HCS310 Mental Health Practice (8)


This subject will provide a critical introduction to the field of mental health and mental disorders and the various mental health services and programs. It will examine biological, psychological and sociological frameworks relevant to mental health and mental disorders from an evidence based perspective. It will also provide an orientation to prevention, promotion, classification (diagnosis, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation) of mental disorders. Various factors that impact upon mental disorder such as socio-economic status, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and age are discussed as well as the relationship of people with mental disorders to their families, caregivers and others in supportive and regulatory roles. HCS310 introduces gender and cultural diversity including indigenous mental health in the subject via diverse case studies. Consumer and carer perspectives are also embedded into the learning within HCS310.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalDubbo Campus
InternalPort Macquarie
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HCS310
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sesssionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the biological, psychological and sociological frameworks for understanding the etiology of mental disorders
- be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the mental disorder classification system
- be able to identify the effects of oppression, discrimination and stigma on individuals with mental disorders and their families
- be able to identify strategies to minimise discrimination and combat stigma
- be able to assess the risks and strengths of individuals, families and communities for the purposes of promoting mental health, early intervention, treatment and continuing care
- be able to plan and conduct culturally competent, gender specific individual, family, group and community based capacity building and preventive interventions
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of mental health policy and service delivery systems, legal and ethical issues


The subject will cover the following topics:
* What are mental health and mental illness?
* Approaches to understanding the development of mental disorders- biological, psychological and sociological perspectives.
* Classifying mental disorders- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-4-TR), Person in Environment (PIE) and social work and social science approaches to assessment focusing on social functioning rather than the disorder. The potential of the classification system to create deviance and misuse of the system and their negative consequences on minority groups.
* The appropriateness of various treatments and psychosocial rehabilitation programs including medications, psychotherapy /counseling, residential, vocational, social, educational, self help and mutual aid programs for people with various types of disorders.
* The role of families and community caregivers in supporting the recovery of individuals with mental health disorders. Understanding of processes by which stigma develops and is maintained.
* Culture and Mental Disorder with emphasis on Indigenous mental health issues.
* The Australian Mental Health Policy, related legal and ethical issues.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.