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Module NHS-3201:
Mental health & Society

Module Facts

Run by School of Health Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mr Russell Jones

Overall aims and purpose

This module will introduce students to the main sociological and psychiatric perspectives on mental health and illness. The role of the mental health professions and the changing role of psychiatry will be studied, alongside other associated mental health professions and practitioners. Students will also study the social patterning of mental health and illness, and consider variations according to age, gender, social class and ethnicity.

Attention will also be paid to those experiencing mental illness, and the role and influence of representative user groups on mental health policy and legislation will be critically appraised. The module aims to show how our knowledge and understanding of mental illness have changed over time, as well as indicate the problematic nature of the definition of mental illness.

This module will also compare formative models of treatment and recovery in the UK with other historical and geographical approaches to mental health and illness, in order to provide a globalised context.

Course content

The programme content will be determined by students' own interests and so the programme will be developed to cover topics suggested by the class and will address these in themed sessions along the following lines:

The social patterning of mental illness, according to social class, age, gender and ethnicity.

The historical and contemporary organisation of psychiatry, its professional power and governmentality.

Anti-psychiatric and lay perspectives on mental health, service-user movements and patient power.

Current policy issues, debates and service structures.

Social stress theories.

Dual diagnosis: mental health & addictions.

Trauma and the impact of life events.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

C+ to C- Demonstrate adequate knowledge and understanding of relevant material, using it to answer the question set and showing independent thinking. Adequate use of material from the module and other relevant information to support arguments; references are drawn on appropriately to support discussion and are presented fully and correctly in both text and references list. Some awareness of conflicting arguments and ideas and a good attempt to address them; some ability to analyse and to critically evaluate material. Sensible use of the major points with very good signposting and balance between sections with good use of written language.

good

B+ to B- Demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of relevant material, using it to answer the question set and showing independent thinking. Good use of material from the module and other relevant information to support arguments; references are drawn on appropriately to support discussion and are presented fully and correctly in both text and references list. Some awareness of conflicting arguments and ideas and a good attempt to address them; some ability to analyse and to critically evaluate material. Sensible use of the major points with very good signposting and balance between sections with good use of written language.

excellent

A* to A- Demonstrate excellent knowledge and understanding of relevant material, using it to answer the question set and showing independent thinking. Excellent use of material from the module and other relevant information to support arguments; references are drawn on appropriately to support discussion presented fully and correctly in both text and references list. Excellent awareness of conflicting arguments and ideas and a good attempt to address them; ability to analyse and to critically evaluate material. Excellent organisation of the major points with very good signposting and balance between sections with fluent use of written language.

threshold

D+ to D- Demonstrates some knowledge and understanding of relevant material for this module, and a limited use of it to answer the question set with little independent thinking. Limited use of material from the module and other relevant information to support arguments; most of the references are drawn on appropriately to support discussion and presented correctly in both text and references list. Limited awareness of conflicting arguments and ideas but no real attempt to address them; some limited ability to analyse and to critically evaluate material. A framework for the assignment is apparent but logical flow and coherence not always consistent with acceptable use of written language.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the social organisation of psychiatry, and of the major changes which have taken place since the closure of the large institutions.

  2. Critically analyse the evidence for how the experience of, and interventions for, a specific mental illness impact on those who are affected by it.

  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to understanding the nature, prevalence and impact of mental illness.

  4. Demonstrate empathy for those who experience mental illness and recognise its impact on a range of social roles and settings.

  5. Compare professional and lay perspectives on mental illness.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation

Prepare a 10 minute presentation on a topic of your choice, that is related to mental health issues.

25
ESSAY Essay

Select one group of people, (for example children), and one mental health condition, (for example depression), and write a 3,000 word essay about how this particular group is affected by the mental health condition that you have selected.

75

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

3 hours per week over 12 weeks. Weekly classes will consist of a 3-hour combined session. Lectures and seminars will take place in the same session, with class and small group activities and discussions throughout the programme.

The first session will introduce the Module but -more importantly - be used to generate a list of student-led questions about diverse mental health topics.This list of questions will be used to construct the lecture and workshop activities for Weeks 2-12. A Programme Schedule will therefore be posted on Blackboard for Week 2 onwards but the ordering of the topics will be flexible, and will be driven by the subjects being researched in the Report assignment. For example, if significant numbers of students propose to study the mental health of prison populations, then this topic will be covered earlier on the Semester, to encourage access to adequate resources and texts.

36
Private study

There will be significant independent study on this Module, as students select and research their own specific topics in the Essay/assignment. There is also a diverse and comprehensive electronic Reading List and students will be expected to engage with this for their own reports as well as wider subject studies.

160
Tutorial

Tutorials/Group Discussions: These will facilitate the learning of underlying concepts, either as group or individually, either face-to-face, via email, Skype, or through other accessible formats (for example, telephone).

4

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

Demonstrate a knowledge of the social organisation of psychiatry, and of the major changes which have taken place since the closure of the large institutions (asylums). Critically analyse the evidence for how the experience of, and interventions for, a specific mental illness impact on those who are affected by it. Demonstrate a knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to understanding the nature, prevalence and impact of mental illness. Demonstrate empathy for those who experience mental illness and recognise its impact on a range of social roles and settings. Understand the difference between professional and lay perspectives on mental illness.

Resources

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/nhs-3201.html

Reading list

These are drawn from both the Talis Electronic Reading List but also ongoing research into chosen themes. Examples are:

Mental Health in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/mental-health

MIND – How to Report on Mental Health https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/minds-media-office/how-to-report-on-mental-health/

Psychiatric Times – Online Journal and Resources http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/

Beyond Blue – Online Australian Support Website https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

Courses including this module