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Overview

Framework:
RQF
Level:
Level 1
Unit No:
K/617/1242
Credits:
2
Guided learning hours:
10 hours

Unit Learning Outcomes

1

Understand what is meant by ‘mental health’.

• Definitions of good mental health: e.g. ‘A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her of his community’ World Health Organisation.

• ‘The ability to learn, the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others, the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty’ Mental Health Foundation.

• ‘Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life’. MIND.

• ‘Mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterised by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others.’ World Health Organisation.

• Mental illnesses are often categorised into two broad groups: neurotic (e.g. anxiety, depression) and psychotic (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder).

• Neurotic disorders relate to mood and can be seen as extreme versions of more normal emotional states. They can be triggered by a number of different factors, or a combination of factors, including:

o Psychotic disorders affect a person’s perception, the way they see the world, and affect their thoughts and judgements. These are much less common than neurotic disorders, accounting for roughly 10% of mental illness. (Psychotic disorders can be triggered by drug use particularly where there is an existing vulnerability and/or history of mental illness in the family.)

o Mental illness is the experience of symptoms which affect our ability to function effectively. Symptoms can be fluctuating and often people with a mental illness experience long periods feeling completely well. Treatment or management techniques often allow people with a mental illness to lead perfectly normal lives.

• Differences between mental illness and ‘normal’ emotional states or rational responses,
e.g.:
o depression versus sadness
o anxiety disorder versus everyday anxiety
o phobia versus fear
o bipolar disorder versus having up days and down days
o obsessive compulsive disorder and enjoying routine or liking things tidy.

• Examples:

o Sadness is a natural reaction to a situation that causes upset or pain (like a bereavement); it is temporary and over time it fades; it is not usually overwhelming so that at times, people can feel briefly happy or laugh at something funny. Depression lasts for a longer time; it is not always triggered by an external event; it is all-consuming and affects a person’s ability to function at work or in their personal lives; often it will cause suicidal thoughts.
o The main difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder is the cause and the intensity of the experience.

o Normal anxiety comes and goes and is a reaction to certain events or situations. It is often a good thing; being anxious when you’re walking in a dark place late at night makes you alert to possible dangers. With an anxiety disorder, the anxiety tends to be there all or most of the time; it is irrational and impacts negatively on how people live their everyday lives.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Explain what is meant by ‘good’ mental health.

  • 1.2

    Explain what is meant by mental ill-health.

  • 1.3

    Explain the difference between mental illness and normal responses to difficult circumstances.


2

Understand how to look after own mental wellbeing.

• Ways of looking after own health including:

o physical aspects such as exercise, balanced diet, sensible drinking, avoidance of drugs, good sleep and rest

o behaviours and attitudes maintaining social contact, talking about feelings, asking for help in difficult situations, focusing on what you’re good at, accepting self as you are, having a goal and a purpose, having a sense of balance between college/work/school and leisure/friends/relationships, building a support network.

o Reasons why different strategies are effective in promoting wellbeing, e.g. physical exercise releases endorphins in the brain which make you feel good; the brain needs good nutrition to function effectively; talking about feelings helps keep things in perspective and allows other people to offer support

o Techniques and strategies: revision strategies; breathing exercises; yoga; stress management techniques such as use of stress balls; distraction techniques; visualisation techniques; relaxation techniques.

o Commonly-arising difficult situations such as exams; falling out with a friend; relationship breakdown and uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, stress, nervousness.

o Emotional resilience - the ability to: reduce feelings of pressure and cope with the stress they cause; ‘bounce back’ from negative experiences; adapt to difficult circumstances and learn from them. Emotional resilience allows us to encounter negative experiences without being overwhelmed by them.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Describe ways of looking after own mental health.

  • 2.2

    Explain the positive effects of different strategies on mental wellbeing.

  • 2.3

    Describe how specific strategies or techniques can be used to cope with commonly-arising difficult situations or uncomfortable feelings.

  • 2.4

    Explain the importance of emotional resilience in maintaining good mental health.


3

Understand how to support friends and family with mental health difficulties.

• Ways of looking after own health including:

o physical aspects such as exercise, balanced diet, sensible drinking, avoidance of drugs, good sleep and rest

o behaviours and attitudes maintaining social contact, talking about feelings, asking for help in difficult situations, focusing on what you’re good at, accepting self as you are, having a goal and a purpose, having a sense of balance between college/work/school and leisure/friends/relationships, building a support network.

o Reasons why different strategies are effective in promoting wellbeing, e.g. physical exercise releases endorphins in the brain which make you feel good; the brain needs good nutrition to function effectively; talking about feelings helps keep things in perspective and allows other people to offer support

o Techniques and strategies: revision strategies; breathing exercises; yoga; stress management techniques such as use of stress balls; distraction techniques; visualisation techniques; relaxation techniques.

o Commonly-arising difficult situations such as exams; falling out with a friend; relationship breakdown and uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, stress, nervousness.

o Emotional resilience - the ability to: reduce feelings of pressure and cope with the stress they cause; ‘bounce back’ from negative experiences; adapt to difficult circumstances and learn from them. Emotional resilience allows us to encounter negative experiences without being overwhelmed by them.

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1

    Describe signs of deteriorating mental health.

  • 3.2

    Differentiate between situations where it is appropriate to provide support and where they should seek professional or emergency help.

  • 3.3

    Outline ways in which an individual can offer support to friends or family members with mental health difficulties.

  • 3.4

    State ways to maintain own wellbeing while providing support to someone with mental ill-health.


4

Know about support for mental ill-health.

• Sources of support: school/college-based; websites; helplines; GP; A&E; community groups and networks)

• Types of support:
o information
o signposting
o listening services
o advice
o medical referral
o self-help guidance
o emergency help in crisis situations
o post-diagnosis services including peer support groups.

Assessment Criteria

  • 4.1

    Identify sources of support relating to mental health.

  • 4.2

    Outline the types of support available from different sources.


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