Professional Standards in Mental Health Care

Professional Standards in Mental Health Care

Graduate Certificate
Semester 1 - Core unit

This unit explores the ethico-legal basis of mental health care provision. Students will examine the tension between risk and recovery, professional boundaries, ethical decision making and 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 appraise the evidence within the literature on contemporary, competing issues in mental health law and human rights.
  • Critically evaluate contemporary issues and ethicolegal dilemmas in mental health care as applied to policy and practice.
  • Explore applications of professional codes of conduct governing healthcare practitioners from a legal and ethical perspective.
  • Work collaboratively to respond to common ethical dilemmas in mental health care and justify responses.
  • Examine the role of clinical supervision in contributing to the promotion and maintenance of high professional standards.
  • Engage in reflective practice through open discussion with colleagues, show responsibility and transparency in work practices.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Workforce Standards and Professional Codes
Week 3 Service Standards and Special Groups
Week 4 Reflective Practice and Clinical Supervision
Week 5 Ethics in Mental Health
Week 6 Professional Boundaries
Week 7 Mental Health Legislation
Week 8 Navigating Risk and Recovery I
Week 9 Navigating Risk and Recovery II
Week 10 Understanding Trauma
Week 11 Trauma Informed Care and Practice I
Week 12 Trauma Informed Care and Practice II
Week 13 Evidence-based Practice
Week 14 Communication and Collaboration
Week 15 Review