The Master of Mental Health offers a contemporary perspective on mental health and wellness, delivered in a compassionate and contemplative online learning environment.
Contemplative online education – practice self-care while providing compassionate care to others, experience personal development while studying mental health online. Our Mental Health program offers students an embodied, holistic educational experience, with a focus on contemplation, ethics and compassion – unlike any other online Mental Health education offered in Australia and is designed for health professionals interested in making a difference to the lives of people experiencing mental illness, whilst also taking care of their own wellbeing.
Mindful and contemplative professional practices are now recognised to be leading the way in personal wellness, while facilitating the mental health recovery of others. These practices are essential as a protective resource to reduce risk for burnout, empathic distress and compassion fatigue.
All our courses combine leading-edge professional skills with contemplative, ethical and compassionate personal development and it is these embodied, holistic learning foundations that sets apart education at NTI from other postgraduate education providers.
|Head of Program||Dr Susan Sumskis|
|Course Duration||Full-time: 18 months, part-time from 24 months for domestic students.|
|Delivery Method||Online study|
Bachelor degree with a major in a relevant field, such as health sciences, social sciences, liberal arts, or education, OR
a Graduate Diploma with a focus on health, OR
a Graduate Certificate with a focus on health and credit average performance.
Note: Applicants who are not eligible for direct entry to this course but are eligible for entry to the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma, can transition to the Master’s degree, upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma requirements.
|English Language Requirements||
Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English. Applicants who have not completed substantial tertiary studies in English will need to meet our English Language Requirements.
Please note: Although this course does not directly lead to a registration as a health professional, on completion of this course, those wishing to register as a health professional in Australia will also need to satisfy the AHPRA requirement of an overall IELTS score of 7.
|Related Courses||Graduate Diploma in Mental Health
Graduate Certificate in Mental Health
|Tuition Fees 2020#||
*A one-off enrolment fee of $100 applies, payable once you have been accepted into a course. Applies to Mental Health students only.
|Non-Tuition Fees||More about non-tuition fees|
|CRICOS Course Code||0100335|
|CRICOS Provider Number||03233C|
The course can be completed within three (3) semesters of full-time study and four (4) or more semesters of part-time study. The Master of Mental Health qualification requires the completion of 12 subjects (for a total of 72 credit points).
Note: Not all core subjects are offered in each semester. Please consult the timetable or Student Services for advice.
Dr Susan Sumskis
Head of Health
Dr Sumskis focuses on student well-being within learning through the use of contemplative pedagogy. Sue has extensive professional experience in a variety of mental health settings and within tertiary education.
This subject is designed to prepare students to be successful in their postgraduate studies.
The subject strengthens existing academic abilities and literacies, usually gained through undergraduate study, and introduces contemporary topics to help students develop critical thinking, research and communication skills. The subject includes an introduction to contemplative inquiry which underpins the postgraduate curriculum.
The subject will support students in their first session of postgraduate study; facilitate an understanding of the nature and structure of their degrees; provide resources and peer support to enhance academic and digital literacies needed for success in their degree.
‘Mind-Body Wellness’ explores and analyses psychological, emotional, physical, social, and environmental factors that can contribute to, or work against, the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and societies. The subject examines mind-body wellness research from a range of perspectives, as well as exploring practical tools and interventions to assist others in improving mind-body wellness in the context of challenges to mental health.
Compassion at Work
Compassion has been identified as a priority area for improvement in health care. Explicit training in compassion is now necessary within health care settings, which are becoming increasingly complex and fast-paced.
This subject examines the implications of compassion in health care for individuals, organisations and society and draws from the growing field of Compassion Science, which suggests that compassion is central to positive outcomes in health care.
This subject also examines physiological, psychological, philosophical and sociological evidence, which proposes a positive correlation between compassionate health care enhanced by contemplative practice and staff and clients’ quality of life.
It is grounded in a strength-based, resilience-building approach while offering both applied and theoretical experience of compassion for personal and professional development in health care. This subject is also highly relevant to a range of business professionals.
Mental Health and Wellness
A state of wellbeing is defined as every individual having the opportunity to realise their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and make a contribution to their community.
Rapidly evolving evidence and the emergence of new research technologies are forcing revision of historical truths, beliefs, traditions and approaches to mental health and wellness.
This subject explores recent developments in our understanding of mental health and wellbeing, including severe challenges to mental health and the associated impact on the lives of people having these experiences and their families and communities.
Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is central to contemporary health research and practice. In this subject, students will learn how to approach research in mental health by effectively searching the literature, critically appraising evidence, and assessing its significance. Students will also critically analyse mental health research from an ethical perspective and will understand the importance of lived experience perspectives in research. Students will learn how to apply scientific methods and statistical principles to a variety of research situations and questions and to understand the ways in which knowledge in the health and social sciences is validated and communicated.
An Evidence Based Practice (HSW903) subject is also offered (on-campus) as part of the Health and Social Wellbeing curriculum, designed for health professionals working in a broader range of healthcare settings.
Coaching and Counselling for Health and Wellbeing
Promoting, motivating, and supporting health, wellbeing, and positive behaviour change, is a highly valued and necessary competency for many professional roles, particularly in the areas of health/mental health, psychology/counselling/coaching, disability and rehabilitation, complementary medicine, welfare, community outreach, human resources, and management. Many people, however, would like to feel better equipped and trained in this area of their work, particularly when working with people experiencing mental distress and severe challenges to their mental health. In this subject, you will examine a range of evidence-based and best-practice approaches to coaching and counselling for health and wellbeing, and develop practical skills via peer and client practice, under supervision to work with people in recovery.
Older Person’s Mental Health
Given a choice, the majority of older people would prefer to live in their own homes, despite challenges such as such as disabilities, loneliness and the problems of health care. This subject considers the healthcare needs of older people and the ways in which older people are represented through the media, health and social policies and legislation. The way that these representations impact on the mental health and wellbeing of older people and their access to healthcare will be analysed.
Case studies will be used to evaluate the importance of having a sense of meaning and purpose, a sense of belonging, and achieving balance through social networks, service to others, nutrition, and physical activity. Research on contemporary evidence on severe challenges to mental wellbeing such as dementia, bereavement and end of life care, will be critically analysed. The role of compassion within healthcare provision for older people will be reflected upon. Students will develop advanced understanding of theories and methods for facilitating healthy ageing. Buddhist perspectives on death and dying are explored within this subject.
Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy
‘Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy – Mindfulness for the Helping Professions’ is an ideal study opportunity for anyone interested in the interface between Buddhism and Psychotherapy, and the significant advantages this new spiritual dimension of psychotherapy has on modern life.
This theoretical and experiential subject looks at contemporary mental and psychological disorders and diseases, and examines how Buddhism and Psychotherapy practices can respond, manage and impact on them.
In the last decade there has been an exponential increase in interest in the relationship between Buddhism and Psychotherapy. This subject explores the interface between Buddhism and psychotherapy and the therapeutic actions of Buddha’s core teachings and practice of mindfulness which are now incorporated in many mainstream psychotherapies. The theoretical and neurobiological basis of meditation training and the art and science of meditation useful in psychotherapy practice is discussed, demonstrated and practised.
The subject also covers the Buddhist and psychological concepts and foundations of suffering pertaining to psychological distress, psychic pain, difficult relationship issues, stress induced diseases, addictions, ageing, sickness and death. There will be experiential exercises to cultivate various clinically beneficial meditative practices. Content also touches on the social, cultural and ethical issues involved in the Integration of Buddhism and Psychotherapy for health professionals.
Nutrition and Mental Health
This subject takes a lifespan perspective to nutrition, diet and exercise, addressing nutritional requirements fundamental to human growth through the lifespan, drawing on different health and science disciplines to provide a basis for understanding nutrition in the context of mental health. Increasing evidence has emerged suggesting a link between dietary habits and mental and behavioural manifestation. Strong links between mental health treatment and nutrition have been identified. Dietary intervention is essential for people taking psychotropic medications. Students will discuss the many factors that impact on healthy food choices for people experiencing mental health conditions and how foods can be utilised within interventions to enhance mental health and wellbeing.
Ethics, Mental Health and Buddhism
This subject provides an overview of ethics in the context of the experience of mental ill health which can place individuals in a position of disadvantage through diminished autonomy. Normative ethical approaches are problematic when applied to the moral deliberations of mental health care, such as the medicalisation of behaviour, coercion and involuntary treatment.
Inherent ethical challenges within mental health care will be explored through the lens of differing frameworks and traditions, including medical ethics and the core concepts of Buddhism.
This subject also explores range of issues of contemporary concern, including the natural world, (environment, animals, conservation, bioethics), death and dying (abortion, suicide, euthanasia, war), health, gender and sexuality, business and social responsibility.
Increasing individual ethical behaviour is at the heart of this subject: understanding the nature of ethical choices is also fundamental to a sound comprehension of Buddhism. This subject critically investigates a range of responses in relation to contemporary moral dilemmas, thereby highlighting possible contributions from—or gaps in—traditional Buddhist paradigms and perspectives.
Therapy Through Art
The emerging correlations between health, art and culture are being recognised as important determinants of health and wellbeing. Healthy individuals create healthy societies. This subject explores Mental Health, Art and Culture in a broader context and how they relate to individual and societal wellbeing.
Art is a form of psychotherapy for individuals families and groups in which the participants engage in artistic processes within a therapeutic relationship. Art can be practised within therapy and as therapy. Art is a valuable therapeutic approach to a wide range of psychological, social and physical conditions. This subject examines the models and methods of art therapy and explores use within a range of mental health conditions.
Buddhism, Environment and Sustainability
Buddhism, Environment and Sustainability examines the relationship between Buddhist traditions, including contemporary Buddhist practice, and global issues in sustainability and environment. It explores both classic and new sources of Buddhist environmentalism, as well as the position of environmentalism from other spiritual paths. Spiritual traditions have a key role in engaging creative responses to environmental and associated social challenges.
This subject will analyse scales of Buddhist environmentalism from the global to the personal, and situate them in both local and global geographic contexts. The subject places emphasis both on theory and on practice: apart from the study and critical examination of primary and secondary sources on Buddhist environmentalism, students will participate in field activities examining local environmental issues.