Student Preparation for Mental Health Placements
Within the mental health setting, there are several common topics that would assist students to work effectively within the placement. Although there are a number of areas and skills that students can attain to make the most of a placement in a mental health setting, the Health Education Training Institute (HETI) have produced some excellent 'Preparing for placement in a specialist mental health setting' resources to help students get ready for a mental health placement.
For Community managed organisations, the Mental Health Coordinating Council’s Practice Placements in the Community Managed Mental Health Sector project’s Placement Guide has a list of tips for students (Appendix 12, pp. 50-51) that are worth considering when entering into community based placements.
The Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD) website has a comprehensive set of free modules for the mental health clinical educator to use as a platform to broaden your student’s understanding of common skill requirements within the mental health field. The clinical educator might want to use these as an introduction to the placement, during orientation or throughout the placement as learning tools for student supervision sessions. (In 2017 MHPOD to a new site address. If you were an existing member, please click this link for instructions on how to register for the new site: https://www.mhpod.gov.au/
In addition, there are some setting specific tutorials suggested by mental health practitioners to guide the student, and these can be completed prior to or during placement if the need arises.
Listen to Wendy Szatkowski discussing the opportunities that can be gained by participating in a mental health student placement.