioning, strengths, occupational performance and goals
3.3 A Collaborates with the client and relevant others to determine the priorities and occupational therapy goals
3.4 A Develops a plan with the client and relevant others to meet identified occupational therapy goals
3.5 A Selects and implements culturally responsive and safe practice strategies to suit the occupational therapy goals and environment of the client
3.7 A Reflects on practice to inform and communicate professional reasoning and decision-making
3.8 A Identifies and uses practice guidelines and protocols suitable to the practice setting or work environment
4.1 A Communicates openly, respectfully and effectively
4.10 A Seeks and responds to feedback, modifying communication and/or practice accordingly, and
4.11 A Identifies and articulates the rationale for practice to clients and relevant others.
4.2 A Adapts written, verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to the client and practice context
4.4 A Uses culturally responsive, safe and relevant communication tools and strategies
4.5 A Complies with legal and procedural requirements for the responsible and accurate documentation, sharing and storage of professional information and records of practice
4.8 A Maintains collaborative professional relationships with clients, health professionals and relevant others
4.9 A Uses effective communication skills to initiate and end relationships with clients and relevant others

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Based upon positive student feedback, this unit is essentially the same as last year with resources and readings updated.
  • Teacher consultation guidelines: Please note that Dr Nicola Hancock does not work on Fridays.

Site visit guidelines

There are no site visit guidelines for this unit.


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