COUN3021 Mental Health Issues

Bachelor Course Unit

COUN3021 Mental Health Issues

Level: 3rd year

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Unit description

This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills to identify mental health issues.

Throughout this unit, we consider the meaning and incidence of mental health problems, current issues in mental health, and key features and behaviours of those with common types of mental health problems.

The emphasis of this unit is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify a client with a mental health problem so you can make an appropriate referral.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • use the terminology and understand the core concepts of mental health issues
  • identify current issues in mental health
  • identify possible abnormal behaviour and common types of mental health problems

Unit content

  • What is Abnormal Behaviour?
  • Assessment, Classification and Diagnosis of Mental Health Disorders
  • Treatment Options for Mental Health Problems
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Stress and Mental Health
  • Eating Disorders: Pathology or Social Construct?
  • Mood Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Developmental Disorders in Young People
  • Community and Cross-Cultural Issues
  • Legal and Ethical Issues

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Regular Term



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Academic Essay




Case Study




Summer School (2014)



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Short Answer Questions




Academic Essay




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Knowledge of the framework of counselling theory, and a foundational understanding of the major theories of counselling
  • Understanding of and the appropriate application of counselling skills in a range of contexts and circumstances
  • Understanding what constitutes ethical practice in counselling interactions
  • The ability to effectively and appropriately apply the micro and macro skills of counselling
  • The ability to recognise major transition points in human development and major forms of mental illness and know when and how to appropriately refer clients

Recommended text

Barlow, D. H., & Durand, V. M. (2012). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Relevant journals

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Australian Journal of Psychology
Australian Psychologist
Australasian Psychiatry
Children Australia
Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Depression and Anxiety
International Journal of Mental Health
International Review of Psychiatry
Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Journal of Mental Health
Journal of Mental Health Counselling
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Mental Health, Religion and Culture

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.