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    Mental health disorders are highly prevalent and impact hugely on individuals, their families and society. This paper aims to promote an in-depth understanding of these conditions. It incorporates discussion of current psychological and neurobiological models, epidemiology and classification, combined with knowledge about typical presentations.

    About this paper

    Paper title Nature, Extent and Assessment of Mental Disorders
    Subject Psychological Medicine
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PSMX 401
    Limited to
    MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc

    Suitable for all applicants working in the mental health field who have an appropriate three-year tertiary degree.


    Teaching staff
    Convenor: Associate Professor Caroline Bell
    Paper Structure
    The paper covers a broad range of mental health disorders.
    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    Two 3-day workshops in Christchurch. Attendance at both block courses is compulsory. Some additional sessions will be held via Zoom.

    Current key articles in the different mental health areas will be provided by the lecturers. This means that readings are current and relevant.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    1. Recognise and understand the symptomatology and pathophysiology of the common mental disorders
    2. Understand the epidemiology and natural history of the common mental disorders
    3. Develop an understanding of the role of cultural factors in mental disorders
    4. Understand classification and diagnosis of mental disorders - particularly the strengths and limitations of such classification systems
    5. Consider the ethical issues involved in psychiatric assessment and diagnosis
    6. Develop knowledge to enhance clinical skills involved in the assessment and recognition of mental disorders
    7. Develop skills in recording and conveying a psychiatric history, with particular emphasis on mental status examination
    8. Understand some of the principles of immediate management of mental disorders


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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