National practice standards for the mental health workforce 2013

Standard 7: Treatment and support

Page last updated: November 2013

To meet the needs, goals and aspirations of people and their families and carers, mental health practitioners deliver quality, evidence-informed health and social interventions.

The mental health practitioner:

  1. Advises the person and their family or carer of their right to informed consent for treatment and of their right to refuse treatment
  2. Discusses the range of treatment, care and support options available with the person and, where appropriate, their families and carers, identifying potential benefits and risks pertaining to experimental or controversial treatment and care, or treatment and care with an undeveloped evidence base
  3. Plans, implements and monitors a range of engaging, evidence-informed, safe and effective intervention strategies chosen with the person and family or carers, and consistent with experience, professional background and roles within the interdisciplinary team
  4. Identifies a range of culturally and developmentally appropriate interventions that may derive from but not be limited to the following approaches
    • cognitive
    • behavioural
    • interpersonal
    • attachment-based
    • motivational
    • systemic
    • psychoeducation
    • psychodynamic
    • psychopharmacological
  5. Articulates an understanding of common interventions, including medications, commensurate with role and experience
  6. Delivers treatments and interventions using a recovery and family-focused approach, along the spectrum from prevention through to tertiary treatment
  7. Recognises when to ask senior practitioners or peers for assistance in working with people and families; operates within their own scope of practice; and refers on when needed
  8. Delivers treatments, interventions and support work in the most appropriate formats, which may include
    • sessions with individuals
    • group work
    • family or systems interventions
  9. Enquires about, recognises, works with and develops the person’s and family or carer's strengths and experience of what works and what does not work
  10. Works flexibly at the person's pace and with their priorities and schema, facilitating engagement throughout the course of intervention
  11. Assists people and families or carers to see things from the other's perspective, and to develop shared understandings
  12. Supports the person in parenting or caring roles where relevant, promoting effective parenting or care strategies relevant to the needs of dependents
  13. Monitors people for evidence of appropriate and sufficient response to treatment interventions including medication, and for symptoms of possible side-effects, then communicates the results to the team or medical practitioner as appropriate
  14. Observes the dynamics of transference and countertransference processes and uses these to guide practice, seeking supervision and support if required to facilitate positive outcomes
  15. Provides or facilitates management, including self-management, of the person's physical healthcare needs including detrimental use of licit or illicit substances
  16. Reviews the person's status and updates their individual care plan with the person and family or carers as appropriate, consistent with progress and changing needs