Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the recovery of people affected by a mental illness in the context of the impact of mental illness on clients, their carer/s and families


This unit applies to work with people affected by a mental illness in a range of community services work contexts

This work provides a person-centred approach to care, involving a variety of health and community service professionals working collaboratively with the client, their carer/s and family


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Work within the context of different mental health diagnoses

1.1 Apply basic knowledge of a range of mental health diagnoses

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the process used to determine a diagnosis

1.3 Identify a range of different service responses to a range of mental health diagnoses

2. Apply knowledge of the impact of mental illness on people's lives

2.1 Work within the context of the client's experiences

2.2 Work within the framework of self perception and self-esteem issues of the person with a mental illness or mental health diagnosis

2.3 Respond to the person in a manner that reflects appreciation of their functional skills and social and financial well being

2.4 Recognise importance of employment/occupation/ vocation and potential impact of mental health diagnosis on that aspect of the person's life

2.5 Empathise with sense of loss and associated adjustments experienced by person with mental health diagnosis

2.6 Demonstrate understanding of a range of coping mechanisms used by the person

3. Apply an understanding of the impact of social determinants on health

3.1 Identify a range of social barriers that impact on the life of the person with mental health issues

3.2 Identify the effect of and possible strategies to respond to the barriers that impact on the person

3.3 Identify others that can assist with the response to barriers that impact on the person

3.4 Identify strategies to engage support with the response to barriers that impact on the person

4. Work with families, carer/s friends and other networks to support people with mental illness

4.1 Work with consideration and understanding of the impact of a client's mental health diagnosis on families, carer/s, friends and other social networks

4.2 Work with awareness of the everyday effects of the interaction of coping mechanisms used by person experiencing mental illness on their family, carer/s and other social networks

4.3 Work with understanding of the roles of consumer workers, carers and associated networks and their potential to positively impact the life of the person with mental health issues

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

Person-centred, holistic and strengths-based approaches

Basic knowledge of mental health diagnosis and diagnostic processes

Roles of a range of workers involved in mental health teams and their potential contributions in the recovery process, including:

clinical and non-clinical workers

consumer workers

The range of contexts which influence a person's life


Individual triggers, reasons and purposes of challenging behaviour

Types of challenging behaviour

Social barriers experienced by people affected by mental illness

Systemic issues that affect people affected by mental illness

The effect of involuntary and voluntary admission to hospital

Range of people affected by mental illness/ mental health diagnosis

Coping mechanisms of people affected by mental illness, including person who experiences mental illness, family, carer/s, friends and social networks

Theoretical frameworks in regard to loss and adjustment

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Reflect on own attitudes, behaviours and practice and how this affects other people

Apply a holistic approach to working with people

Apply a person-centred approach to working with people

Apply a strengths-based approach to working with people

Identify effective responses to challenging behaviour

Identify a range of barriers experienced by people affected by mental illness and psychiatric disability

Identify a range of individual, family, carer/s and social network coping mechanisms

Work collaboratively with the person and as part of a mental team and facilitate and support the potential contributions of other members of that team in the recovery process

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit is best assessed on the job or in a simulated workplace under the normal range of conditions

Consistency in performance should consider the requirements of the particular workplace context

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Resources required for assessment of this unit include access to a workplace or simulated workplace where assessment may occur

Method of assessment:

In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios

Assessment of this unit of competence will usually include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on Essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

Where performance is not directly observed and/or is required to be demonstrated over a 'period of time' and/or in a 'number of locations', any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate persons

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Possible strategies to respond to barriers may include:

Focus on strengths

Solution finding

Cooperative effort


Providing choices and options

Others may include:





Social network




Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable