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Challenging ideas in mental health

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Ideas about the concept of mental health are hotly contested, and often personally and intellectually challenging. This course invites you to think differently about life’s dilemmas by considering the views of all concerned, especially people experiencing mental distress. Using a holistic framework, it explores ideas and practice in mental health – encouraging you to review your own beliefs and experiences and to challenge yourself and others on a more informed footing. The course will appeal to a wide range of people – workers in health and social care, service users/survivors, friends and families, and anyone with a general interest in this complex and challenging topic.

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

This course is complementary to the Level 2 course Diverse perspectives on mental health (K225).

It looks at mental health from a holistic perspective which covers five dimensions of the person – social, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual. Using this holistic perspective, the course grounds itself in emerging and contemporary debates in mental health. You will consider the influence of the life-course and life events on mental health alongside the development and significance of personality. You will explore the growing awareness of mental health challenges facing both younger and older people, as well as the complex issues facing people who also have physical or learning disabilities. You will also look at the wider implications and possibilities for mental health services, including the use of alternative and complementary approaches, as well as ideas underpinning the contested concept of ‘recovery’.

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

  • the range, complexity and dilemmas of diverse perspectives in the field of mental health and distress
  • a holistic model for understanding mental health and distress
  • the importance of service users’/survivors’ experiences and perspectives
  • how mental health issues affect everyone
  • the structure of contemporary mental health services, including legislation, policy, planning and delivery
  • theories and debates about mental health and the relevance of a wide range of sources of evidence.

The course consists of four separate blocks, each integrating printed learning materials with media resources and activities.

Block 1 – Shifting boundaries – explores the theme of boundaries; boundaries within and between groups, within and between different explanatory frameworks, and within and between experiences of mental health and distress. It introduces and explores a holistic framework for understanding mental health and distress using a range of experiences – social, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual.

Block 2 – Searching for understandings – charts a journey through a range of experiences, drawing on understandings about children and the development of personality through to old age. It explores the differences and similarities between disability and mental distress, and considers how issues such as drug and alcohol misuse are addressed by health and social care services.

Block 3 – Helpful responses? – addresses a range of issues concerning the diverse ways in which responses to mental distress are produced and experienced: for example how different models of intervention and therapeutic approaches are used and evidenced. It examines the complexity and problematic nature of the concept of risk. It explores the meaning of care as it relates to the experiences of service users, carers and mental health professionals, as well as the role of ‘talking therapies’ and the contribution of complementary and alternative approaches to mental health.

Block 4 – Dilemmas and challenges – explores some of the many challenges and dilemmas faced by service users/survivors and workers in mental health services posed, for example, by the pharmaceutical industry and advocacy. It also examines the contested concept of ‘recovery’ in the context of mental health, reviewing the barriers to adopting a ‘recovery model’ and developing ideas about its practical application.

Entry

K272 is a Level 2 course and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU 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

Course books, other printed materials, CDs and CD-ROM. 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 CD player.

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

“I have just completed K272 and was delighted to achieve a Pass 2 and 5 marks away from a distinction ...”
Read more
“Enjoyable introduction to mental health, that managed to preserve the complexity of the subject. Focuses on a survivor perspective, and ...”
Read more

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 K272
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 8
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

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