According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community’. When a person has a condition that affects their mental health, they may have a mental health disorder or illness, which includes conditions like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Beyond Blue, an organisation that works to address issues associated with mental health disorders cites one in six Australians is currently experiencing anxiety or depression or both. It also claims that one in eight Australians is currently experiencing high or very high psychological distress.
As such, mental health care and management is a billion-dollar industry, and it continues to grow – particularly with the highly stressful events taking place across the globe at present. Our NEW Mental Health Awareness Program will give you the skills and knowledge you need to undertake a rewarding career that will assist with the population’s growing mental health issues, both now and into the future.
- Study the definition of abnormality in terms of social constructs, statistical infrequency and the failure to function adequately.
- Learn about labelling and stigmatisation of mental health and how it relates to mental illness.
- Undertake a case study of African Caribbean people and schizophrenia.
- Explore the causes of mental health illness including the social, physical, psychological and environmental factors.
- Learn about the Diathesis-Stress Model.
- Discover some of the treatments for mental health problems.
- Study the forms of depression in men and women.
- Learn how to determine the types, forms, causes, triggers and risk factors of depression.
- Gain an understanding of gender and depression and older people and depression.
- Learn about some of the treatments for depression.
- Study the psychological aspects of long-term grief.
- Explore anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Study post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Gain insights into schizophrenia – the causes, symptoms, subtypes, and how to diagnose and treat it.
- Learn about Personality Disorders, Psychopathy and its causes and treatment.
- Study eating disorders and their causes, including body image and self-esteem.
- Explore Anorexia Nervosa and its symptoms and treatment.
- Learn about Bulimia Nervosa and its symptoms, associated behaviours and treatment.
- Study obesity and psychological complications and treatment.
- Explore dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in terms of the types, causes, care and management.
- Learn about a holistic approach to mental health in terms of diet, exercise, body imbalances, psychological and psychosocial factors and self-control techniques.
- Study the role of social support networks and self-help groups in the mental health space.
- Study the services available for mental health issues including counsellors, psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, nurses, professional carers, crisis centres, telephone and online counselling, group therapy and complementary therapies.
Why Study The Mental Health Awareness Program?
A course in mental health awareness will help you understand the signs, symptoms and possible treatments of adult mental health problems. It will also give you the tools to help someone suffering from mental health issues help themselves. This could be by finding ways to alleviate symptoms which the individual has little or no control over, and then educating them to leverage practical strategies and techniques to help control those symptoms.
Career opportunities in this rewarding sector are wide and varied, and the job opportunities in the health field are virtually endless. They include working in:
- Relationship, family, couple, grief, substance abuse, rehabilitation or body image counselling
- Careers counselling, life coaching or stress management
- Private practice or in self-employment
- A school or government institution
- An HR department or as an organisation’s mental health coordinator
- The medical field as a GP or mental health nurse
- Social services or as a caseworker
- Aged care services
- Sports, clinical, forensic, social, military, aviation, industrial, criminal, educational, industrial relations or developmental psychology fields
- The education, psychiatry or occupational therapist sector
- Mental health marketing or education
Case Study – Psychologist Marie Jahoda
We have already mentioned the World Health Organisation’s definition of ‘mental health’, but what does good mental health mean?
Born in 1907, Marie Jahoda was an Austrian-British social psychologist who developed the theory of Ideal Mental Health in 1958. In her book, Current Concepts of Positive Mental Health, she criticised psychologists for focussing on mental illness and disease rather than on mental health and well-being. Along with this, she developed the idea of what became known as ‘positive psychology’, and argued that what we consider ‘mentally ill’ largely depends on social conventions.
After surveying several doctors and psychiatrists, she discovered six characteristics formed the conditions for mental ‘normality’:
· Personal growth and development
· Positive self-esteem and a strong sense of identity
· The ability to cope with stressful situations
· Autonomy and independence
· An accurate perception of reality
· A successful mastery of the environment, including relationships
These included factors, such as being able to:
- Manage time well
- Form relationships successfully
- Have meaningful social relationships
- Work well with other people
- Be regularly active
- Have high self-esteem
In her work, Jahoda studied unemployed people and found that they were often unhappy because they did not have many of these qualities in their lives. For example, because they weren’t working with others, they weren’t regularly active, and their unhappiness was not ‘just’ because they were poorer because of their unemployment.
Many modern psychologists have supported her research. However, others have criticised it, often because of Western cultural values. Autonomy, for example, is considered not as culturally valid in more collectivist cultures, where cooperation is valued more than independence. However, her work at the time was ground-breaking and is still a fascinating concept in terms of how we define both mental health and mental illness.
Keen to assist individuals to enhance their quality of life in these overwhelmingly stressful times? Our Mental Health Awareness Program will give you the knowledge and skills to make a real difference in people’s lives.