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Course Catalog


Department: Mental Health
Term: 1st term
Credits: 3 credits
Academic Year: 2014 - 2015
Course Instructor:

Describes the basic features of mental disorders using an epistemological framework that facilitates understanding in the context of public health research and practice. Includes discussion of the distinction between neurological activity and mental life, and briefly presents the historical as well as current state of knowledge of the most common psychiatric conditions. Framework includes four fundamental perspectives for understanding mental disturbances: disease, dimension, behavior, and life story, with explanation of the distinct etiopathologic nature each perspective brings to bear on the problem of defining, classifying, and measuring mental disorders.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Distinguish between neurological activity and mental life
Recognize the value of epistemological approach to psychiatric conditions
Distinguish between normal human responsiveness and psychiatric symptoms, behaviors, syndromes, disorders, and diseases
Understand the need for the practical utility of viewing psychiatric conditions from four perspectives
Identify the key elements of, and the distinctions between, a psychiatric history and a mental status examination
Understand the principles of ascertainment, measurement, and classification of psychiatric signs and symptoms (strengths and weaknesses)
Distinguish between a psychiatric nomenclature, nosology, and diagnostic classification; presentations, types, ranges and key features of major psychiatric syndromes; dementias, schizophrenia, affective disorders, psychoactive substance use disorders, mental retardation, and disorders of adjustment to life circumstances; difficulties in assessing and comparing degrees of impairment associated with the different major psychiatric syndromes; relationships among all four psychiatric perspectives in understanding, assessing, measuring, and treating major psychiatric syndromes

Methods of Assessment: midterm and final
Location: Internet
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Instructor Consent: No consent required

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.

Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail