In meeting the requirements of the Higher Specialist Social Work Award in Mental Health the course also recognises the diversity of mental health social work and provides practitioners with the opportunity to develop and extend their knowledge and enhance their skills in dealing with complex work.
Learning include a mix of interactive workshops, teaching sessions and facilitated group discussions. Service user and carer input will be central to student learning methods. This will also be combined with individualised self-directed learning with flexibility in units to tailor learning to meet individual student needs.
Opportunities for experiential learning will be provided in a supervised practice placement as required by the professional body, with supervision as key.
Assessment for the course will be varied and will include completion of a portfolio including a report by a practice assessor based on observation of the student’s application of learning and competence in demonstrating the requirements. A range of reflective assignments and an in class test will also be included.
Applicants will normally hold a social work qualification recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council or a qualification in an allied profession. You must hold at least a Diploma level qualification, such as a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) or equivalent.
The principle aim of the course is to prepare practitioners who will be considered for appointment as Approved Mental Health Professionals under the Mental Health Act 2007.
Ethics, Values and Perspectives in Mental Health (20 credits)
Approved mental health professionals bring to their statutory role the knowledge, skills and values of the professionally-qualified, competent mental health worker. In this unit you will consider models of mental distress and approaches to the care, treatment and support of people who use mental health services to identify the components of socially inclusive practice.
Mental Health and the Law (20 credits)
Approved mental health professionals play an integral and significant role in the care and protection of people with mental disorder and have specific responsibilities, functions and duties under mental health legislation. This unit allows students to examine and apply the laws, codes and social welfare legislation surrounding the field appropriately within the context of professionally ethical practice.
AMHP Role in Practice (20 credits)
The role of the approved mental health professional is wide-ranging and includes preventing the necessity for compulsory admission to care which currently takes place within a context of significant mental health policy initiatives. During this unit you will consider the impact of social policy upon current and potential service users and carers and upon professional practice across mental health related disciplines.
Evidencing Professional Learning (practice assessment) (40 credits)
A feature of professional practice is the ability to develop and demonstrate the range of occupational competencies and requirements. This unit provides a flexible work based approach for students to provide a range of evidence to demonstrate the achievement of specified professional and occupational competencies and standards in accordance with the requirements of the professional/statutory regulatory authorities.
Evidencing Professional Practice and Decision-Making (20 credits)
This unit allows you to apply theory learnt to practice environments. During the unit you will apply knowledge and skills acquired and critically evaluate complex decision-making and professional judgement. You will be challenged to apply your knowledge and skills in tackling and solving problems within the complex and unpredictable professional context.
Preparing for your Service Improvement Project (PSIP) (20 credits)
A Service Improvement Project (SIP) aims to bring about a measurable benefit to a service or services against a stated aim. During the unit you will explore a range of relevant knowledge, skills and attributes to enable you to prepare for a SIP. You will gain sufficient knowledge regarding an appropriate, systematic and justified methodology in a complex professional area design an original, intellectually challenging and in-depth SIP action plan relevant to your professional context.
Service Improvement Project (SIP) (40 credits)
A SIP aims to bring about a measurable benefit to a service or services against a stated aim. The project will demonstrate your autonomous and independent ability within a complex professional context, to create knowledge which expands or redefines existing knowledge and/or develops new approaches to service improvement. You will apply well-grounded research and evaluation methods, change management, practice and/or service development skills and evaluate any subsequent change or improvement. You will also critically reflect on and evaluate the impact of the SIP activity. Throughout the unit you will be supported by a university tutor via phone calls, emails and face to face meetings. Your tutor will direct you towards appropriate resources that are most closely linked to your SIP activity which may include electronic resources, workshops, seminars, and masterclasses to support your learning.
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