Unit description

Enables health care practitioners to explore and critically analyse the social, political, ethical, legal and economic context of mental health care in Australia, pre- and post-Burdekin. In particular, the student will analyse the ways in which mental illness and mental health have historically been conceptualised and how this has influenced the way in which mental health care is currently organised and administered within Australian health care settings. Students will reflect on and evaluate their own practice in relation to contemporary mental health care.

Unit content

The unit has been organised into two sections and seven topics. 
Topic 1 Unit introduction 
Section 1 Factors influencing current mental health care
Topic 2 Historical overview of mental health care 
Topic 3 Social and political influences on current mental health policies 
Section 2 Issues in contemporary mental health care 
Topic 4 The reform process 
Topic 5 National mental health policy 
Topic 6 Rights of people with a mental illness 
Topic 7 Evaluation of mental health care

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.