Competencies covered

Competency: CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues

Element: 1. Establish respectful relationships with people with mental health issues

1.1 Communicate in a way that develops and maintains respect, hope, trust and self-direction.
1.2 Work in a way that reflects and prioritises the person’s right to self-define and direct their own recovery.
1.3 Recognise and respect the person’s social, cultural and spiritual differences.
1.4 Support the person to understand and exercise their rights.
1.5 Maintain confidentiality and privacy of the person within organisation policy and protocols.

Element: 2. Determine the needs of people with mental health issues

2.1 Gather and interpret information about the person’s needs from the person and other agreed sources.
2.2 Identify and discuss with the person services and strategies that support empowerment and recovery.
2.3 Support the person to express their own identity and preferences and avoid imposing own values and attitudes.
2.4 Identify duty of care and dignity of risk considerations in collaboration with the person.

Element: 3. Work with people with mental health issues to meet aspirations and needs

3.1 Provide support that facilitates progress towards the person’s goals in collaboration with the person and their care network.
3.2 Work in ways that uphold the person’s rights.
3.3 Adapt service delivery within organisation policies and procedures to meet the person’s specific needs and requirements.
3.4 Document interactions and services according to organisation policy and procedures.
3.5 Respond promptly and supportively to people experiencing distress or crisis.
3.6 Work within the limits of own knowledge, abilities and work role and make referrals to other services as indicated by the person’s needs.

Unit Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to establish relationships, clarify needs, and then work collaboratively with people who are living with mental health issues.

This unit applies to support workers in contexts outside the mental health sector, but who come into contact with people with mental health issues. The services and support provided are not mental health specific.


The history of mental health.
Values and principles of the mental health sector.
Different contexts of mental health work.
Myths and facts about mental illness.
Key issues facing people with mental health illnesses.
Referral to other health workers or other professional organisations.
Legal and ethical considerations.

Unit offerings

Face to face: (Demand based)

Please note

The Unit Offerings listed above are a guide only and the timetable for any year is the final authority. The College may vary offerings based on demand, regulatory requirements, continual improvement processes or other conditions.

This unit may be available in different modes of delivery i.e. online and face-to-face as listed above. The unit content will not differ between these modes of delivery. There will possibly be a difference in the schedule and/or the prescribed assessment tasks, however both will cover and assess the same content.