Assessment and Intervention in Common Mental Health Problems


Student should be able to understand the:

- Influence of environment, social systems and stigma as wider determinants of mental health;

- Rationale for classification in primary care mental health;

- Three dimensional matrix of primary care classification;

- Ethical issues in primary care mental health;

- Rationale of patient centered care and recovery;

- Basic prescribing principles underpinning safe/effective use of medicine;

- Principles behind psychological intervention;

- Which mental health conditions are likely to respond to psychological interventions.


And develop ability to:

- Take a longitudinal mental health history & adapt it to a primary care setting;

- Make full biopsychosocial diagnostic formulation & risk management plan;

- Use of psychological principles in primary care including promotion of self–help;

- Classify psychotropic medications used in primary care;

- Initiate, monitor, discontinue use of psychotropic drugs in primary care;

- Recognize and manage side effects and contraindications.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Professor Hendrik Hermanus Parmentier


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Average level use of English (understanding and writing skills).


- American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

- Bazire S. Psychotropic Drug Directory 2014: The Professionals Pocket Handbookand Aide-Memoire, 2014.

- Ivbijaro G (ed). Companion to Primary Care Mental Health. London: Radcliffe Publishing, 2012.

- Lewis NDC (ed). Outlines for Psychiatric Examinations. 3rd Edition. New York State: Department of Mental Hygeine, 1943.

- Marmot M. Fair Society, Healthy Lives: The Marmot Review. UCL Institute of Health Equity: 2010.

- Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLOS Medicine 2006; 3(11): 2011-2029.

- WHO/Wonca. Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: A Global Perspective. Geneva: WHO, 2008

- World Health Organisation. The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders: clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva: WHO, 1992.

Teaching method

This CU will be based on:

- Lectures

- Face to face seminar sessions

- Small group work

- E-discussion

- E-learning

- Review of log

- Peer feedback

- Self-assessment feedback.

Peer and reflective learning will be supported by structured lectures to provide up to date knowledge, face-to-face seminar sessions and small group work to review current evidence based guidelines, consolidate learning and develop skills. Practitioners will benchmark themselves against best practice.

Participants will have access to an electronic platform for lecture notes, presentations, reading materials, pre and post learning self-assessment materials to track progress & an e-discussion forum. Participants will be expected to complete practical homework tasks to consolidate theoretical learning and through Case Based Discussion (CBD).

Participants will keep a personal reflective learning log to map their progress.

Evaluation method


Self-assessment (25%), peer assessment (25%), faculty assessment (50%).

Subject matter

a) Wider determinants of health & public mental health: influence of environment and social systems, role of spirituality and stigma;

b) Classification in primary care mental health and the three dimensional matrix of primary care classification;

c) History taking & investigation: taking and adapting longitudinal mental health history to primary care setting, relevant investigations, ethical issues in primary care mental health, patient centered care and recovery, diagnostic formulation;

d) Mental health assessment & mental state: common symptoms, risk assessment;

e) Principles of prescribing: safe and effective use of medicine, classification of psychotropic medications, anti-depressants and antipsychotics in primary care, side effects and contraindications;

f) Principles of psychological intervention: mental health conditions and response to psychological interventions, psychological principles in primary care mental health including promotion of self–help, solution focused therapy.


Programs where the course is taught: