Master of Youth Mental Health
What will I study?
What you will learn
Understand major theories relevant to youth mental health
You will examine the research and key theories that underpin contemporary understandings of the mental health of young people. You will discuss various factors that influence healthy development and mental ill-health in childhood, adolescence and emerging adulthood.
Learn how to identify, assess and treat mental illness in young people
You will discuss recent advances in prevention and early intervention and examine best-practice psychosocial and biological interventions. You will be able to prepare treatment plans applicable to the different stages of mental illness.
Undertake a substantial research proposal and project
With the guidance of a supervisor from the Centre of Mental Health, you will develop a substantial research proposal relevant to the youth mental health field. You can elect to develop this into a research report suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.
The Master of Youth Mental Health is a 150-point program. It is designed to be undertaken as a three-year, part-time course. You must complete:
- Nine core subjects, including a substantial independent research project, each worth 12.5 points.
- Three elective subjects, each worth 12.5 points.
50 credit points
50 credit points
50 credit points
Students who do not achieve a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%) in each year of the Master of Youth Mental Health are not eligible to continue to the next year of the program.
On average, it is estimated that students will be required to allocate 15-19 hours per week for ‘study’ time for each subject. However, the time commitment required can vary based on individual task management and planning skills, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed.
Miranda completed her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, before studying the Master of Youth Mental Health in 2017.
She says: "The Master of Youth Mental Health is a fun, exciting new Masters program that gets you involved with many different health professionals. You get to learn from the best and the brightest on this new and upcoming field that will change the way we view mental health as a whole – plus it's online!"
Youth mental health is an incredible new field that has a huge emphasis on early intervention and prevention, as well as positive psychology that not only focuses on symptom reduction but building on a young person’s strengths and abilities.
Why did you decide to study the master of youth mental health?
"I have had some initial exposure from my medical degree and research about youth mental health, but I definitely feel that it has been an area that is overlooked. Youth mental health is an incredible new field that has a huge emphasis on early intervention and prevention, as well as positive psychology that not only focuses on symptom reduction but building on a young person’s strengths and abilities. It is a modern way of approaching a patient, and not only can we use this to help the many young adults in need of help, but it helps the practitioners develop invaluable skills that can be applied to any future patients."
What do you like most about the course?
"I really appreciate that the course is online and tailored to working professionals who can only commit part-time. Even though the course is online, the coordinators are amazing and put in a lot of effort to make the subjects feel interactive. "
What have been the highlights of your time studying?
"It has been a wonderful experience interacting with many different health professionals from varying fields. We have everybody from occupational therapists, psychologists, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and speech pathologists, to say the least. We all come from very different perspectives but have come together to share a common interest and learn as much as we can!"
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Foundations of Youth Mental Health12.5
Foundations of Youth Mental Health
This subject introduces some of the key principles and approaches of working with young people in relation to mental health. The subject will also introduce the key theories and research that underlie contemporary understandings of young people and mental health.
- The need for service reform in the mental health sector
- Understanding youth and mental health
- The clinical staging model of mental ill-health
- Aetiological models of youth mental ill-health
- Impact of mental ill-health on young people
- Early intervention in youth mental health
- Barriers and enablers in youth mental health
- Youth-friendly service delivery
- Engaging and Assessing Young People12.5
Engaging and Assessing Young People
This subject examines some of the key foundations of youth mental health clinical practice, including assessment, engagement and case formulation. It explores a variety of frameworks and provides an overview of the concept of youth friendliness, which is pervasive throughout all youth mental health clinical practice and service level delivery.
The content includes:
- Fundamental principles and strategies underlying youth friendly practice
- Key assessment frameworks for young people
- Introduction to conducting risk assessments
- Introduction to case formulation and shared explanatory models
- Assessing the needs of families and primary carers
- Ethical and legal considerations in youth mental health practice
- Development in Young People12.5
Development in Young People
This subject provides a comprehensive overview of development in young people, focusing on the various factors that influence both healthy development and mental ill-health in childhood, adolescence and emerging adulthood. Subject content includes:
- The relationship between development and attachment and familial functioning
- The influence of social, peer and intimate relationships on the lives of young people
- Sexual development
- Identity development
- Cognitive and brain development
- The impact of socio-cultural contexts on emerging adulthood
- Mental Ill-health in Young People 112.5
Mental Ill-health in Young People 1
This unit provides a comprehensive overview of the major non-psychotic disorders, including mood, anxiety, substance use and eating disorders. Each lecture will focus on the epidemiology, aetiology and typical features of the disorder, its impact on health and functioning, and evidenced-based interventions.
Course content includes:
- Introduction to psychopathology in young people
- Anxiety disorders in young people
- Depression in young people
- Substance use/misuse in young people
- PTSD in young people
- Eating disorders in young people
- Mental Ill-health in Young People 212.5
Mental Ill-health in Young People 2
This unit will provide a comprehensive overview of psychotic disorders and behavioural disorders, as well as major personality disorders in young people. Each lecture will focus on the epidemiology, aetiology and typical features of the disorder, its impact on health and functioning, and evidenced-based interventions. Course content includes:
- The At-Risk Mental State and Ultra High Risk criteria for the onset of psychosis
- The first episode of psychosis
- Psychotic disorders in young people
- Personality disorders & borderline personality disorder in young people
- Bipolar disorder I and II in young people
- Intellectual disability and mental ill-health in young people
- Early Intervention in Mental Health12.5
Early Intervention in Mental Health
This subject provides an overview of the framework for prevention and early intervention in public health, including how this framework can be applied in youth mental health. The content includes:
- The prevention and early intervention framework
- Universal prevention approaches in youth mental health
- Selective prevention approaches in youth mental health
- Indicated prevention approaches in youth mental health
- Mental health promotion
- Evidence-informed community awareness programs
- Evidence-informed school-based mental health prevention
- Psychosocial Interventions with Youth12.5
Psychosocial Interventions with Youth
This unit will provide a comprehensive overview of the major psychosocial interventions that have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness in young people. Subject content includes:
- General principles of psychosocial interventions
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a range of presentations
- A variety of evidence-based psychosocial interventions for young people
- Working with families and groups in therapeutic contexts
- Developing treatment plans
- Practice-based Research Methods12.5
Practice-based Research Methods
This subject introduces students to the essential elements of the research process, commencing with the principles of practice-based research, before progressing to the development of targeted research questions, identifying appropriate research designs and methods, interpreting data, and writing a viable research proposal. It also covers confidentiality and both the ethical and legal issues of working with young people in a clinical research setting.
As part of the Master of Youth Mental Health capstone experience, this subject is designed to fully complement Youth Mental Health Research Project 1. With the support of the subject coordinator, the student will be designated a suitable supervisor from the Centre for Youth Mental Health to guide them through their development of a research proposal, provide constructive feedback on a preliminary draft, and help them refine their final assignment to present a consolidated proposal as part of their assessment in Youth Mental Health Research Project 1.
- Youth Mental Health Research Project 112.5
Youth Mental Health Research Project 1
Students will be supervised in the initial stages of developing a research project of relevance to the youth mental health field. Students will produce a comprehensive literature review to build on the research proposal submitted in “Practice-based Research Methods”, with the ongoing guidance of an appropriately qualified supervisor from the Centre for Youth Mental Health.
- Biological Interventions with Youth12.5
Biological Interventions with Youth
This subject provides a broad overview of biological interventions for mental ill-health in youth. It explores principles of prescribing in youth mental health and the biological basics of pharmacology, common psychopharmacological interventions for affective and psychotic disorders and their side effects, and managing adherence in young people.
Subject content includes:
- Principles of prescribing in youth mental health and the biological basics of pharmacology
- Psychopharmacotherapy for depression and anxiety
- Psychopharmacotherapy for psychotic disorders
- Psychopharmacotherapy for bipolar disorder
- Managing the impact of pharmacotherapy on physical and sexual health
- Non-pharmacological evidence-informed treatments
- Working with Marginalised Young People12.5
Working with Marginalised Young People
This unit will provide a comprehensive overview of the epidemiology of vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalised youth populations, and evidence based interventions or models of care for responding to the needs of these groups.
- Working with young people who identify as LGBTIQ
- Working with young people involved in the criminal justice system
- Working with refugee populations
- Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
- Working with rural and remote young people
- Reflective Youth Mental Health Practice12.5
Reflective Youth Mental Health Practice
Students will spend a period of one semester improving their practice in youth mental health. Students reflect upon and study the following topics in an online community of practitioners:
- Therapeutic skills to engage and develop rapport with young people and their families
- Ways of collaborating with young people to develop and review treatment goals
- A range of therapeutic approaches that arise in their practice
- Therapeutic micro-skills which they develop over time
- Integrating developmental theory and knowledge into practice when working with young people and their families
- Professional and ethical issues that arise in practice
Please note that in order to complete this subject, students must be currently employed in the youth mental health sector.
- Youth Mental Health Research Project 212.5
Youth Mental Health Research Project 2
Students will be supervised in the completion of a research project of relevance to the youth mental health field. With the ongoing support and guidance of their dedicated supervisor from Practice-Based Research Methods and Youth Mental Health Research Project 1, students will build on their research proposal and literature review by conducting a research project. The project may include a systematic review, a meta-analysis, a narrative review, a quantitative analysis of secondary data, a program evaluation, or a qualitative research study. Students will produce a final research report of between 4,000 to 8,000 words that is suitable for submission for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, intended to equip them with a viable pathway to a PhD in the youth mental health field.
- Youth Mental Health Services12.5
Youth Mental Health Services
This subject examines the principles underlying youth mental health care, the critical components of youth mental health services, and how they respond to the needs of users, carers and the broader communities in which they operate.
Course content includes:
- Principles of youth mental health care
- Youth mental health service models, including both tertiary and primary care approaches
- Principles and approaches surrounding youth participation
- Planning youth mental health services
- Innovations in youth mental health services