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Handbooks Courses Units

CMH1006 - The context for mental health practice

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms J Gray


Clayton First semester 2008 (Off-campus)


This unit provides a comprehensive account of the historical facts about various systems and models of mental health care, and covers the context in which mental health services are developed and delivered, with particular focus on community-based system of care in Australia. This includes covering the areas of social power and mental illness, community based responses to mental illness and the global perspective of mental health services. The unit also includes the mental health policy framework in Australia, and details and data about mental disorders in Australia. There will be a special focus on the particular needs of indigenous persons and people from non-English speaking background. Various service models in different states and territories will be covered, and there will be a case study of mental health services of Victoria. The unit concludes with discussion of the future direction of community mental health services in Australia. Contents include:
History of mental illness and its care, an overview.
Social power and mental illness.
Mental illness, responses from the community.
The global perspective.
Mental Health Policy in Australia.
Mental Disorder in Australia.
The particular needs of indigenous peoples.
The particular needs of people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Services in the specific states and territories.
Mental health services in Victoria - a case study.
Next steps.
Summary and integration.


On completion of this unit participants should:

  1. Have developed a working understanding of the context of mental health delivery.
  2. Have understood the community-based framework of mental health services.
  3. Understand the policy framework, epidemiological basis and basics of service systems in mental health services.
  4. Be able to develop an understanding of the special needs of patients from an indigenous and non-English speaking background.
  5. Be able to critically appraise the mental health service in Victoria through a case study.


Two written assignments of 2,500 words each and weighted at 50% each. Both must be passed to pass the unit.

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