Professional Standards in Mental Health Care

Professional Standards in Mental Health Care

Level ~ Graduate Certificate
Teaching period ~ Semester 1
Type ~ Core

This unit explores the ethico-legal basis of mental health care provision. This unit will examine the tension between risk and recovery, professional boundaries, ethical decision making. and provide an opportunity to critically reflect on national mental health standards, professional codes of practice, and mental health legislation. Students will collaborate and engage in open discussion of the real-world challenges that can occur translating standards into practice. Reflective practice skills will be developed along with an exploration of the role of clinical supervision. It is referenced to the National Mental Health Core Capabilities (Health Workforce Australia, 2014) and the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (Department of Health, Victoria, 2013).


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate ethico-legal dilemmas in mental health care. Demonstrate the application of decision making and insight; and utilisation of professional relationships; in pursuit of optimal outcomes for people with a lived experience.
  • Critically appraise competing issues within mental health care and the application of professional standards to practice.
  • Critically evaluate the principles of interprofessional practice, including consideration of scope of practice and implications for collaboration with diverse stakeholders
  • Examine the role of clinical supervision and reflective practice in contributing to the promotion of high professional standards; facilitating self-awareness and transparent communication.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1 Professional Standards I
Week 2 Professional Standards II
Week 3 Ethical decision making
Week 4 Scopes of practice
Week 5 Interprofessional practice
Week 6 Trauma and resilience across the lifespan
Week 7 Principles of trauma-informed care and practice
Week 8 Trauma related mental ill health
Week 9 Vicarious trauma: workplace context and practice
Week 10 Strategies for improving mental health outcomes
Week 11 Evidence-based practice
Week 12 The power of reflection
Week 13 Reflective practice and supervision
Week 14 Self-care and burnout
Week 15 Maintaining your practice