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Diverse perspectives on mental health

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What causes mental distress and what can be done about it? What aspects of the external environment affect mental health? This course examines how social, environmental, economic and political factors shape and constrain our understandings and experiences of mental health and distress. It explores the wide range of diverse and frequently competing perspectives that characterise the world of mental health and looks at the impact of these perspectives on mental health practice and service provision. The course will appeal to anyone – lay or professional – who seeks greater understanding of this fascinating and complex area of service provision.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£985.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£865.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£440.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course is complementary to our other Level 2 course in mental health, Challenging ideas in mental health (K272). Where K272 focuses on a holistic approach to different dimensions of the individual, K225 places its emphasis on the social. You examine a range of lay, bio-medical, psychological, psychotherapeutic and social perspectives for explaining mental distress and supporting people with mental health problems. You learn from the written and spoken accounts of people who have experienced mental distress.

By the end of the course you should have developed knowledge and understanding of:

  • how social, environmental, economic and political elements shape experiences of mental health and distress, and their implications for ethical and value-based practice
  • the central importance of service users’ perspectives
  • the role of ethics and values in the context of mental health and distress
  • the range and complexity of conflicting and complementary perspectives on mental health and distress
  • the impact of diverse perspectives on mental health practice.

K225 also provides underpinning knowledge and understanding for the Ten Essential Shared Capabilities framework for the mental health workforce.

The course is divided into four study blocks.

Block 1 – Exploring Perspectives introduces the notion that there are very different views about what constitutes mental health and distress, and considers the role of the external environment – in particular social, political, environmental and economic factors – in shaping these views. The impact of labels and language used to describe mental health, and the ways in which cultural factors interact with mental health and distress are discussed, as well as debates on different ways of understanding mental distress.

Block 2 – Social and Ethical Contexts begins by examining the ways in which ethics and values shape and constrain understandings and practice in the world of mental health. The block raises challenging questions about the role of mental health legislation, the impact of ‘place’ on mental wellbeing, and the relationship between mental health and work. Different ways of thinking about gender and sexuality and the ways in which these can help us to appreciate some people’s experiences of mental distress are debated, and the block concludes with a discussion of how families, in their many forms, may experience and/or contribute to mental health and distress.

Block 3 – Understanding Experience The role of medical and physical treatments is examined in the context of mental distress. Problems around the definition and measurement of suicide, the complex relationship between mental distress, criminal behaviour and imprisonment, and the diverse perspectives and dilemmas relating to self-harm are discussed. The unit ends by looking at the contribution of art, culture and creative activities to mental wellbeing.

Block 4 – Perspectives on Practice looks at different types of support, including that provided by friends, relatives and neighbours, and the ways in which service users and professional workers relate to each other. It examines issues around the evaluation of mental health services, with particular emphasis on the concept of quality, and explores user involvement in service provision. Different approaches to mental health promotion are discussed. The concluding unit provides an opportunity to consolidate and revise what you’ve learnt throughout the course.

Entry

This is a Level 2 course and you need to have some knowledge of health and social care and a readiness to study at this level, obtained either through Level 1 study (our Level 1 course An introduction to health and social care (K101) would be ideal preparation) or by doing equivalent work at another university.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

You will receive guidance of how to get started online in your first course mailing. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the course starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Study books, other printed materials, CDs and DVD. You will have access to a website through which teaching and library resources are available. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are provided on the website.

You will need

A DVD player and a CD player.

The audio-visual components of this course are delivered on a DVD that will play on a standard DVD player and television. If you want to view this on a computer, it will need a DVD-ROM drive and software for viewing DVDs.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Reynolds, J, et al. (ed) Mental Health Still Matters, Palgrave Macmillan £26.99 - ISBN 9780230577299

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.  Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014 when it will be available for the last time.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“very interesting course. I really enjoyed this course and found the support from my tutor really helpful. Overall a brillant ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code K225
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 8
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

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