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 stories), recognise alterations in mental health as well as 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 1 - 2023

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. Case Study 60%
2. On-campus Activity 0%
3. Written Assessment 40%

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 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 75.86% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 25.22% 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
Detailed information in slides/lectures
Maintain the current unit slides with up to date relevant industry information.
Action Taken
Content for this unit was thoroughly revised and redeveloped to support student learning.
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
Actors continue to be used to support high-fidelity simulation experiences at Residential schools.
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
The unit assessments will remain contemporary and relevant for practical application.
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
Short videos of mental health interactions were filmed, and a new resource where different mental health stakeholders were interviewed was created and included in teaching resources.
Source: Student Evaluation Data
Significant student feedback reported that expectations were unclear for the written task, and marking was inconsistent.
The written task shall be completely redesigned for 2023. Assessment criteria shall be clearly explained, and a reliable validated rubric shall be developed with collaboration from Learning and Teaching staff.
Action Taken
Source: Student Evaluation Data and verbal student feedback.
The scenario simulation videos were well received by students who enjoyed the real-life demonstrations and found they greatly enhanced the content. Several students made contact to say they experienced similar cases whilst on clinical placement and felt confident in handling the situation.
Continue creating more content of this nature and expanding the repertoire of examples.
Action Taken
Source: Student Evaluation Data
Students enjoyed using actors at their residential schools as it improved their real-world experience.
This unit has utilised actors, props, and moulage to deliver high-fidelity mental health scenarios for several years. The aim will be to continue high-fidelity residential experiences to prepare students to meet industry standards and expectations.
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 culturally specific context) to assist consumers experiencing mental health challenges
  3. Evaluate and explain mental health related legislation within the context of paramedicine
  4. Engage in interpersonal communication, ethical, and professional behaviours while collaborating with multiple agencies to the standards expected of a paramedic.

It is 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. In addition, the learning outcomes have also been aligned with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

Professional Capabilities for a registered Paramedic

The Paramedicine Board of Australia is responsible for assessing, consulting on and setting the standards for paramedics practicing in Australia. These standards and relevant domains are articulated in the Professional capabilities for registered paramedics document. The learning outcomes of the unit are matched to the relevant capabilities

Standard/Attribute/Criteria Learning Outcome
Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 1.1.1, 1.1.3, 1.1.5, 1.1.6, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.10, 1.1.11 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Domain 2: The communicator and collaborator 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.1.7,, 2.2.2, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.2.6 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 3.1.1, 3.1.2 3.2.1 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5,, 3.3.2, 3.3.3 3.4.3 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.4 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3 4.4.4 4.5.2, 4.5.3 4.6.5 4.7.7, 4.7.9 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner 5.1.2, 5.1.3, 5.1.4, 5.1.5, 5.2.3, 5.2.4, 5.2.5 5.3.1, 5.3.3, 5.3.4, 5.3.5, 5.3.6 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 5.4.3, 5.4.5, 5.4.6 5.6.1, 5.6.2, 5.6.3, 5.6.4 LO1, LO2, LO3
National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards developed in this unit are:

Standard Learning Outcomes
Partnering with Consumers LO2, LO3, LO4
Preventing and Controlling Infections LO1, LO2
Medication Safety LO1, LO2
Comprehensive Care LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Communicating for Safety LO1, LO2, LO4
Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration LO1, LO2

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Case Study
2 - On-campus Activity
3 - Written Assessment
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