Trauma and Mental Health


VET Diploma Level Subject

In this subject students will learn to adopt a person-centred and trauma informed approach to support clients affected by mental health and/or trauma in a community services context. This will involve working collaboratively with a variety of health and community service professionals to support the client, their carer/s and family.

Learning Elements

The unit of competency CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues contains three elements or learning outcomes. You will learn to:

  • Establish respectful relationships with people with mental health issues
  • Determine the needs of people with mental health issues
  • Work with people with mental health issues to meet aspirations and needs

The unit of competency CHCMHS013 Implement trauma informed care contains three elements or learning outcomes. You will learn to:

  • Work in trauma informed ways
  • Develop strategies to address people’s specific trauma needs
  • Promote trauma informed practices

Content Area

  • An introduction to mental illness
  • Legal and ethical considerations when working with people with mental health issues and trauma in the workplace
  • Values and principles of the mental health sector
  • Different contexts of mental health work
  • Impact of own attitudes on working with people with mental health issues and trauma
  • Key issues facing people with mental health illnesses, including impact of prejudice and discrimination
  • Myths and facts about mental illness
  • Types of mental illness
  • Existing services to address a person’s needs and rights
  • Appropriate responses to changes in mental health, mental distress and crisis
  • Referral
  • Definition of trauma, complex trauma and intergenerational trauma
  • Common biological, psychological and social impacts of trauma
  • Gender differences in the application of trauma informed care
  • Values and core principles and features of trauma informed care and practice
  • Role of triggers and 'flashback' (re-experiencing), re-victimisation and re-traumatisation
  • Links between suicidality, self-harm and interpersonal trauma
  • Principles and practices of trauma informed care
  • Peer supervision, reflective practice and their role in mental health work

Subject Duration and Workload

This subject involves a total of 144 hours per term of study which translates to 12 hours per week for the subject. The subject has a course work component, teacher contact, research, related study activities, and completion of assessment tasks.