Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

HUMS 385: Mental Health

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  Course Description

This course provides a look at mental health problems from the practice arena. Students learn symptoms and diagnostic criteria of a select number of mental health disorders, and the role of case managers with persons who have mental illness.   

Prerequisite: PSYC 101

Proctored Exams: None



  • Bentley, K. ed. (2002). Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Contemporary Roles, Tasks, and Techniques. .Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-534-54920-6]
  • Jamison, K. R. (1995). An Unquiet Mind.New York: Vintage Books.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-679-76330-7]
  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders DSM 5 (5th ed). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.  
    • [ISBN-978-0890425558]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

The main objectives of this course are for the student to learn about the role of the human service professional in the mental health field, and to learn about various mental health disorders. This will be achieved through assigned readings, assignments and 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 Objectives

  • To examine the use of psychotropic medications.
  • To examine the case manager’s role with persons with mental illness.
  • To explain mental health diagnoses.
  • To explore mental health intervention theory.
  • To examine the family role

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Explain clinical case management roles.
  • Describe differential use of psychotropic drugs.
  • Describe various types of mental illness.
  • Explain the categories of diagnosis, using DSM.
  • Analyze the different needs of individuals with different diagnoses
  • Explain the family component of working with persons with mental illness


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 387-430 90-100%
B 344-386 80-89%
C 301-343 70-79%
D 258-300 60-69%
F 0-257 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 130 30%
Research Paper 100 23%
Midterm Exam 100 23%
Final Exam 100 23%
Total 430 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Thursday
Discussion 2 10
Discussion 3 10 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Thursday
Discussion 5 10 Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Thursday
Discussion 7 10 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Thursday
Midterm Exam 100 Saturday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday
Discussion 10 10 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 10 Sunday
Research Paper 100 Thursday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 10 Thursday
Final Exam 100 Saturday
Total Points: 430

  Assignment Overview


You are expected to answer every component of each discussion question thoroughly. Tying your responses back to your required readings is essential and implies that you are grasping the information covered. Two paragraphs or more are the expectation for your initial responses to discussion questions.

Participation in class is expected. Read all of your classmates’ posts, as well as the instructor’s responses. Respond to at least one other classmate’s post by the stated deadline for each discussion topic.

Note: You must complete the tutorial and quiz before you can view and submit Week 1 discussions. 

Research Paper

The purpose of the research paper is to provide you the opportunity to explore and research treatments for the many mental health disorders covered in the course.  The paper will include a summary section of the treatments researched to treat a specific mental health disorder covered in class and a rationale explaining why you preferred one treatment over another, as well as a discussion of the possible limitations of the preferred treatment if it were limited to only that treatment. Please see full assignment guidelines in the Content area of the course.

The research paper must be submitted in APA format, including a title page, abstract, the body of the paper and references. The body of the paper should be 5-7 pages in length. A minimum of four professional references (e.g., journal articles or books) must be cited in the paper. You must cite every reference listed on the reference page to receive full credit for your research. Wikipedia is not an acceptable college-level reference. You will not receive credit for citing Wikipedia, dictionaries or encyclopedias as references.

You are not allowed to reuse and submit old research papers from any previous colleges/high schools you attended. The work must be original and written for this class only. Failure to comply will result in an automatic zero for the paper and you will be reported for academic misconduct.

Midterm and Final Exams

There will be a Midterm and a Final exam, each worth 100 points. Each exam will consist of objective questions (multiple choice and true/false). You will have 60 minutes to complete each exam. You are expected to work alone.  Exams can be found in the Quizzes area of the course.

The Midterm exam will consist of objective questions (multiple choice and true/false). It will cover material from Weeks 1 - 4, including the readings and specific topics covered in your discussion questions. It can be taken anytime between Wednesday and Saturday of Week 4.

The Final exam can be taken anytime between Wednesday and Saturday of Week 8. The final exam will cover material from Weeks 5 - 8. It will cover all of your readings from Weeks 5-8, and specific topics covered in your discussion.

  Course Outline

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

DSM 5 pgs. 5-6, 19-20, 25; Bentley - Chapter 1
Discussion 1

Please introduce yourself in our discussion topic. Include your hobbies, professional experience, interests and any other information you want us to know about you. In addition to introducing yourself, review and discuss the following items to help ensure your success in this course. Please remember that you will not be able to access this discussion until you have completed the Plagiarism Tutorial and Quiz, in the Content area.

  • Course syllabus: Review the syllabus, including all course policies and assignments. Please make note of the late policy for this course. Discuss one item you found in the syllabus that may be valuable for other students to know.
  • APA format: Assignments in this course must follow APA format. Familiarize yourself with the resources on APA format in the content area of the course and discuss one item you learned as you reviewed these resources.
  • Plagiarism: The penalties for plagiarism in this course are very steep. Review the section on Plagiarism in the Content area of the course. Discuss one item you learned about plagiarism and how to avoid it. Your post should signify that you have reviewed the course syllabus, including all course policies. It also will signify that you are aware that APA format is required for assignments in this course and that you understand the penalties for plagiarism.

Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59 pm CT.

Discussion 2
When was the first DSM published, and what was it initially designed to do? What do the diagnostic criteria in the DSM 5 identify? Does the DSM 5 offer ‘treatment options’ or is that up to the clinician? What is the definition of a mental disorder? Please refer to your DSM 5 and if you use internet resources, please cite them. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 3
What are the 5 characteristics of the excellent social worker? Share your thoughts/opinions on the characteristics of the excellent social worker. According to Bentley, ‘empowerment practice’ is consistently described as? Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
DSM 5 pgs. 593-595, 612-614; Bentley – Chapters 10-11
Discussion 4
What are the six neurocognitive domains that a clinician assesses when determining major/mild symptoms for not only dementia, but all neurocognitive disorders? What are the overall prevalence estimates for Dementia listed in the DSM 5? Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 5
In your Bentley readings this week, what did Edie Mannion identify as the three major skills integral to providing family consultation? How do you see these being used in situations involving clients who have Dementia or Neurocognitive Disorders? In the second half of this assignment please define and describe the term Consumer Consultation from your Bentley readings, and identify the three tasks that may be used to work towards ‘Consumer Consultation.’ Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
DSM 5 pgs. 87-89, 99-105
Discussion 6
What are the key features that define the Psychotic Disorders? List examples of each feature in your work. What are some of the associated features supporting the diagnosis of Schizophrenia? Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 7
Read the following case study and using your DSM 5 answer the following question(s): Does Jeff have schizophrenia or one of the disorders along the schizophrenia spectrum? Post your response and thoughts using supporting documentation as to why or why not.

Jeff, age 19, had been a normal but somewhat shy kid until about 2 years ago. On a high school trip to France, he had become acutely anxious and returned home early. After that, Jeff began to withdraw. He no longer wanted to be friends and dropped off the football team. His grades plummeted from his usual As and Bs, but he was able to graduate. His parents commented that a gradual but dramatic personality change had taken place over the past 2 years, and he just seemed "empty". All their efforts to encourage him, to help him find new directions, or to reassess his goals seem to have led nowhere. Jeff had begun coursework in college but was unable to study and dropped out. He got a job delivering pizzas but couldn't even find his way around the town he had grown up in to deliver the pizzas to the right addresses. His parents reported that he seemed suspicious much of the time and that he had no desire to be around friends or peers. Jeff didn't seem to care about anything. His grooming and hygiene deteriorated. His apartment he rented was filthy and full of decaying food and dirty laundry. There was no history of drug abuse or any type. When interviewed by a psychiatrist, Jeff said he did not feel sad or blue, just "empty". Jeff reported no experiences of hearing voices when no one was around, seeing things that other people can't see, or feeling like he'd lost control of his mind or body. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CST.
DSM 5 pgs. 123-131
Discussion 8
What are the diagnostic features of Bipolar I Disorder? Which criterion is difficult in ascertain in children? What are the associated features supporting a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder? Summarize and discuss the prevalence, development and course and risk/prognostic factors involved with Bipolar I Disorder. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59pm CT.
Midterm Exam
Please take the Midterm Exam sometime between Wednesday and Saturday of this week. It can be accessed through the Quizzes area of the course.
An Unquiet Mind
Discussion 9
How does Jamison's description of her condition compare to your understanding (from the DSM 5) of the condition? How did the condition affect Jamison's private and professional life? What is your reaction to the book so far? Please post your response and responses to classmates by Thursday at 11:59pm CT.
Discussion 10
What are your thoughts about Jamison's use of the word "madness"? Who reacts to her use of the term? What does Jamison come to say about what terms people should use? Lastly, please give your final reactions to this book. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.
Bentley 4 & 8
Discussion 11

What is solution-focused therapy? In Chapter 4 of Bentley, identify the three therapy theories listed and discuss what these theories are.

Discuss the history and emergence of case management. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.

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. 189-190, 197-226, 235-242, 271-280
Discussion 12

Find a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal article using one of the many databases found in the Columbia College’s Stafford Library that discusses treatment of anxiety disorders. Websites are unacceptable and use of websites will result in a grade of zero for this post. Attach the article to your post. Describe the article in one or two paragraphs, and write your response to the article in one or two paragraphs.

Given your knowledge of anxiety disorders (from the DSM), do you believe the treatment described in the article would be effective?

You are required to respond to at least one other classmate’s article and find one difference between the treatment you found and the classmate’s. If someone has already used an article you are interested in, you must find another one to use. Please post your response and responses to classmates by Sunday at 11:59pm CT.

Research Paper
Please submit your research paper by Thursday of Week 7 at 11:59pm CT, to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course.
DSM 5 pgs. 645-646, 659-663
Discussion 13
Review the main components to all the personality disorders listed in your readings for this week. Choose a personality disorder listed and list its diagnostic features. Please post your response and response to a classmate by 11:59pm CT Thursday.
Final Exam
Please take the Final Exam sometime between Wednesday and Saturday of this week. The exam closes at 11:59pm CT on Saturday of this week. It can be accessed through the Quizzes area of the course.

  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.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

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

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

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 will be accepted without extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student and with instructor notification prior to the due date. You must make every effort to contact me ahead of time if possible.

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 Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. 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.