Developmental Perspectives in Context 1: From Perinatal to Youth

Developmental Perspectives in Context 1: From Perinatal to Youth

Graduate Diploma
Semester 2

In this unit students will explore the developmental underpinnings of mental health. As health advocates, students will develop an understanding of how normal development, the interaction of environmental and biological factors, shapes mental and physical health for people across the lifespan. Knowledge and skills will be developed in working within a multidisciplinary team and across the community, including schools, children’s protection services and juvenile justice. This will include the assessment and management of children, youth and their families, in their specific social, cultural and spiritual context, across a broad range of ages, communities and disorders.

Topics to be addressed include normal development, the neurodevelopmental effects of early trauma and its impact on the individual’s developmental trajectory and what contributes to resilience. The neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the principles or early intervention and youth-specific approaches; eating disorders, early psychoses and the more common disorders of childhood such as separation anxiety are also explored. The unit will challenge students to think critically about engaging with the recovery paradigm and its applicability in understanding and working with young people.


Learning Outcomes

  • Formulation of an integrated understanding of the factors contributing to a child, adolescent or youth, and families, presentation in common
    developmentally relevant crises.
  • Appropriate application of consent, mental health and related legislation in children and adolescents.
  • Engagement, assessment and diagnosis with people of relevant ages and their families.
  • A systemic multidisciplinary approach to working with families, including basic concepts and skills of family therapy.
  • The effect of psychiatric disorders on families and carers.
  • Accurate, appropriate communication with a child or adolescent and their family in a challenging situation.
  • Development from infancy to adolescence, including responses to trauma and development of resilience.
  • Mental health promotion, early intervention, and illness prevention programs.

Teaching Schedule
Topic 1 Introduction to Working with Children and Adolescents
Topic 2 Developmental Theories
Topic 3 Perinatal Psychiatry: Focus on the Infant
Topic 4 Preschool to Early Primary School
Topic 5 Families, Parenting and Communication Skills
Topic 6 Adolescent and Youth Psychiatry
Topic 7 Child Psychiatry in the Consultation-Liaison Setting
Topic 8 Perinatal Psychiatry–Focus on the Parent
Topic 9 End of Unit Wrap-Up