Mental Health Nursing Practice (NURS5085)


This unit of study is based on the principle that mental health knowledge and skills are essential for all nurses. Students are introduced to constructs of mental health and wellbeing and mental illness and the role of the nurse in promoting mental health, preventing mental illness and minimising the negative effects of the latter for individuals, their family/carers and the community. Consumer and carer perspectives will inform students' understandings of mental health problems as experienced by children, young people and adults, including older persons, of varying cultural and gender backgrounds. These problems are explored in view of the latest evidence for risk/protective factors, symptomatology, nursing care, and psychotherapeutic and physical treatment approaches. Co-morbidities, including substance use and physical health conditions, will also be explored. The nurse's effective use of self and the therapeutic nurse/client interpersonal relationship as core mental health nursing skills are addressed from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Students will develop and consolidate key mental health assessment and clinical skills including foundation counselling skills. The care continuum in mental health, and the scope of nursing practice in a range of mental health and ethico-legal contexts are addressed with the overall aim of generating nursing care that supports effective outcomes for mental health consumers and their family/carers.

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Further unit of study information


13x2-hr lectures, 13x2-hr tutorials, 2x2.5-hr workshops and clinical placements


case study essay (40%), written examination (50%), clinical skills assessment (10%) and satisfactory off-campus clinical performance

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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