Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

HUMS 385: Mental Health

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  Course Description

This course provides a look at mental health problems from a diagnostic perspective. Students learn diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders, psychotropic medications and the role of the family.

Prerequisite: PSYC 101, sophomore standing.

Proctored Exams: None


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM 5 (5th ed). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.  eText
  •  First, M. B, Skodol, A. E., Williams, J. B. W., Spitzer, R. L. (2017). Learning DSM-5® by case example (1st). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.  eText
  •  Schofield, M. (2013). January first: a child’s descent into madness and her father’s struggle to save her (1st ed). New York: Crown Publishers.  Physical Book

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

The main objectives of this course are for you to learn about specific mental health disorders from four instructor selected categories, and through exploration of diagnostic criteria and assessment of symptoms. There will be a basic overview of medications used to treat these specific disorders, and you will also read a book that demonstrates family involvement from the perspective of a father whose daughter was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at a young age. You will achieve all of these objectives through assigned readings, assignments, and classroom discussions over an 8 week period. 

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate between mental health disorders.
  2. Describe differential use of psychotropic drugs.
  3. Apply diagnostic criteria to case studies.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the family component as it relates to people with mental health diagnoses.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 464-515 90-100%
B 412-463 80-89%
C 360-411 70-79%
D 309-359 60-69%
F 0-308 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (12) 175 34%
Papers (3) 120 23%
Quizzes (4) 120 23%
Case Study Exams (2) 100 19%
Total 515 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 15
Discussion 2 15
Quiz 1 30 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Thursday/Sunday
Paper 1 40 Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 2 30 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 15 Thursday/Sunday
Paper 2 40 Sunday
Midterm Case Study Exam 50

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 3 30 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Thursday/Sunday
Paper 3 40 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 9 15
Quiz 4 30 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 11 15
Final Case Study Exam 50 Saturday
Total Points: 515

  Assignment Overview


There are 12 graded discussions in the course. The Introduction Discussion is worth up to 10 points, while all remaining discussions are worth up to 15. You must post your initial responses that fully answer the prompt prior to being able to view the responses of your classmates. All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment to a post will not count.

Initial posts are worth up to 10 points, and must be at least 2 paragraphs of 5 sentences each. Posts should reflect your own thoughts that are backed up with information you have read. There must be 2 or more APA citations from the assigned readings in these responses. Other sources such as articles are an acceptable addition, so long as they are cited APA style and the assigned readings have already been cited in your response. Initial posts for each discussion are due Thursday at 11:59 pm CT of the week assigned.

You must also provide at least 2 informative response posts to another student of at least 1-2 sentences for each discussion. Response posts are worth up to 2.5 points each for a total of 5 points. It is expected that responses are substantial in the value they add to the discussion and the topic being discussed. Posts such as“Good job" or "I agree" are not an acceptable response. Response posts for each discussions are due by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT during Weeks 1 - 7, and by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT during Week 8.


There are 3 graded papers in the course worth up to 40 points each. The body of each paper should be a minimum of 2 pages, with no maximum page limit. Papers should follow APA formatting rules and be double-spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font, and 1" margins. You are not required to have a title page or running headers, but you must have a reference page. Papers must include at least 2 or more peer-reviewed, research-based references. One of these references must come from the required course textbooks. You are encouraged to use the Purdue OWL APA web site as an APA style resource. Papers are due Sunday of Weeks 2, 4, and 6, by 11:59 pm CT in appropriate Dropbox folder.


There are 4 Quizzes in the course worth up to 30 points each. These will test your knowledge of criteria, symptoms of mental health disorders covered throughout the course, as well as basic information on treatments for those disorders. Each quiz has a mix of 15 multiple-choice, true-false, and fill-in-the-blank items that must be completed in 25 minutes. One attempt is allowed per quiz; each quiz opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT during Weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7.


This course has a Midterm Case Study Exam and a Final Case Study Exam. These exams are meant to give you the opportunity to apply what you are learning from the DSM 5 and DSM 5 Case Study texts. Each exam references 2 case studies worth 25 points each for a total of 50 points. You are expected to develop diagnostic impressions and share a rationale for them. One attempt is allowed on each of these 60-minute exams.

The Midterm Case Study Exam opens Wednesday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT during Week 4.

The Final Case Study Exam opens Wednesday at 12:01 am CT and closes on Saturday at 11:59 pm CT during Week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • DSM 5: pp. xli – 25, 155 – 188
  • Learning DSM 5 by Case Example: Chapter 4 pp. 93 – 124
Introduction Discussion

This first discussion allows you to introduce yourself and provides an opportunity for those in the course to meet each other. Include your hobbies, interests, work experiences, and any other information that can help us get to know you. Also include your expectations and what you hope to gain from the course.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.
Discussion 1

Describe the basic features of the DSM 5. Discuss changes in the DSM over time, including criticisms of the current edition. Explain why classification systems are necessary in the study of psychopathology.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 2

Referencing your readings from your Case Example text, compare and contrast the case studies under both Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder (formally known as Dysthymia). Cite specific examples from those case studies that show the similarities and differences between both disorders. If you were a clinician working on these cases, would it be difficult to arrive at a firm depressive disorder diagnosis? Why or why not?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 1

Quiz 1 covers all course material from Week 1. It opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

  • Week 1 Readings continued
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Website
  • SSRI Medications Video
  • CBT Therapy Session Video
Discussion 3

Watch the CBT Therapy Session video assigned for this week. Dr. Arthur Freeman demonstrates use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). At the outset of the video, Dr. Freeman mentions using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) prior to meeting his client.

  • What is the BDI? What does it do? Do the questions on the BDI line up with the criteria for Depression as you’ve learned these past 2 weeks? If so, in what way?
  • Do you see CBT technique as being helpful for Depression? Why? Why not? Share your opinions of the technique as demonstrated by Dr. Freeman.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Paper 1

In our school library, find one peer-reviewed research article that supports the use of medication for the treatment of depressive disorders and one peer-reviewed research article that supports the use of psychotherapy for depressive disorders. In an APA-formatted paper that is at least two full pages long, address each of the bullet points below.

  • Summarize the authors’ findings in your own words (small amounts of quoted material are okay).
  • Compare the outcomes for these two treatment methods. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
  • Based on what you learned, what treatment would you recommend for a person who has a depressive disorder?
  • Choose one of the case studies in First et al. and evaluate the person’s treatment plan. Would you make any treatment changes, based on what you learned from your research? Why or why not?
  • Include a reference page that lists your research articles and any other resources you cite. Format the entries according to APA guidelines.

Be sure to support your thoughts with research, and cite both research articles.

Paper 1 is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 2.

  • DSM 5: pp. 123 – 154
  • Learning DSM 5 by Case Example: Chapter 3
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder Website
  • Living with Bipolar Disorder Video
Discussion 4

What evidence supports the decision to separate Bipolar Disorders and Depressive Disorders in the official classification system (DSM 5)? In what ways are they different? In what ways are they similar? Can you think of other ways in which the mood disorders might be subdivided into more homogenous subtypes?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 2

Quiz 2 covers all course material from Weeks 2 - 3. It opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

  • Week 3 Readings continued
  • Bipolar Disorder and Medication Compliance Website
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Website
Discussion 5

Reference Ernest’s case study from your Case Study text and the website on medication non-compliance in the Content area to discuss the following two questions:  

  • Clients like Ernest with Bipolar Disorder are often reluctant to take their medication because they don’t want to give up the periods of mania or hypomania, when they feel exceptionally upbeat and productive. What would you say to a family member (or spouse) with Bipolar Disorder who did not want to take medication? 
  • Bipolar Disorder can have a devastating impact on family relationships. Is there anything about the behavior of Bipolar clients (especially during a manic episode) that might make it particularly difficult for a spouse to understand and accept the person’s behavior as being part of a psychological disorder (rather than simply bad judgement)?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Paper 2

Using the DSM-5, review criterion B for both manic and hypomanic episodes. Where do you see evidence of those symptoms in the cases of Anne (Wealthy Widow) and Ellen (Still a Student)? Do Anne and Ellen meet the criteria for a manic episode or hypomanic episode (at least 3 of the symptoms in the B criterion)? Do they meet duration requirements for these episodes? What is the impact of their mood episode and how does that dictate their diagnosis (bipolar I or bipolar II)?

Do Anne or Ellen exhibit evidence of major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder? If so, should those disorders also be diagnosed? What risks should we consider if recommending treatment for depressive symptoms with tricyclic antidepressants?

Paper 2 is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.

Midterm Case Study Exam

The Midterm Case Study Exam is based on the disorders covered during Weeks 1 - 4. It opens Wednesday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

  • DSM 5: pp. pp. 189 – 233
  • Learning DSM 5 by Case Example: Chapter 5
Discussion 6
  • If a client meets the diagnostic criteria for panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, does he or she, in fact, suffer from two separate disorders? What does your answer say about the issue of comorbidity in the current classification system found in your DSM 5 readings this week?
  • What is the difference between the anxiety experienced by a person who is having a panic attack and a person who engages in excessive worrying? Consider the intensity of the anxiety, its duration, and its focus.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 3

Quiz 3 covers all course material from Weeks 4 - 5. It opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

  • Week 5 Readings continued
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Website
Discussion 7

Review and discuss the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Is this a resource you would give a family member or a client of yours? Why? Why not?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Paper 3

Using the Columbia College’s library databases, research two different treatment options for Panic Disorder (one must be a medication). Compare and contrast both options: be sure you include specific studies that say how effective each one is and at least one limitation of each treatment option.

Paper 3 is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 6.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • DSM 5: pp. pp. 87-110
  • Learning DSM 5 by Case Example: Chapter 2
  • Schofield: Chapters 1-18
Discussion 8

Referencing the “Under Surveillance” case study from your Case Study readings this week, discuss and answer the following:

  • One simple way to define a delusion would be to say that it is a false belief. But there is more to it than that. How would you describe Arthur’s delusional beliefs? What characteristics of his belief system were important in arriving at diagnosis of Schizophrenia? 
  • Given the broad range of symptoms and social deficits that are often associated with schizophrenia, these clients often need a broad array of services and support systems. Other than anti-psychotic medication, what are the most important forms of mental health services that would be helpful, both to clients and to their families?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 9

Referencing Chapters 1-18 of “January First” answer the following questions:

  • Did you know about childhood-onset schizophrenia before reading the book? How do Jani’s symptoms compare to your understanding of criteria and diagnosis of Schizophrenia from your DSM 5? What have you learned so far in the first 18 chapters? Share your impressions of Jani’s story so far.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 4

Quiz 4 covers all course material from Weeks 6 - 7. It opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

  • Week 7 Readings continued
  • Schofield: Chapters 18-36
  • NIMH Mental Health Medications: Antipsychotics Website
  • Discovery Life: Born Schizophrenic Video
Discussion 10

At one point, Jani is prescribed Haldol for her psychotic symptoms. How would Haldol be classified? How did Jani respond to it? Was her response to be expected? Would another medication have been a better choice?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Discussion 11

After months of trying, Jani’s parents and physicians narrow their search for a diagnosis down to two contenders – bipolar disorder with psychotic features and schizophrenia. Use the memoir and the DSM to make a case for diagnosing one disorder over the other. What details about Jani’s behavior support your choice? What symptoms do the disorders share? How are they different? What factors contribute to the difficulty of making a definitive diagnosis?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Final Case Study Exam

The Final Case Study Exam is based on the disorders covered during Weeks 5 - 8. It opens Wednesday at 12:01 am CT and closes Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. No other late assignments accepted without permission from the instructor as the result of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. An e-mail before or shortly after the interference is required. A grade penalty may occur as a result.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.