This unit introduces students to Psychology, Mental Health and IIlness. It aims to build on the communication and assessment skills developed in previous units of study. Students will engage in various learning methods to further build professional knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for practice in a mental health setting, with a focus on the promotion of mental health. Students will apply ciritical thinking to formulate safe person centred nursing management of selected mental health conditions across the lifespan. The unit provides the knowledge and skills students require to meet the needs of people with altered mental health status in hospital and community settings. It also complements the information provided in the unit Pathophysiology & Quality Use of Medicines 1.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HNB1205 - Foundations in Nursing 2

HNB1206 - Professional Practice 1

RBM2101 - Pathophysiology & Quality Use of Medicines 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Discuss the major phenomena of social, emotional, personality and cognitive development across the lifespan;  
  2. Describe characteristic behaviours that people are likely to exhibit at various stages of the lifespan;  
  3. Outline some major theories of human development;  
  4. Describe the theoretical bases of mental health nursing;  
  5. Examine the delivery of mental health services in Australia, with emphasis on the period from middle twentieth century to the present;  
  6. Articulate knowledge of mental health and illness throughout the lifespan including determinants of mental illness, clinical manifestations and psychopathology  
  7. Describe the legislative and ethical foundations of mental health care and treatment, in particular the roles and responsibilities of the nurse under the Victorian Mental Health Act;  
  8. Apply skills in beginning health assessment knowledge and skills in communication, mental status examination and risk assessment;  
  9. Demonstrate the ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate mental health nursing care for individuals and families with anxiety, mood and psychotic disorders;  
  10. Critically discuss common therapeutic modalities, including psychopharmacology.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Three (3) Online Tests (30 minutes each) 20%
Assignment Written Assessment (1200 words) 30%
Exercise Written Assessment (Case study x 2) 50%
To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must attend 100% of all simulation classes, submit all assessment items (to align to ANMAC accreditation requirements of the course) and achieve an aggregate score of 50% overall for the unit.

Required reading

Psychiatric and mental health nursing. (4th ed.),
Evans, K., Nizette, D., & O'Brien, A. (2017).
Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

RECOMMENDED TEXT: Fortinash, K. M., & Holoday-Worret, P. A. (2007). Psychiatric nursing care plans. (5th ed.), St Louis: Mosby

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.