MH0406 - Fundamental Aspects of Mental Health and Illness

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will be introduced to the complex understanding and meanings of mental health and illness. An overview of the diagnostic classification of different mental illnesses will first be explored, considering the aetiology of mental illness and a discussion of the sociological and psychiatry discourse that surrounds the classification of different mental illnesses. Specific mental health illnesses such as psychosis, dementia, delirium, depression, anxiety and personality disorder will be introduced. The manner in which mental health and illness is understood and given meaning will be considered in relation to impact it has on the service user’s experience.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning on this module will include lectures, seminars and practicals. The lectures will cover theories and concepts which will be further explored and applied in the following seminars and practical sessions where students are expected to engage in debate and discussion to explore the complexity of defining mental health and illness. There will be directed study between sessions, supported by a range of electronic resources which will further further support your learning and development. There will also be self directed time which can be used how you feel best but should include some reflective time.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Each lecture is reinforced with a seminar, allowing a fuller, informal discussion of the topic and the opportunity to discuss contentious issues. There are also practical sessions where experiential learning, using role play and simulation will support topics in the lectures and seminars.
You will also be supported on this module from the module team; the module teams consist of people with a mental health/carers, mental health nursing academics and practitioners.Support and guidance will be given through clear directed learning activities, small group seminars, coaching sessions and simulated activities. All support will be in line with any Disabled Student Services Report (DSSR) recommendations. Your personal tutor and the module team will offer further support required and can be contacted via telephone, email, or in person – contact details are available via the elp on the programme and module sites.
The electronic media (e.g. elp/twitter) will support your learning including opportunity for group learning, peer support and discussions with a wider audience on contemporary practice issues.

You will have access to 24/7 generic IT support and specific support from the programme team with any specific IT issues related to the e-lecture packages. You will also have access to the full range of student administration and support services offered by Northumbria University which includes library and learning support outlined fully in the programme handbook.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. You will be introduced to and define the complex discourse that exists when defining mental health & illness and understanding the different types of mental illnesses
2. You will demostrate your understanding and appreciation of the lived experience of mental health.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. You will demonstrate your ability to practice in a holistic, individualised, service user centered, non-judgemental,caring and sensitive manner, acknowledging the diverse needs of contemporary society.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. You will demonstrate your abilities to work independently and collaboratively, identifying your own and the developmental needs of others to successfully deliver your role as a nurse.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Formative assessment will involve students working in their allocated summative assessment group and producing a 15 minute presentation exploring the meaning of a particular mental illness.
Verbal feedback will be given from the module team and peers throughout the module during classroom teaching, seminars and practical sessions. You will also be able to engage in group discussion within the timetabled group tutorial and further online tutorials provided within the module (MLO’s 1, 2, 4).

Summative assessment:
The summative assessment for this module is a 2,000 word assignment that engages students to debate the different forms of disourse that surround mental health and illness.

You will need to demonstrate your understanding of the mental health – illness continuum.
You will need to consider the concepts of different mental illness classifications and how this is experienced and defined.
You will demonstrate your ability to reflect on the impact of recovery/discovery of individual’s experiences of mental health (MLO’s 1, 2, 3, 4).

You will receive written feedback following your summative assessment, which will indicate the mark awarded for the module and areas for future development.





Module abstract

This module challenges how mental health and illness is conceived, and is vital because, we must understand how meaning and knowledge is generated about mental illness so that we can work collaboratively and holistically with professionals, carers and service users.

There is a significant level of stigma that surrounds the terminology of mental illness, which when unpicked stems from the level of awareness and meaning attributed to these conditions. It is vital that this module provides a forum to value the different discourse that is generated when understanding mental illness. This will enable you to consider the importance of recovery/discovery with service users and work towards increasing public awareness of mental health wellbeing.

Your learning will be supported via classroom based teaching, seminars and practical sessions. You will be accessing and using state of the art technology as well as electronic resources and self-directed learning supported by the e-Learning Portal.

Course info

UCAS Code B740

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time (45 weeks and 4 days per year)

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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