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Follow the links below to find material targeted to the unit's elements, performance criteria, required skills and knowledge

Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Elements define the essential outcomes
  2. Identify and address State/Territory mental health legislation requirements.
  3. Respond appropriately to signs of mental illness.
  4. Contribute to care planning and conduct initial clinical observations for a person with a mental health condition.
  5. Contribute to the recovery of a person with a mental health condition.

Performance Evidence

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:

undertaken nursing work in accordance with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia professional practice standards, codes and guidelines

analysed, planned and evaluated the health care of 2 people with a mental health condition, using health information and clinical presentation to reach a conclusion of possible nursing interventions appropriate to their mental health condition, and in consultation with a registered nurse in the workplace.

Knowledge Evidence

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:

application of nursing theory to a mental health context

social, psychological, cognitive and physical factors associated with mental health conditions

consumer and carer perspectives on mental health care

impact of stigma, discrimination, culture and belief systems on a person with a mental health condition

common mental health conditions by classification or disorder, and their treatment and management including:

mood disorders

personality disorders

anxiety disorders


organic disorders

panic disorder

social phobia and specific phobias

obsessive-compulsive disorder

post-traumatic stress disorder


bipolar disorder

eating disorders

borderline personality disorder




anxiety disorder

appropriate response to a person in distress or crisis including:

applying appropriate communication skills with the person

identifying possible causal factors and addressing where possible

enlisting support and assistance from colleagues

common behaviours associated with a range of mental health conditions, and the effect of behaviours on the person and others

how to manage challenging behaviours including recognising triggers and deflecting them, using active listening and observation skills, ensuring effective communication and seeking expert assistance

the principles of recovery in the mental health context

national framework for recovery-orientated mental health services (Australian Government):

principles of recovery-oriented practice

evidence-based practice in the context of recovery

key features of the mental health legislation including:


involuntary admission

consumer rights

involuntary review processes

seclusion and restraint

admission procedures

community treatment orders

role of the mental health practitioner



definition of key terms associated with mental illness

strategies for managing oral health issues and possible causes such as the side effects of medication, poor nutrition and reduced motivation for self-care.