Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Community Emergency Health and Paramedics
OfferedPeninsula First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Janet Curtis


This unit continues to develop the role of the paramedic as a clinician who is able to assess and care for patients with mental health problems in the community. The unit addresses the epidemiology and history of mental health in Australia, and the features of care systems with particular emphasis on community based care. Acute and chronic medical mental health problems commonly encountered by paramedics are investigated. The special needs of Indigenous persons and those from non-English speaking backgrounds are investigated. The unit is case-based, integrating material from the five themes and the underpinning biomedical, social and clinical sciences, and including clinical skills, laboratory and simulation scenarios to develop essential communication, assessment and management clinical skills, and clinical problem solving and decision making competencies.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the epidemiology, population health, natural history, pathology and clinical manifestations of mental illness commonly encountered in paramedic practice.
  2. Discuss ethical issues associated with the care of individuals with mental illness.
  3. Locate and evaluate the evidence-base that informs the paramedic management of acute and chronic mental health conditions across the lifespan.
  4. Communicate effectively with people who are experiencing disturbances of thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
  5. Demonstrate a mental status assessment as applied to paramedic practice.
  6. Interpret and apply legislation and clinical practice guidelines relating to the management of patients with mental health emergencies.
  7. Use a model of paramedic clinical competence to integrate and apply theoretical knowledge and clinical skills to the assessment and management of patients with mental health emergencies.
  8. Describe the range of therapeutic interventions and techniques used to manage mental health emergencies and identify which are appropriate for use in the community based emergency health setting.
  9. Identify the factors that contribute to the mental health of individuals within family units and apply this knowledge to the care of patients as well as families and carers of individuals with mental health problems.
  10. Describe the role of the paramedic and allied health professionals in providing community-based emergency health care aimed at managing mental health emergencies within a given cultural context.
  11. Investigate the special needs of Indigenous persons and those from non-English speaking backgrounds during a mental health event.


Mental status assessment (20%)
Pamphlet (20%)
Mid-semester exam (1 hour) (20%)
Exam (2 hours) (40%)
Attendance (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

6 hours per week involving lectures, tutorials and small group exercises.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 3445.