Mental Health across the life course


Students should be able to:

- Recognise common presentations, understand normal stages, understand the epidemiology of disorders and make competent assessment of perinatal, infant, child, dolescent & old age disorders in primary care and community;

- Recognise some of the barriers to health seeking behaviour;

- Recognise and manage tobacco & substance misuse in primary care mental health;

- Understand the relationship between physical & mental health across the life course & role of mental health as a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) and as a risk factor in other NCD’s & common co-morbidities in mental health;

- Understand the barriers to health gains as a result of co-morbidity;

- Gain competence in stepped-care approach to the management of of perinatal , infant, child, adolescent, old age & co-morbidity in the primary care and community setting;

- Gain competence in weighing severity & risk posed by co-morbidity to decide the optimum setting & skill mix to deliver care and treatment.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Profª. Doutora Maria Isabel Pereira dos Santos


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



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


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

- Ivbijaro GO, Enum Y, Khan AA, Lam SS-K, Gabzdyl A. Collaborative care: models for treatment of patients with complex medical-psychiatric conditions. Current Psychiatry Reports 2014; 16: 506-514.

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

The syllabus will be focused on:

1. Development and psychopathology in childhood, child mental health, mental health in adolescents and old age, lifelong relationship between physical and mental health and co-morbidity;

2. Common presentations, epidemiology, assessment of severity, barriers to seeking health behaviors, risk assessment, decision-making about the type of care and treatment guidelines for the management of disorders in primary care and community environment in the following disorders / presentations / syndromes: perinatal disorders, neurocognitive disorders in the elderly, disorders related to the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances.


Programs where the course is taught: