The Professional Certificate in Mental Health Practice is designed to link to The National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (Practice Standards), which were developed in 2002 as part of the National Mental Health Strategy and provide practical benchmarks for the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by all mental health professionals.
The Practice Standards promote psychiatric rehabilitation, recovery and a humane approach to mental health service delivery by emphasising partnerships and collaboration with consumers, family members and/or carers in service planning, delivery and evaluation. The main approach to managing mental health issues has emphasised a multidisciplinary framework. Health professionals from different disciplines, and with a range of qualifications and skills, provide mental health services. Many of these professionals work in teams, while others work in private practice and consult with, or refer to, other service providers.
The course themes and topics are structured into a single year-long subject, consisting of 13 on-line learning modules. Each module is delivered over a two week period, between February and December.
The content of the course outlines the knowledge, skills and attitudes required when individual members of the five main mental health professions work in a mental health service (nursing, social work, occupational therapy and other allied health fields, psychology and psychiatry), and aims to complement each of the professional groups discipline-specific practice standards or competencies and address the shared knowledge and skills required when working in a multidisciplinary mental health environment through critical analysis.
The curriculum incorporates the online content of the Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD), building around the themes and topics that are contained in the MHPOD. The 4 MHPOD themes are:
Context of Mental Health Practice (12 topics)
Fundamentals of Mental Health Practice (12 topics)
Evidence-based Practice and Partnership (10 topics)
Diversity in Mental Health Practice (11 topics)