CMH5001 - Mental health practice essentials - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Graham Meadows


Dr Fiona Best
Mr Chris Brooks

Unit guides




Must be enrolled in course code M6022


This unit focuses on the essential clinical practice skills required for adequate performance as a clinician in a community mental health setting. The unit addresses psychiatric assessment, the use of a structured instrument (e.g. HONOS) and specific assessment issues that arise in different clinical scenarios. The unit also covers case management principles and practical issues in mental health delivery with an emphasis on some special focus areas. The unit also addresses the theoretical framework and management of schizophrenia and related disorders, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders and personality disorders.

Content includes:

  • General issues in case management
  • Practical case management
  • Specific focus areas for case management
  • Assessment - general issues
  • A structured assessment instrument as a guide to essential skills - the 'Health of the Nation Outcome Scale' (HoNOS)
  • Assessment - specific issues
  • Characterisation, recognition and outcome of schizophrenia and related disorders
  • Responding to the needs of people with schizophrenia and related disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Affective disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance-related and addictive disorders.


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

  1. Complete an adequate assessment of a patient with a psychiatric syndrome.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the essential skills in using a structured instrument as an assessment tool e.g. HoNOS
  3. Identify and describe the principles and features of case management in mental health.
  4. Utilise the principles in clinical practice as demonstrated by experience.
  5. Have developed sufficient knowledge about various psychiatric syndromes and their management to be utilised in clinical practice.
  6. Critically appraise recent developments relevant to this unit.


  • Hurdle requirement: Participation in a minimum of 5 Moodle discussions
  • Essay (3,500 words) (60%)
  • Applied Learning Exercise (1,750 words) (30%)
  • On-Campus Workshop/Alternative Assessment (10%)

All assessments must be passed to pass the unit

Off-campus attendance requirements

Two day on-campus workshop.

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