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

Postgraduate Course: Mental Health and Nursing Care (NUST11100)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.
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 content will 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 and students will be equipped with an understanding of, and the ability to competently practice, a range of interpersonal and communication skills. Overall, this course will enable students to develop as reflective practitioners.

The following is indicative content. 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 and 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 routes: lectures, study circles and skills workshops.

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 (Suoranta 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.

Study circles are based on the work of Suoranta and Moisio (2006) who developed these as a means of engaging students with their own and others' expertise in the teaching of social sciences. The circles will be formed of 4-6 students who will undertake the reading, make detailed summary notes of the main concepts and themes and present these to the group, participate in the group discussion. The study circles will be focused on working through a scenario acquiring and sharing the necessary knowledge to undertake the assignment.

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 a person who practises self-harm, and another focused on talking with a person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 7.5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Online Activities 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group presentation (20%)
Study circle engagement (10%)
Course paper (70%)
Feedback Formative assessment is gained through discussion and feedback related to the group work.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the connection between social, historical and policy context and the experience of people with a diagnosed mental health problem, and critically appraise common mental health problems and therapeutic approaches implemented by nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team.
  2. Formulate assessments and care plans, and evaluate care as the cornerstone of holistic, evidence-based, person-centred care which integrates physical and mental health and is recovery-oriented.
  3. Evaluate the nature of therapeutic relationships, interpersonal and communication skills and apply these in the care of the person with mental health problems and their families/carers.
  4. Demonstrate key employability skills including teamwork, communication, ICT, presentation, learning through reflection on action, and organizational skills including delegation of tasks.
  5. Evaluate professional practice through critical reflection and work in accordance with the relevant legislative, professional, ethical and policy frameworks.
Reading List
Chambers M. (ed) (2017) Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The craft of caring (3rd ed.) Hodder Arnold: London.

Rogers A and Pilgrim D (2010) A sociology of mental health and illness (4th Ed) McGraw-Hill: Maidenhead

Gamble C and Brennan G (ed) (2006) Working with Serious Mental Illness: A manual for Clinical Practice (2nd ed.) Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.

Trenoweth S. (2017) Promoting recovery in mental health nursing Sage Learning Matters: London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Student will develop to become skilled communicators with a depth of knowledge and skill pertaining to communication in the context of individual relationships, as well as the ability to communicate around emotionally and psychologically sensitive issues.
Through participation in the study circles students are required to develop their own knowledge through engagement with evidence, as well as contribute to the development of others' knowledge through discussion and sharing.
KeywordsMental health; nursing; communication and interpersonal skills
Course organiserDr Rosie Stenhouse
Tel: (0131 6)51 5160
Course secretaryMs Lisa Binder
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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