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 Code: BPS216
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement 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. 

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

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

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

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

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.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

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 $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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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 for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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 Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

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, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.

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