CLS247 Mental Health for Paramedicine (8)

This subject will equip you with evidence-based knowledge and effective skills to care for persons experiencing a wide range of mental health emergencies, and/or presenting with substance induced behavioural emergencies. As a paramedic you need to function effectively in an increasingly demanding and complex environment that impacts upon physical and mental wellbeing and places you at increased risk of mental illnesses such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This subject is designed to assist you to broaden your capacity for self-care; strengthen your emotional resilience; recognise early signs of mental distress, engage in effective therapeutic relationships and identify how to access mental health professionals and services.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CLS247. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Paramedicine and Healthcare Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Enrolment is restricted to students in the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Bachelor of Paramedicine, Bachelor of Paramedicine (Honours).

Assumed Knowledge

As a student undertaking this subject you will have knowledge and skills gained from your previous years of study and clinical placements in the degree.

Incompatible Subjects

NRS243, NRS246, NRS247

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe and explain key mental health disorders/illnesses, their prevalence, clinical features, associated crises or emergencies that may arise with these conditions, evidence-based pharmacological and psychological treatments and relevant mental health services;
  • be able to identify a range of psychological strategies to use throughout a career in paramedicine that will support emotional wellbeing and resilience and reduce vulnerability to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and PTSD;
  • be able to apply and demonstrate skills in mental state examination, mental health assessment, risk assessment, structured handover, de-escalation and behavioural management of people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and/or are drug affected;
  • be able to describe and explain the use of current mental health legislation and underpinning ethical principles that must inform clinical practice in situations where the person may be mentally, behaviourally or cognitively impaired;
  • be able to identify and analyse research related to paramedicine's role in responding to people with mental illness, to developing a resilient paramedic workforce and early intervention for front-line health professionals experiencing early indicators of mental distress and trauma; and
  • be able to identify and demonstrate skills for effective therapeutic relationships including the identification of barriers to effective communication and, how to engage in culturally appropriate care/communication for ATSI and CALD clients and their families.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Why mental health for paramedics?
  • The impact of stress and distress on paramedic wellbeing;
  • Building your resilience and maintaining your mental wellbeing;
  • Mental State Examination;
  • Mental illness;
  • Drug and alcohol disorders;
  • Building a therapeutic relationship;
  • Responding to challenging behaviours;
  • Risk assessment and handover;
  • Legal and ethical issues;
  • Consumer and carer perspectives;
  • Pharmacology; and
  • Amalgamating knowledge to practice.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of CLS247 in Session 1 2021. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Self-reflection journal
Critical analysis: challenging behaviours
Mse, risk assessment and handover

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.