PMH1011 - Mental health in the community - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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 Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Swati Mujumdar


Dr Christopher Siva (Australia)
Dr Rachel Ting Sing Kiat (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must be enrolled in an Undergraduate Degree


Each day individuals encounter challenges that impact on their own and others' mental health and wellbeing. These include biological, psychological, and social factors, as well as behaviours such as binge drinking and inappropriate drug use, which can affect both individual health and have wider impact on the community. This unit will employ diverse teaching and learning methods to examine the history of asylums, the move towards deinstitutionalisation, and other advancements in psychological theory and practice that have promoted a push towards community-based mental health care delivery. Students will gain an understanding of the most prevalent mental health issues within the community, including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol misuse, eating disorders, personality disorders, and psychosis. Common lifespan and developmental challenges for children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults will be discussed.

Students will gain an appreciation of how the mental health system works within Australia, the types of community-based organisations, services, and resources available to individuals experiencing a mental health issue, and the barriers that interfere with mental health promotion and recovery from an episode of illness. In undertaking the unit, students will gain familiarity with real life problems faced by people who struggle with mental health difficulties, skills in critical thinking relevant to mental health and wellbeing, and the capacity to analyse responses to particular social and mental health problems.

The unit will provide students with knowledge to enable them to participate in the multidisciplinary workforce that address these issues in local, state, and federal government departments, as well as in NGOs, small community-based organisations, and other setting where psychologists work.


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

  1. Describe the most common mental health issues impacting individuals within the community and organisations, services, and resources that may assist recovery;
  2. Appreciate the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the development of mental health issues, help-seeking behaviours, and recovery;
  3. Critique different approaches to mental health policy and promotion designed to assist recovery;
  4. Demonstrate a capacity for critical thinking in relation to topical social problems; and,
  5. Describe the challenges involved at interpersonal, community, and policy levels in ensuring good mental health.


  • Lab class presentation (10%)
  • Weekly online pre-lecture quiz (10%) (Assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the semester)
  • Essay (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Examination (50%)


Students must pass the examination to achieve a pass for this unit.

Workload requirements

Lecture attendance: 2 hours per week;

Tutorial attendance: 2 hours per fortnight;

Preparation: 5 hours background reading/preparation for lectures, tutorials, and assessment tasks.

Attendance at labs/tutorials is required in order to successfully complete in-class activities and related assessment tasks.

See also Unit timetable information

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