PMSC13001 - Mental Health for Paramedics

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Within your role as a paramedic, you will encounter consumers experiencing many differing forms of mental health challenges that affect their presentation and recovery. During this unit you will develop communication skills (including the ability to actively listen to consumer and family story), recognise alterations in mental health and gain knowledge of therapeutic options and referral pathways available to assist consumers.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


  • PMSC12002 Clinical Paramedic Practice 1
  • PMSC12001 Procedures and Skills in Paramedic Care

Please note: Any student who has not successfully completed a PMSC residential school within the preceding 12 months or undertaken a clinical placement unit, must complete a PMSC12001 Procedures & Skills refresher. This ensures currency with all contemporary skills and procedures in line with industry standards and professional capabilities

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 50%
2. On-campus Activity 0%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 3.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 40.91% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have your say
Students enjoyed the authenticity and relevance of this unit.
Maintain unit content to reflect authentic paramedic practice relevant to mental health.
Action Taken
New videos were recorded of paramedics talking about real life cases they had been to. These were uploaded and available for students to watch.
Source: Have your say
Students were disappointed in the clarity of the assessment task
The written assignment piece was new this term and was sent out to the paramedic team prior to posting it on the moodle page. It has been identified that the assignment needed to be written clearer and be more specific, so students could understand clearly what was being asked of them. The marking rubric will also be adjusted to allow for better further clarification and understanding of what is required of the students for the written task.
Action Taken
The assessment item was changed entirely and the marking rubric was updated accordingly.
Source: Have your say
PowerPoint presentations and other resource material felt thrown together.
The unit had a restructure to allow for industry related topics to be added. There was a lot of research put into every topic in the Moodle page along with several different learning tools i.e journal articles, YouTube videos, past student interviews, PowerPoint slides and videos to try and cater for all types of learners. Consideration will be taken to adjust some of these resources.
Action Taken
Addition of new resources such as TED talks, paramedic case videos and updated PowerPoints were created to rectify this.
Source: Have your say
Detailed information in slides/lectures
Maintain the current unit slides with up to date relevant industry information.
Action Taken
Source: Have your say
Students enjoyed the practical component as it allowed them to step outside the systematic approach they follow in other scenarios.
During residential school we use actors to simulate patients as it allows the students to experience what a real mental health case could be like. The unit will maintain the use of actors.
Action Taken
Source: Have your say
The quiz and written assignment were really good as they focused on what we had been taught and will greatly help us apply our practical skills when on placement.
Continue to keep quiz questions and the written assignment topic clinically relevant to allow the assessments to be authentic.
Action Taken
Source: Have your say
Students asked if the addition of short videos with paramedics talking about de-escalation and how to perform it could occur instead of TED talks and articles.
In addition to maintaining TED talks as learning resources, consider developing and providing further short videos related to discussions and practical implementation of de-escalation practices..
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Assess, compare and treat different presentations of consumers experiencing mental health challenges
  2. Plan and deliver a range of evidence-based therapeutic options (using an individual and cultural specific context) to assist persons experiencing mental health challenges
  3. Evaluate and explain mental health related legislation within the context of paramedicine
  4. Demonstrate the principles of interpersonal communication, ethical and professional behaviors while collaborating with multiple agencies to the standards expected of a paramedic.

It is now a requirement of the Paramedicine Board of Australia that units align with the AHPRA Professional capabilities for registered paramedics. These are broken down into five (5) domains. Below aligns the proposed learning outcomes with these domains, with each domain also listed below:

  • Learning outcome 1 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 3, 4 & 5
  • Learning outcome 2 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
  • Learning outcome 3 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
  • Learning Outcome 4 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 4 & 5.

Domain 1 - Professional and ethical conduct

  • Practice ethically and professionally, consistent with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • Provide each patient with an appropriate level of dignity and care
  • Assume responsibility, and accept accountability, for professional decisions
  • Advocate on behalf of the patient, when appropriate within the context of the practitioner's practice as a paramedic.

Domain 2 - Professional communication and collaboration

  • Communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively with patient and other relevant people
  • Collaborate with other health practitioners.

Domain 3 - Evidence-based practice and professional learning

  • Make informed and reasonable decisions
  • Use clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills to determine clinical judgements and appropriate actions
  • Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills in order to make professional judgements
  • Identify ongoing professional learning, developmental needs and opportunities.

Domain 4 - Safety, risk management and quality assurance

  • Protect and enhance patient safety
  • Maintain safety of self and others in the work environment
  • Operate effectively in an emergency care environment
  • Maintain records appropriately
  • Monitor and review the ongoing effectiveness of their practice and modify it accordingly
  • Audits, reflects on and reviews practice
  • Participate in the mentoring, teaching and development of others.

Domain 5 - Paramedicine practice

  • Use patient information management systems appropriately
  • Assess and monitor the patient capacity to receive care
  • understand the key concepts of the bodies of knowledge which are specifically relevant to paramedicine practice
  • Conduct appropriate diagnostic or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely
  • Demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills to participate in mass casualty or major incident situations
  • Formulate specific and appropriate patient care and treatment actions.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - On-campus Activity
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10