HCS310 Mental Health (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.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Wagga 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

Grading System



One session


School 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.
  • be able to present work in appropriate professional and academic style and standard.


This subject will cover the following topics:

  • Mental health services in the Australian context.
  • Assessment in the mental health context
  • Legal and Ethical context of mental health
  • Culture and mental health
  • Stress, distress and self care
  • Challenging behaviours
  • Common mental health conditions
  • Suicide and self harm
  • Serious mental illness
  • Co morbidity of mental illness with substance abuse disorder
  • Older persons with mental illnesses
  • Approaches to mental health care service delivery

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of HCS310 in Session 2 2020. 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 %
Short answer questions
Case study analysis

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.