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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Nursing Studies

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary issues in mental health: engaging through the arts, humanities and social science (NUST10050)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to engage students with contemporary issues in mental health through social science, the arts and humanities.

Students will gain a deep and critical understanding of contemporary issues in mental health through engagement with perspectives from science, social science and the arts. Resources for learning include lectures, workshops, academic journals, films, fictional literature, autobiographies, poetry, paintings/photographs.

Through engagement with this wide range of materials the student is encouraged to engage with a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, as well as think about the nature of evidence and how it is used within health care. The assessment encourages students to consider how they can engage the wider public with health-related issues.
Course description This course assumes that students have a basic understanding of the concept of mental health.

The course will engage with the main issues in mental health derived from World Health Organisation concerns as well as conceptual tensions which exist within the field. As one of the features of the course is that it draws on different sources - social science, arts and humanities - to engage students with the tensions and issues arising in relation to the topics addressed, teaching will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives. In particular, the culturally bound nature of the concepts addressed in this course will be highlighted in teaching.

Topics addressed in the lecture content will be drawn from the following list:

-Models of mental illness: dysregulated brain or social construction?
-Suicide and self harm
-Displacement and mental health: refugees, homeless and asylum seekers
-Personality and its disorders
-Power and the mental health system
-Survivorship and recovery
-Gender, ethnicity/race and mental health

Additionally students will participate in a digital story making workshop, a film making workshop and a creative writing workshop to provide them with an understanding of how to develop arts based assets as a means of exploring and expressing critical issues in mental health.

Student learning experience

Students will learn through a combination of lectures, journal club discussions, workshops, films, engagement with art and photographs.

Lectures will provide students with an introduction to some of the main concepts, issues and tensions within the topic area.

Practical workshops about developing creative media will allow students to develop the practical skills required for undertaking the summative assessment as well as explore what makes a 'good' film/digital story/poem or piece of creative writing.

Journal club sessions (forming the latter hour of several of the lectures) will be used to develop further discussion and share understanding of the issues.

Films, autobiographical writing, paintings, poems and fictional literature will be used to engage the student with a range of perspectives as well as facilitate understanding of the value of different media for expressing experience and arguments and engaging others.

It is anticipated that there will be some engagement with exhibitions and productions in the mental health arts festival which usually takes place in October in Edinburgh.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will gain a deep and critical understanding of contemporary issues in mental health through engagement with a range of stakeholder perspectives and experiences
  2. Students will gain insight into the different forms of evidence (from science, the arts, autobiography) that inform understanding of mental health issues and how this can be used to inform practice.
  3. Students will develop their critical analysis and synthesis skills, and an awareness of the political nature of mental health.
  4. Students will consider how they can engage the wider public with health related issues through arts based means.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students develop their ability to understand the role of evidence from a range of sources; develop inquiry skills of analysis and synthesis; develop transferable skills related to knowledge transfer and engaging the public
Keywordsmental health,arts and humanities
Course organiserDr Rosie Stenhouse
Tel: (0131 6)51 5160
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
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