Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Learn about mental health problems in children other than developmental and behavioural disorders. Understand childhood depression, anxiety and eating problems amongst others and forge a career in the caring professions.

Course Code: BPS214
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn About Mental Health Problems in Children & Adolescents

Like adults, children and adolescents are not immune to mental health disorders. However, often children experience these disorders differently to adults, and there are also some problems which are unique to children. As such, treatment often needs to be different and children need to be viewed in context and helped in ways that make sense to them.

This course examines different types of mental health problems which can affect children and youth. The focus here is on disorders other than those which are known as pervasive developmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorder), learning disorders (e.g. mathematics disorder) or behavioural disorders (e.g. conduct disorders and ADHD). Instead we are concerned with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, tic disorders and problems associated with brain disease or injury, environmental factors, abuse and neglect.

The course is ideally suited to students of psychology or counselling and people working in similar fields. It is also likely to be of value to teachers and other people who work with children where knowledge of mental health issues is advantageous.

Study the course to learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and develop an understanding of treatment options for these conditions.

The course is an excellent first step to developing an understanding of children's mental health. It covers a range of mental health conditions in children and adolescents including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain Disorders
  • Tic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders

 

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
    ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

    Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

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

    Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


    How can I start this course?

    You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

    Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
    If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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    What do I need to know before I enrol?

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    You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

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    This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

    Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

    Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

    This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

    It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

    The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

    Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

    Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

    There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

    Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

    We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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    We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

    Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

    Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
    More information is here

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    Course Contributors

    The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

    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 fo

    Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

    Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
    B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
    Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo

    Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

    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,





    Tutors

    Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

    Lyn Quirk

    Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

    Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

    Jacinda Cole

    Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

    Davi Ponce

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