POPLPRAC 702 : Adult Mental Health and CBT Skills for Primary Care

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A clinically focused course providing an overview of the recognition and management of adult mental health in primary care and other healthcare settings. Topics and content will enable an examination of mental illness in New Zealand including cultural approaches and epidemiology, assessment, identification, treatment and management options. Content covers high prevalence conditions (depression, anxiety) and long term conditions (bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). Topics will include recovery, resilience, CBT techniques and the effect of alcohol and drugs.

Course Overview

The content covers high prevalence disorders in primary care with a particular focus on depression and anxiety,  together with assessment tools and treatment options. Other mental health presentations such as adjustment disorders, eating disorders, alcohol/substance abuse, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and postpartum depression are also discussed. Complimentary content such as perspectives on recovery, cultural approaches, resilience, and stigma are also included. The course has a key focus on practical skills (basic CBT/behavioural activation for primary care) in the block course teaching.
Key topic areas covered are:
  • Developing a Context for Mental Health (Epidemiology, psychosomatic interface, recovery approach, cultural perspectives, access inequalities) 
  • Knowledge base of high prevalence mental health conditions (particularly depression & anxiety disorders including phobia's & PTSD, also including eating disorders, adjustment disorders, maternal mental health, alcohol & drugs), also touching on mental health screening, assessment, and risk assessment
  • Understand and develop early competence and clinical skills in using a brief cognitive-behavioural tool with patients, to provide a brief psychological intervention for mild, non-complex presentations  
  • Māori and Pacific views of health 
  • Reflection and evaluation of own practice
Please note the course is for clinicians / registered health professionals only  (eg GP's, Nurses, Registered allied health)

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Academic Co-ordinator and Lecturer: 
Dr. Marion Roberts 
Email: marion.roberts@auckland.ac.nz

Course Administrator
Mrs Upendra Wickramarachchi
Group Services Administrator
Email: u.wicks@auckland.ac.nz

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of access to and suitability of mental health services in Aotearoa NZ across cultures (Capability 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 and 6.1)
  2. Develop competency to identify, assess, and manage common mental illness in primary care (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1)
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of mental health presentations, treatment options, and referral options for a patient who presents with mental illness in primary care (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1)
  4. Critically evaluate and reflect on mental health care and treatment ( includes patient / client centred communication skills) (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 4.1)
  5. Apply understanding of the Cognitive Behavioural Model (at an introductory level) to a patient / client in primary care (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 5.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Multi-choice & short-answer test 20% Individual Test
CBT Assignment 20% Individual Coursework
Case Presentation 50% Individual Coursework
Discussions 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Multi-choice & short-answer test
CBT Assignment
Case Presentation

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [15] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, the majority of work is self-directed and online. You can expect 1 hour of online lectures per week, 1-3 hours reading and thinking about the content, 2 consecutive days of on-campus block teaching (clinical skills workshop), and 1-2 hours of work per week on assignments (this will ebb and flow across the semester).

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at the scheduled 2-day campus teaching, to complete the practical/applied components of the course.
Lectures will be available as online recordings via canvas. Other learning activities - 2-day campus teaching - will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is not required for the test, which is online.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a suggested weekly timetable.

In the event of a COVID-19 related level 4 lockdown, the 2-day campus teaching will shift to virtual delivery.

Learning Resources

Recommended learning resources, in particular a comprehensive reading list, is provided in the course outline on Canvas.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

The course is for registered healthcare clinicians and registered allied health workers only (eg GP, Nurse, Social worker)

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 03/02/2022 09:35 a.m.