Practical Skills Taught in Mental Health Courses

Mental health courses cover a wide range of topics such as how to understand mental health conditions and how practical strategies can be developed to provide effective support. And in addition to theoretical knowledge, it is important to learn practical skills when you work in the field of mental health.

One of the practical skills taught in Certificate IV In Mental Health is active listening. This will allow you to engage with those experiencing mental health challenges and you will be able to find the best ways to support them. In addition to paying attention to verbal cues, you will also learn how to recognise nonverbal cues. In a professional working in a mental health field, it is important to have empathy and understanding for the individuals that they interact with daily. In the mental health courses, you will learn how to practice active listening techniques through case studies and role playing. This will allow you to build a rapport with your clients or patients. You also need to have effective communication and be able to collaborate with others in mental health settings. Some practical communication skills that are taught in mental health courses are empathetic language, how to be assertive and the use of non-verbal communication. You can learn how to be sensitive and respectful in the way you communicate and how misunderstandings can be clarified. There will be many challenging topics that you will need to discuss and you need to do this in a non-judgemental manner.

When individuals are in a crisis situation,

You need to have crisis intervention skills such as how to assess risk and to learn how to de-escalate a situation. There are certain crisis management protocols that you will be taught so that you can identify the signs of crisis and provide immediate support. You should be able to bring stability into the situation and provide the necessary resources to the individuals and connect them to services. You will learn cognitive behavioural techniques that are used to identify negative behaviours and thought patterns and to challenge these. Some of the skills that will be taught under this technique will be behaviour activation, cognitive restructuring and problem solving techniques. You will learn how to apply the principles of this technique in group settings and with individuals so that many mental health concerns can be addressed.

Some important tools

To manage stress and anxiety are mindfulness and relaxation techniques. There are relaxation exercises, strategies to manage stress and mindfulness based interventions that you will learn so that you can guide patients or clients in these practices. For example you can guide clients in deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation practices to improve their emotional wellbeing. You also need to learn how to be culturally sensitive. You will be dealing with individuals that comes from diverse backgrounds and you need to have cultural competence in order to recognise cultural differences and respect them all the while being able to communicate effectively across these cultural barriers. This will allow you to meet the unique requirements of diverse populations.

Leen Schroeder
the authorLeen Schroeder