Managing Mental Health in Adults

Mental Health Awareness Training. Understand more about common mental health conditions. Useful for professional development/CPD or personal knowledge.

Course CodeBPS216
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Study mental health management - Understand more about common mental health conditions and how to manage these conditions.


This course is studied by distance learning. You can start now or at any time to suit you.

Mental health care and management is a billion-dollar industry funded by both government, non-profit and private sectors. Statistics tell us that a higher number of people seek mental services and are willing to spend money on their mental health, just as they would on their physical health. 

Once someone has studied psychology, behaviour and mental processes. The next natural step in learning is to understand the approaches to managing mental conditions. 

This course helps you to understand the signs, symptoms and possible treatments of adult mental health problems. For the sufferer, managing mental health is far easier if they can accept their health status and have constructive views about addressing their problems. In other words, they are willing and open to helping themselves. This is often where there are challenges for the professionals who work in mental health.  

Mental health professionals should attempt to help a sufferer to help themselves. This may mean finding ways to alleviate severe symptoms which the individual has little or no control over, then educating the sufferer to employ practical techniques and strategies to help control symptoms.

This course is ideal for you if you would like to: 

  • Understand the human mind in greater depth.
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of mental ill health.
  • Appreciate the scope of mental health services.
  • Cultivate skills for dealing with people in specific situations or undergoing particular therapies.
  • Consider intervention strategies and long term care of mental health.
  • Enhance your communication skills in this often sensitive subject area.
  • Work confidently with individuals in crisis.
  • Deal efficiently with mental health in workplace.
  • Enhance empathy towards family and friends and develop strategies for coping.
  • Maintain your own mental health state.


Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction To Mental Health Issues
    • Introduction.
    • Definition Of Abnormality - Social Constructs.
    • Definition Of Abnormality - Statistical Infrequency.
    • Definition Of Abnormality - Failing To Function Adequately.
    • Labelling And Mental Health.
    • So How Does This Relate To Mental Illness?
    • Case Study – African Caribbean People And Schizophrenia.
    • More On Stigmatisation And Labelling.
    • Causes Of Mental Illness.
    • Social And Environmental Factors.
    • Physical Factors.
    • Psychological Factors.
    • Diathesis-Stress Model.
    • Treatments For Mental Health Problems.
  2. Depression In Men And Women
    • Introduction.
    • Forms Of Depression.
    • Determining Which Type Of Depression.
    • Triggers To Depression.
    • Causes Of Depression.
    • Risk Factors For Depression.
    • Gender And Depression.
    • Older People And Depression.
    • Psychological Aspects Of Long Term Grief.
    • Other Types Of Depression.
    • Treatment For Depression.
  3. Anxiety, Phobias and OCD
    • Introduction.
    • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
    • Treatments.
  4. Schizophrenia
    • Introduction.
    • Causes Of Schizophrenia.
    • Symptoms Of Schizophrenia.
    • Diagnosing Schizophrenia.
    • Subtypes Of Schizophrenia.
    • Treatment Of Schizophrenia.
    • Management Of The Acute Syndrome.
  5. Antisocial Personality Disorders
    • Personality Disorders.
    • Antisocial Personality Disorder (Psychopathy).
    • Causes Of Psychopathy.
    • Treatment Of Psychopathy.
  6. Eating Disorders
    • Introduction.
    • Causes Of Eating Disorders.
    • Anorexia Nervosa.
    • Body Image And Self Esteem.
    • Physical Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa.
    • Treatment For Anorexia.
    • Bulimia Nervosa.
    • Associated Behaviours.
    • Physical Symptoms Of Bulimia Nervosa.
    • Treatment For Bulimia.
    • Obesity.
    • Psychological Complications.
    • Treatment For Obesity.
  7. Dementias
    • Introduction.
    • Definition.
    • Types Of Dementia.
    • Causes Of Dementia.
    • Dementia And Old Age.
    • Alzheimer's Disease.
    • Vascular Dementia.
    • Care And Management Of Dementia.
  8. Helping Yourself In Mental Health Issues
    • Introduction.
    • A Holistic Approach To Mental Health.
    • Diet And Exercise.
    • Imbalances In The Body.
    • Psychological And Psychosocial Factors.
    • The Role Of Friends And Family - Social Support Networks.
    • Self-Help Groups.
    • Self-Control Techniques.
  9. Services For Mental Health Issues
    • Introduction.
    • Counselling Approaches.
    • Counsellor.
    • Psychotherapist.
    • Clinical Psychologist.
    • Psychiatrist.
    • Nurses And Professional Carers.
    • Crisis Centres.
    • Telephone And Online Counselling.
    • Group Therapy.
    • Complimentary Therapies.

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.


  • Discuss the nature, scope and impact of mental health on adults of all ages.
  • Explain the different types of depression and the impact of gender on depression.
  • Explain the nature of anxiety and related conditions, and consider possible responses that may be used for these conditions.
  • Explain the nature of schizophrenia and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of antisocial personality disorders, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of eating disorders in adults, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of dementia in adults, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Identify a wide range of self-help options that can be facilitated for sufferers of mental health problems.
  • Identify mental health services and support options available for those with mental health issues.

What can Managing Mental Health in Adults teach you?

  • Common mental health issues and causal factors.
  • Depression and anxiety (and related conditions) are covered in depth – explained in easy to understand language.
  • How to change negative patterns of thought and associated behaviours.
  • The impact of specific mental health illness such as schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorders.
  • Eating disorders uncovered- understand links to the complexities of self-esteem.
  • Brain disorders such as dementia.
  • How to help yourself manage your own mental health.
  • Support options and services for mental health.

Cultivate Skills with Flexible Learning

This course allows for flexible learning through home study, leading to both broad based and "specialist" knowledge and skills in psychology, behavioural management and counselling.

If you’re seeking a career in mental health services or working with people specifically, you can cultivate skills to work in various industries.

Examples include:   

  • Life Coaching
  • Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Leisure Services
  • Counselling
  • Industrial Relations

The most common element of work within the field of psychology is problem solving. This may be done as part of a team with other professionals. 

Students develop - 

  • Problem solving skills.
  • Objective data gathering.
  • Skills in statistical analysis.
  • Interpreting data.
  • Interviewing.
  • Experimental design.
  • Considering evidence.
  • Communicating conclusions.

What is your future career plan …? 

Do not confine your thinking to what area you will find work in. Your thoughts and preferences may change with experience. 

Don’t limit your own opportunities – keep an open mind. 

Future occupations specifically working in mental health care include: 

  • Writer 
  • Nursing – mental health nurse
  • Social services (social worker) and case workers 
  • Probations officers and corrections treatment facilitator
  • Life coach or counsellor – grief, rehabilitation, addictions (substance abuse), academic/career, crisis, career,  
  • Mental health coordinator 
  • Family and marriage therapist 
  • Art or music therapist 
  • Aged care worker
  • Psychology professor/lecturer 
  • School teacher 
  • Psychologist – sports, clinical, forensic, social, military, aviation, industrial, criminal, educational, developmental, comparative, child
  • Psychiatrist or psychiatrist aide 
  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Child care worker 
  • Occupational therapist 
  • Human resources manager

Healthy States of Mind 

We often hear about mental health issues but what do we actually mean by good mental health?

In her book, Current Concepts of Positive Mental Health, Austrian psychologist Marie Jahoda (1907 to 2001), criticised psychologists for focusing on mental disease and illness and not on mental well being and health. With this, she developed the idea of what became known as positive psychology. She argued that what we consider “mentally ill” depends on social conventions. She believed that the idea of mental health is the normal functioning of the mind in the appropriate social context.

Jahoda surveyed doctors and psychiatrists and people responsible for mental health in 1958 and found six characteristics that were the conditions for normality. These were –

  • Personal growth and development.
  • Positive self esteem and strong sense of identity.
  • Ability to cope with stressful situations.
  • Autonomy and independence.
  • Accurate perception of reality.
  • Successful mastery of the environment, including relationships. 

So these will include factors such as -

  • They are able to manage time well.
  • Able to form relationships successfully.
  • They have meaningful social relationships.
  • They are able to work well with other people.
  • They are regularly active.
  • They have high self-esteem

Jahoda studied unemployed people and found that they are often unhappy because they do not have these qualities in their lives. For example, they may not be working with others or they may not be regularly active.  She argued that this unhappiness was not “just” because they may be poorer due to their unemployment, but also due to these other factors.  Many modern psychologists have also confirmed her research, suggesting that meaningful work and close social relationships are important to our psychological well being. 

Jahoda’s work has been criticised, as it is hard to assess to what degree a person meets these criteria.  Also, not everyone in psychology agrees with the list as they appear to share Western cultural values.  Autonomy for example, is not so culturally valid in more collectivist cultures, where cooperation is valued more than independence.  But Jahoda’s work is a good starting point to consider what we mean by mental illness and mental abnormality.

In psychology, there is debate as to how we define mental illness and mental abnormality. Jahoda’s work gives us the idea of ideal mental health, so we would consider that if we stray from these criteria, we are not necessarily in our ideal mental health. But this is not the only definition.

Example of a potential employment opportunity:  Counselling

Counselling involves a range of different types of roles. Counselling can include those offering pastoral care as well as those who come from a health care background. Counsellors may work for local government health bodies, hospitals, day care centres, youth clubs or churches. Some work in private practice offering an alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. In many western countries psychotherapists have a similar role to counsellors but offer more long term therapy.

Counsellors may specialise in working with particular groups of people, or with particular problems, although many deal with a variety of clients and problems. Most counsellors do not treat individuals with moderate to severe mental health conditions. Instead, they focus on problems which can affect all kinds of people in their daily lives such as life crises, grief, relationship difficulties, anger management, and even finding appropriate careers.   


Many people go through times when they find their lives overwhelming or distressing.  This may be due to bereavement, illness, family crisis, relationship breakdown as examples. They may find it hard to cope or not have the resources to deal with the problem.  Counselling can help them to retain their self-sufficiency, build better relationships and help them to make and act on their choices. Counselling means different things to different people. It is not a get well quick option, offering quick answers, but is asking the person to engage in a process and an exploration. Counselling is a working relationship where the client is helped to manage what is happening in their life and to explore their life. It is a form of psychological or talking therapy that offers people the ability to change how they live and feel. The aim of counselling is to provide the client with a more satisfying experience of life. Everyone has different needs, so counselling can be concerned with many different aspects of a person’s life.  

Counsellors do not usually offer advice, but instead give insight into the client’s feelings and behaviour and help the client change their behaviour if necessary. They do this by listening to what the client has to say and commenting on it from a professional perspective.  

Counsellors provide guidance for clients and a support system, rather than working with the deeper levels of the psyche.


Counselling covers a wide spectrum from the highly trained counsellor to someone who uses counselling skills as part of their role, for example, a nurse or teacher. So you may work specifically as a counsellor, or you may use counselling skills and techniques within a different job role. 

There are many job opportunities for a counsellor including:

  • Private practice
  • Self-employment
  • Employed by a school or government institution
  • Employed by an HR department
  • Working at a premise with other health practitioners …and more

There is also the opportunity for counsellors to specialise in a range of different areas. For example:

  • Relationship counselling
  • Grief counselling
  • Careers counselling
  • Life Coaching
  • Body image counselling
  • Stress management
  • Child and youth counselling 

Risks and Challenges

Like any business, starting your own counselling business can be challenging and, at least in the short term, you may struggle financially.

As a counsellor you will be dealing with clients who are overcoming struggles. Counselling people through these situations can be emotionally draining. You will need to be careful to draw clear boundaries with your client and not take on their emotional burdens. It is advised to receive counselling, debriefs, or supervision yourself to help prevent burnout. 

How to become a Counsellor

An initial counselling skills or counselling techniques course is a good starting point to learn more about how counsellors communicate and listen to their clients. Even if you decide not to go on to train as a counsellor, a counselling skills course is an excellent way to improve your communication in your personal and work life. Counselling skills are excellent ways to improve your own listening and communicating skills.

Some counsellors will study counselling, psychology or a related discipline through a college or University, and others will evolve into the job, perhaps starting out as a volunteer with a church or welfare organisation and undergoing some in house training with that organisation. Both options can be good. It is important to make sure that any studies and experience you get is credible and will help you to develop the counselling skills that you need.

Through your studies you may decide on an area to specialise in. This may lead you to further studies, or work experience with a counsellor who specialises in this area. Like any industry, experience is necessary to be able to gain work and also to work effectively. It is advised to initially work supervised by an experienced counsellor so you can learn from them. This may be in a volunteer or paid capacity.

The more work experience or volunteer work you can do while you are studying the better equipped you will be to work as a counsellor when you finish. Community service organisations (e.g. Religious charities) may offer training, as well as experience in a counselling type role.

What is it like to study with us..? 

Student Testimonial 

I am currently working on my Proficiency Award 3 in Psychology and Counselling via ACS. I have always wanted to do a course in this field and finally decided to take the plunge about two years ago. I was interested in the subjects ACS offered and liked the idea of being able to study via long distance and at my own pace. I have learnt a lot from this course and have enjoyed it immensely.

I left my job in the Telco industry in 2010 in order to pursue my passion in counselling. I have been doing some volunteer work to complement my studies, and I am loving it! These volunteer roles have enabled me to practice some of what I have learnt from the course and the experience has been invaluable. I am still learning a great deal! Just when I think I understand what counselling is all about, something new comes up and I am put right back into student mode. 

ACS is very flexible in their approach which I have found extremely helpful when it came to some of my assignments. For example, in my Child Psychology module where I didn't always have access to interviewing children, my tutor mentioned that I could do alternative research instead to answer the questions, which is great
. “

Sharon Alsop, Proficiency Award 3 in Psychology and Counselling

What do you get when you enrol?

When you enrol, we send you an email that explains it all and you can watch our short online orientation media clip, as the Principal introduces you to how the course works, and how you can access support services. 

You are provided with a "student manual" which you can refer to if and when needed. It often provides a quick solution any issues you might encounter as a distance education student. Many people never need to use this, but in the case you’re studying late at night for example, the manual is there a first port of call that can often get you moving again without having to wait until our office is open.

You work through each lesson one by one. Each lesson has at least four parts:

  1. An aim - which tells you what you should be achieving in the lesson.
  2. Reading - lesson material written and regularly revised by our academic staff.
  3. A Set Task(s) - these are practical, research or other experiential learning tasks that strengthen and add to what you have been reading.
  4. An Assignment - by answering questions, submitting them to a tutor, then getting feedback from the tutor, you confirm that you are on the right track. You are guided by your tutor to consider what you have been studying in different ways, broadening your perspective and reinforcing what you are learning about.

You are given access to and encouraged to use a range of supplementary services including an online student room, including online library; student bookshop, newsletters, social media etc. 

.. And just so you know, there is 14-day cooling-off (refund) period if you change your mind – see our terms and conditions of enrolment for information. 

So really you have nothing to lose. Seize the day and the opportunities are endless. Become confident and effective in handling mental health of people around you or even for your own benefit. Call us for an absolutely no obligation chat and let us answer any questions you have. 

Don’t limit how you see yourself or what you can do in this world. 

Your health is an investment in your life. 


Do you have any questions about the course?

Our psychology tutors are more than happy to help. Click here to send them a message or give us a call  -

International Phone:

+61 7 5562 1088

In Australia Phone:

07 5562 1088


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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, 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

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,
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