This unit builds on the unit Nursing and Mental Health 1 to assist students to further develop knowledge, skills and attitudes in the promotion of mental health. In addition the unit aims to equip students with the necessary skills to care for consumers experiencing various types of mental illness. Students will have the opportunity to learn about and apply a range of therapeutic interventions. Students will examine the role culture has in mental illness and also investigate current mental health research and use evidence based practice in a range of areas within mental health including health promotion and early intervention.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HNB2105 - Nursing and Mental Health 1

RBM2202 - Pathophysiology & Quality Use of Medicines 2

HNB2104 - Nursing and Acute Care 1

HNB2106 - Professional Practice 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Examine the use of classification systems and the structure, function and policy issues of psychiatric services;  
  2. Demonstrate knowledge in mental health and illness throughout the lifespan including mental health promotion, determinants of mental illness, clinical manifestations, and psychopathology, this includes eating, personality, and somatoform disorders;  
  3. Demonstrate understanding of common therapeutic modalities, including psychopharmacology, group and family therapy;  
  4. Critically discuss the physical, psychological and social manifestations of individuals with a dual disability (intellectual disability and mental illness);  
  5. Demonstrate knowledge in substance use, substance-related disorders and dual diagnosis;  
  6. Critically analyse the range of intervention and treatment services available to individuals with substance use including, harm minimisation and motivational interviewing;  
  7. Demonstrate advanced skills in communication, psychosocial assessment, mental status examination and risk assessment;  
  8. Demonstrate the ability to plan, implement and evaluate mental health care for individuals and families;  
  9. Demonstrate culturally appropriate skills in assessment and intervention of individuals from various cultural groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with mental illness.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Examination Practical Skills Testing (1 hour) 30%
Assignment Written Assessment, group poster and presentation (2000 words) 30%
Examination Written Examination - case studies x 2 (2 hours) 40%
To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must submit all assessments and attend 85% of all practical and clinical simulation which is a requirement of the accreditation body ANMAC. This is required as simulation classes support students to acquire the essential skills and knowledge expected on clinical placement. Any absences must be supported with documentation to the unit convenor.

Required reading

Psychiatric and mental health nursing 4th ed.
Elder, R., Evans, K. & Nizette, D. (2017)
Chatswood, NSW: Mosby.

Psychiatric nursing care plans 5th ed.
Fortinash, K. M., & Holoday-Worret, P. A. (2007)
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.