Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Course CodeBPS214
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  
Mental Health Issues Can be as Significant in Children as with Anyone

Learn about signs, symptoms and treatments for child and adolescent mental health difficulties.

Mental Health is a major issue for people living in developed countries. It is difficult to estimate how many children and adolescents are affected by mental health conditions, but Australian statistics in 2007 estimated around 14% of children between 4 and 16 years old would be affected by a mental health condition at some point, and up to 45% for people over 16 years of age. It becomes important then, that people become educated about mental illness in children and adolescents, particularly because they may not be able to recognise that something isn't quite right.  This course is an excellent introduction into the nature and scope of mental health issues amongst children and adolescents. It highlights the signs and symptoms of some common mental health conditions, discusses their potential causes, and outlines possible treatment

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Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Mental Health – looking at difference between adult and child and adolescent mental health. What we mean by mental health? Mental wellness etc.
    • INTRODUCTION
    • UNDERSTANDING NORMAL CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
    • GOOD MENTAL HEALTH
    • UNDERSTANDING CHILDHOOD MENTAL ILLNESS
    • PREVALENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
    • DIFFERENCES TO ADULT MENTAL HEALTH
    • AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MENTAL HEALTH INDUSTRY
  2. Childhood Depression also how this changes when reach adolescence. signs and symptoms and treatments.
    • INTRODUCTION
    • TYPES OF DEPRESSION IN CHILDHOOD
    • DIAGNOSIS OF DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN
    • CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD DEPRESSION
    • ASSESSING RISK OF SUICIDE
  3. Anxiety Disorders - separation, generalised etc. school phobias, social phobias etc. signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION
    • SCOPE AND NATURE OF ANXIETY DISORDERS
    • DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS
    • CHILDHOOD ANXIETY DISORDERS
    • ADOLESCENT ANXIETY DISORDERS
    • OTHER ANXIETY RELATED PROBLEMS
  4. Tic Disorders - Tourette's etc. signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION TO TIC DISORDERS
    • TYPES OF TICS
    • GILLES DE LA TOURETTE SYNDROME (TOURETTE'S DISORDER)
    • TRANSIENT TIC DISORDER
    • CHRONIC TIC DISORDER
    • TIC DISORDER (NOS)
  5. Brain Disorders (Injury & Disease) signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION
    • DIFFERENCES TO ADULTS
    • TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
    • CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS
    • GENETIC DISORDERS
    • TUMOURS
    • INFECTIOUS DISEASES
    • CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE
    • EPILEPSY
    • ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS
  6. Other Disorders - Motor Disorders, Elimination Disorders, Feeding & Eating Disorders; signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION
    • ELIMINATION DISORDERS
    • ENCOPRESIS
    • ENURESIS
    • FEEDING AND EATING DISORDERS OF CHILDHOOD
    • REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
    • SELECTIVE MUTISM
    • STEREOTYPIC MOVEMENT DISORDER
  7. Environmental Problems - Abuse and Neglect, Relationship Problems signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION
    • CHILD ABUSE
    • DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE
    • FACTITIOUS DISORDER BY PROXY
    • THE EFFECTS OF ABUSE
    • ATTACHMENT ISSUES
    • LIFESTYLE
  8. Problems of Adolescence - Anorexia, Bulimia, Substance Use, Family Conflict signs/symptoms/treatment
    • INTRODUCTION
    • SIGNIFICANT DISORDERS OF ADOLESCENCE
  9. Holistic and Alternative Approaches to Treatment - this should be a general approach to dealing with children & adolescents i.e. not directed at specific conditions
    • DRUG TREATMENTS
    • FOOD AND MENTAL HEALTH
    • ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES - homeopathy, art therapy, music therapy, counselling/psychotherapy, craniosacral/biodynamic osteopathy, kinesiology, aromatherapy, sensory integration, behavioural optometry, hearing and mental health, movement therapies.
  10. Special Project - student chooses something of interest

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


PREVALENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Everyone is an individual, and that is equally relevant to children and adolescents as it is to adults; and the state of mind that a person experiences will vary from time to time.

  • Some people may always appear to be happy; but sometimes this can be a façade.
  • Some people may always appear negative, sober or even depressed; but this may not necessarily be the case.
  • Outward appearances can be misleading.
  • It is hard to determine how many children (and adults) suffer from mental health conditions. Unfortunately, there is still some stigma attached to suffering from mental health problems, so there may be a reluctance to report conditions.  For example, women are thought to report more mental health conditions than men. This can lead to a bias in the figures that we use to determine the prevalence of mental health issues in adults and children.

    Another issue is that as children age and develop, they will display differences in behaviour over time. This can be due to simple changes. For example, younger children may have problems associated with feeding and sleeping. Other common problems include clinginess or separation anxiety when the parent leaves them alone. Sometimes they might display aggression, have temper tantrums, or show oppositional behaviour. All these things can occur as part of normal development.

    Likewise, many children between the ages of 12 and 16 years might start to rebel against their parents, truant from school etc. This can be part of normal behaviour as a child learns the rules and the boundaries they live within.  But sometimes a child may be displaying a behaviour that is the start of a mental health issue. Because of the rapid changes in childhood and adolescence, mental health conditions may not be obvious at first, which again can affect the prevalence figures.

    It would seem that among the normal population of children that behavioural and emotional disorders are quite prevalent, but the prevalence of mental health disorders varies considerably in accordance with the population being tested. For instance rates are found to be higher in inner city populations than in rural communities. Also, the types of disorders found vary with the age group and different age groups may have higher rates overall. In a well-known study of school children on the Isle of White, UK, Rutter (1970a; 1976b) reported a one year prevalence rate of 20% for psychiatric disorders among children at the age of 14. Other studies have since reported rates between 15 and 20%.

    Many children diagnosed with a psychiatric condition also seem to have co-morbid disorders. Co-morbidity is when a person has two or more disorders occurring together.  Sometimes this might be because one disorder leads to another but it could also represent a blurring of the figures in that some patterns of behaviour occur in more than one disorder according to diagnostic criteria.
     
     

    Reasons to Study This Course

    Children are prone to mental health problems just as adults are. The difference is that some disorders are unique to childhood, such as separation anxiety, and others are expressed slightly differently in children e.g. symptoms of depression. The way that children cope with mental health is also often different to adults and they may not always be very good at expressing their needs. This course helps to explain how children and adolescents experience mental health problems and factors which may cause or exacerbate them.
    The course is aimed at people working in, or aspiring to work in: 

    • Youth work
    • Child and adolescent counselling
    • School counselling
    • Teaching
    • Child psychology
    • Caring roles
    • Youth coaching


    Want to Learn More?
    Use our Free Advisory Service
     
     
     
     
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    Credentials

    ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development
    ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development

    ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association
    ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association

    Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
    Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
    ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

    ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
    ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council



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      Miriam ter Borg

    Youth Worker, Tutor, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Outdoor Rec.
      Tracey Jones

    B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.
      Lyn Quirk

    M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
      Gavin Cole

    Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin has worked for ACS for over 10 years.
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