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Semester 1

Mental Health: Life Sciences and Nursing Care 2 (NUST08022)


Nursing Studies





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Visiting Students are expected to have completed at least one introductory course in a complementary subject area, and achieved grade B, or above. **Please note that Nursing courses have extremely limited spaces available, and are very popular, so students cannot be guaranteed a space in any Nursing course.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the Nursing department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of individuals' experience of common mental health problems and the impact that this has on their ability to engage with everyday life. Underpinned by the biopsychosocial model of mental illness, and taking a recovery-oriented approach, this course will equip students to engage with people who experience mental health problems as people who are contextually situated within their particular social context. The development of relational understanding and interpersonal skills is central to this course which will provide students with the opportunity to practice their communication skills in a safe environment. Indicative knowledge content includes common psychiatric diagnoses, symptoms and therapeutic approaches; biological, social and psychological theories of mental illness; Recovery; particular mental health issues affecting people at different life stages; suicide. Skills are developed through communication skills workshops including working with self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Course Description

The course aims to provide students with a broad knowledge that enables them to understand the context, and be sensitive to the experience, of people with a diagnosed mental health problem, enabling them to engage empathetically. The course also aims to: provide students with a broad knowledge that enables them to identify signs of those who might be experiencing mental health problems and would benefit from specialist assessment, equip students with an understanding of, and the ability to competently practice, a range of interpersonal and communication skills and Enable students to develop as reflective practitioners. The balance of content is subject to alteration in line with UK and global priorities in order to remain contemporary: Historical, policy and global context of mental health and mental health services including stigma - Social, psychological and biological theory of mental illness - Recovery and recovery-oriented practice - Therapeutic approaches including pharmaceutical, psychological therapies, family based and psychosocial approaches - People experiencing altered perceptions - People experiencing altered mood - Adverse childhood events, trauma and mental health - Suicide - Self harm - Mental health as it relates to ages and life stages - Mental health as it relates to particular groups such as asylum seekers, LGBT+ community, people who misuse substances - Mental health legislation - Physical health care of people with mental health problems - Therapeutic relationships and interpersonal skills theory and practice - Promoting mental health - Assessment and care planning - Multi-disciplinary team members and their scope of practice. Students will learn through three main route: Lectures : The course contains 20 hours of lectures to introduce students to main concepts in mental health care. These lectures provide students with the required building blocks of knowledge to be able to engage with the scenario-based study circle (Suaranta and Moisio 2006) work. The lectures will include discussion and other forms of interaction and some will be taught as flipped classroom with online lectures to be viewed prior to attending class. To maximise student learning the key reading should be done in advance. Communication and interpersonal skills workshops: Communication and interpersonal skills workshops will run across five sessions in which students practice, reflect on and develop an understanding of their own skills as well as the theories underpinning therapeutic communication. These workshops include a workshop focused on working with the person who practises self-harm, and another focused on talking with the person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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