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Managing Mental Health in Adults

Course CodeBPS216
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Mental Health Course.

Increasing numbers of people are experiencing mental health problems. This mental health training course is studied by distance learning.

A detailed course for anyone interested in learning more about mental health conditions out of interest or for their work.

What Does the Course Cover?

The course covers -
  • An introduction to mental health conditions
  • An overview of mental health issues
  • Depression adults
  • The different experience of depression in men and women
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • OCD
  • Eating Disorders
  • Dementias
  • How to help yourself with mental health issues.

 This course is suitable for -

  • Anyone interested in learning more about mental health conditions for work and career purposes, personal reasons or interest
  • Parents
  • Adults
  • Carers
  • Mental Health workers
  • Community workers
  • Care Workers
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
 The course has nine lessons. You can start the course at any time. 

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to mental health issues
  2. Depression in men and women
  3. Anxiety, phobias and OCD
  4. Schizophrenia
  5. Antisocial personality disorders
  6. Eating disorders
  7. Dementias
  8. Helping yourself in mental health issues.
  9. Services for mental health issues.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss the nature, scope and impact of mental health on adults of all ages.
  • Explain the different types of depression and the impact of gender on depression.
  • Explain the nature of anxiety and related conditions, and consider possible responses that may be used for these conditions.
  • Explain the nature of schizophrenia and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of antisocial personality disorders, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of eating disorders in adults, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Explain the scope and nature of dementia in adults, and consider the responses that might be taken to such conditions.
  • Identify a wide range of self-help options that can be facilitated for sufferers of mental health problems.
  • Identify mental health services and support options available for those with mental health issues.

    What Causes Mental Health Issues?

    There is no single answer to what causes mental illness. There can be a range of factors involved. For instance, an individual might inherit a propensity towards a particular mental illness in their genes, or they may develop an illness because of their lifestyle, their past, or most likely a combination of many different factors.  The reasons a person may develop mental illness can be broken into these groups:


      A major mental health issue with adults; particularly older adults, is dementia.

      With dementia, the person progressively loses their mental abilities such as memory, reasoning and clarity of thought.  It also affects decision-making, problem-solving, learning, and the ability to care for oneself. In more advanced stages, a person may no longer be able to care for themselves and perform daily tasks. They may forget how to perform simple actions, like dressing themselves or even swallowing food.

      They may forget the people around them. This can cause them to become frustrated and sometimes aggressive.

      Tom developed Alzheimer’s disease. He lived with his wife and became progressively worse.   Over time, he became very concerned if he could not see her.  She would leave him notes saying she was popping to the shops. But over time, he would see the notes and read them, then forget about them. Later he would find them again, but then forget again. He became increasingly distressed if he could not see her, and so eventually she stopped leaving him and remained with him.  This put increased stress on her as a carer.  Following this, things got worse because Tom forgot who she was. One night, she got up to go to the toilet and he heard her and thought she was a burglar and went to attack her.  Luckily she was able to get out of the house quickly but eventually Tom was placed in a care home for his own safety and protection (as well as hers).  His condition caused him distress and frustration. He was a very intelligent man who lost much of his memory and mental functioning.

      Dementia is not a disease, but a group of symptoms caused by a number of diseases or conditions that affect the brain. Some of the causes are 'reversible' and can be treated, for example brain tumours, depression and alcohol dependence. Other causes are 'irreversible' and cannot be cured. Whilst the severity of dementia may be slowed, dementia itself is ultimately irreversible and progressive.  

      Dementia may be regarded as a progressive brain dysfunction which leads to a gradual restriction of daily activities. It is often called senility by the layperson and denotes the deterioration of intellectual functioning until social and occupational functions are impaired. The most well-known type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.  

      It is estimated that:

      • 1% of 65 – 74 year olds have dementia;
      • 4% of 75 – 84 year olds;
      • 10% over 84.

      This shows that the prevalence of dementia increases with age.

      Dementia can develop slowly over a period of years during which time subtle changes occur such as minor difficulties remembering things, especially recent events.   A person may also develop problems with everyday tasks like:

      • Telling the time.
      • Remembering the names of family or friends.

      As the dementia progresses other symptoms become apparent. They may:

      • Start to say hurtful or angry things to their carer.
      • Forget how to get somewhere they know well.
      • Forget how to dress themselves or how to dress appropriately e.g. not wearing enough clothes in the cold weather.
      • Become negligent e.g. leave taps running, leave the gas on without lighting it.
      • Forget how to bathe and wash, developing poor hygiene.
      • Have poor judgement and difficulties making plans or decisions.  
      • Lose control of their impulses e.g. telling coarse, inappropriate jokes, making sexual advances to strangers, or engaging in shoplifting. 
      • Have symptoms of depression e.g. flatness of affect, emotional outbursts, and loss of appetite. Around 50% of patients with advanced dementia may experience hallucinations and delusions.  
      • Develop disturbances to language such as vague patterns of speech.  
      • Have episodes of delirium.  

      The course of dementia can be progressive, static or remitting, depending on the underlying cause, however the prognosis is progressive over time. People with dementia eventually become withdrawn and apathetic.  In the terminal phase of the dementia, their personality loses its sparkle and integrity. 

      Relatives and friends may say that the person is not themself anymore.  Social involvement with others becomes narrower. Finally, they will be oblivious to their surroundings and become unresponsive.  

      Physical conditions that can cause dementia and are treatable include a high fever, dehydration, vitamin deficiency and poor nutrition, bad reactions to medicines, problems with the thyroid gland, or a minor head injury or tumour. Medical conditions like these can be serious and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible. 

      Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. There may be more than 50 different illnesses that cause this type of dementia. Among other causes are medical conditions (thyroid disease, drug toxicity, thiamine deficiency with alcoholism, and others), brain injury, strokes, multiple sclerosis, infection of the brain (such as meningitis and syphilis), HIV infection, hydrocephalus, Pick's disease, and brain tumours.

      Conditions or diseases that cause irreversible dementia, especially in older people, include Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multi-infarct dementia (also called vascular dementia) which is caused by stroke or many small vascular infarcts over time.

      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is responsible for about half of all cases of dementia in Western society. The cause of AD is not known although many factors are thought to play a role including viruses, environmental toxins and family history. In AD, nerve cells in the brain die. The causes of the brain damage of AD are not yet clear. Symptoms of AD begin slowly with memory problems and become steadily worse. Over time, the brain damage in AD leads to serious problems in thinking, judgment, and the ability to carry out daily activities. 

      AD is more common in women than men. This is thought to be due to the greater longevity of women.  AD affects around 4 million Americans alone. The brain tissue irreversibly deteriorates until death occurs, usually 10–12 years after the onset of symptoms.  

      Depression is common, affecting around 30% of those with AD.  The main physical change in the brain, at autopsy, is atrophy (wasting away) of the cerebral cortex.  The neurons and synapses deteriorate, fissures widen and occur.  The cerebellum and spinal cord are less affected, which is why people with AD do not appear to have anything physically wrong with them until later in the disease process.  

      In any assessment of AD, it should be determined that cognitive deficits are not be due to other medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, brain tumour, HIV, or hypothyroidism. Similarly other mental health disorders like delirium, depression or schizophrenia must be ruled out.

      Vascular dementia is the second leading type of dementia. It is caused by several small strokes (bleeding or lack of blood supply) in the brain. In many cases, these strokes are the result of high blood pressure, or hardening of the arteries. The accumulated effect of the strokes is brain damage, dementia and confusion.   Symptoms that begin suddenly may be a sign of this kind of dementia. High blood pressure is a cause of strokes and multi infarct dementia.

      Study the Mental Health For Adults course to learn more about mental health issues affecting adults in the modern world.


      This course is great for increasing your knowledge of mental health.
      Improve your job and careers prospects in the area of mental health with this distance learning course.
      Enrol now to learn more about Adult Mental Health.

      Meet some of our academics

      Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
      Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

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