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Level 1
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
30 hours

Assessment Guidance

Portfolio of Evidence.


This unit provides an introduction to the causes and types of mental health illness. It also considers the importance of effective communication when supporting someone with a mental health illness.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Know the importance of a person centred approach when working with individuals with mental health problems.

Learners need to understand the meaning of a 'person-centred' approach. This may include

  • empowering individuals to make their own decisions
  • respecting their opinions and values
  • involving individuals in decision making

Examples may include:

  • talking with the individual to find out what challenges they have and finding practical solutions
  • making resources available so that the individual can decide when and where they can use them

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1
    Outline why it is important to recognise and value an individual with mental health problems as a person first.
  • 1.2
    Give examples of how to use a person centred approach when working with individuals with mental health problems.


Know the main factors that can cause mental health problems.

Factors that cause mental health problems may include:

  • biological factors e.g. possibly passed on through families, infections or brain injuries, substance abuse
  • psychological factors e.g. trauma as a child, early loss of a parent, neglect, relationships, life events, loneliness and isolation, grief and loss, domestic violence, bullying, unemployment, alcohol and drug misuse.
  • environmental factors e.g. death or divorce, low self-esteem, work-related stress

Mental problems may include mood disorders e.g. depression, anxiety and panic disorders, eating disorders, Phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder. 

Learners need to be aware that sadness and anxiety are normal. And that everyone has some risk of developing a mental health problem no matter what their age, sex, income or ethnicity. 

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1
    Outline factors that affect mental health.
  • 2.2
    Give examples of a range of mental health problems.


Understand the importance of effective communication with individuals who have mental health problems.

Benefits of effective communication include:

  • everyone in the team including the person themselves knows the care plan and shares information effectively
  • everyone is working towards the same goals and no conflicts occur

Learners needs to know about active listening techniques - e.g. showing through non verbal behaviour that they are listening, using open questions, repeating and paraphrasing, not interrupting, creating a rapport, empathising. 

The importance of using active listening skills may include:

  • making a person feel valued
  • builds confidence and self-esteem
  • share problems and agree solutions

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1
    Identify the benefits of effective communication on the lives of individuals with mental health problems.
  • 3.2
    Outline why it is important to use active listening skills with individuals who have mental health problems.