Emergency Mental Health - Clinical and Diagnostic concepts (CMHC 712)

Course NameEmergency Mental Health: Clinical and Diagnostic Concepts
Course Description

This online course introduces health care professionals to emergency mental health (EMH) practice. Building on the clinical, legal and ethical framework introduced in CMHC 711, this course is designed to examine psychiatric diagnostic categories in relation to EMH practice and gain expertise in mental health assessment and disposition.

An exploration of all diagnose and diagnostic categories is beyond the scope of this course, but the common categories and most common psychiatric diagnose will be examined. The Hillard and Zitek (2004) text provides concise summaries for the diagnoses examined. The study of psychiatric interviewing skills in the Shea (1998) text will be continued from the CMHC 711 course. The focus on psychiatric interviewing and critical thinking continues.

Subject CodeCMHC 712
Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, participants will

  • review physiological disorders related to mental illness and identify both assessment and intervention strategies related to emergency mental health (EMH):
  • review diagnostic criteria for mood disorders and identify both assessment and intervention strategies related to EMH;
  • review diagnostic criteria for psychotic disorders and identify both assessment and intervention strategies related to EMH;
  • review diagnostic criteria for personality disorders and identify both assessment and intervention strategies related to EMH;
  • identify strategies in managing support and crisis telephone calls;
  • develop strategies for effective documentation of EMH interventions;
  • develop advanced psychiatric interviewing skills; and
  • use critical thinking skills to effectively manage mental health emergencies.


Textbook not included in tuition fee. Contact the Ƶ Bookstore for prices and ordering information.


Successful completion of CMHC 711


Completion of English 12 with a minimum grade of “C” or proof of equivalent as outlined in detail here: General Admission Information. 

Course Content

Topics covered include:

  • Physiological disorders;
  • Psychotic disorders;
  • Mood disorders;
  • Personality disorders;
  • Substance abuse disorders; and
  • Documentation.
Learning Resources

Hillard, R., & Zitek, B. (most recent edition). Emergency psychiatry. San Francisco, CA: McGraw-Hill.

Shea, S.C. (most recent edition). Psychiatric interviewing: The art of understanding, a practical guide for psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses and other mental health professionals (most recent edition). Philadelphia: Saunders.

Available through the .

Instruction Method

Online course in Blackboard.

Due to the nature of an online delivery, the student will be expected be proficient in computer skills including email, adding attachments, navigating the internet etc. Resources for getting started with Blackboard are available online to help get the student comfortable in the Blackboard environment.

  • Critical thinking and psychiatric interviewing assignments
  • Mental health assessment assignment
  • Final exam
GradingMinimum grade to pass is C (60%).
Completion Timeframe6 months (170 hours) from course start date
Registration and Course Start

Registration is easy; simply contact the Program Assistant at cehsadmin@douglascollege.ca, for the course registration form. Payment of the tuition fee must accompany registration.

Instructions on how to access your course materials will be emailed to you by the Program Assistant within five (5) business days prior to your chosen course start date.

CRN provided by department

Registration dates and deadlines