PSW053 - Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:33:07.942
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:33:35.579

Subject Title
Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues

Subject Description
This subject is designed to provide a basic knowledge of mental health issues in today's society. Understanding and managing of challenging behaviours in the cognitively impaired person are discussed, along with strategies for working with these challenging behaviours. Students are encouraged to reflect on their personal feelings, experiences and reactions surrounding mental health.

Credit Status
1 Credit towards the Personal Support Worker Program

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Recognize changes in behaviour which may be related to psychiatric illness (ie. depression, bi-polar affective disorder, schizophrenia), forms of cognitive impairment or substance abuse.

2. Be able to define and understand cognitive impairment.

3. Identify the common effects cognitive impairment, psychiatric illness or substance abuse may have on a consumer's client's perception, memory, judgement, organization, language and motor skill; acknowledge that impairment in one area may not indicate impairment in another.

4. Identify factors which can increase risk of suicide in adults.

5. Recognize and respond appropriately to possible indicators of suicidal behaviour.

6. Identify own views about suicide and examine how these views may affect the service provided to a consumer/client.

7.Understand substance use and addicition, including gambling in the adult.

8. Recognize that behaviours are individual and often misinterpreted; ensure that she/he is aware of any diagnosis/assessment related to the behaviour, identified aproaches and expected outcomes.

9. Identify factors such as illness, fatigue, stress, sensory overload, pain, fear, frustration and depression which can further affect the functioning of the person.

10. Idenfity environmental factors which can affect the consumer's client's ability to function, and adapt the consumer's/client's environment to support comfort, safety and function.

11. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of autism and developmental delay.

12. Recognize the potential significance of their support; demonstrate ways in which they can support/respond to the consumer/client in keeping with the care plan.

13. Identify the need for the importance of communication with consumers/clients; adapt communication to best meet their needs.

14. Apply common encouragement and stimulation techniques to provide the consumer/client with the opportunity to participate in activities.

15. Recognize that unexpected consumer/client behaviour requires and immediate response as well as a report to supervisor.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

PSW050 - Foundations of Personal Support Worker Practice II

Topic Outline
-  Introduction to Mental Health
-  Schizophrenia and Bipoar Disorder
-  Confusion and Delirium
-  Alzheimer's and Dementia
-  Depression and Suicide
-  Personality Disorder
-  Eating Disorder
-  Anxiety Disorders
-  Substance Dependence Disorder
-  Developmental delay
-  Safety and mental health
-  Secure units and caregiver stress

Mode of Instruction
- Lectures complemented by powerpoints, videos and supplemental material
- Guided Discussions
- Case Studies
- Role plays
- Demonstrations

Prescribed Texts
 Mosby's Canadian Textbook for the Support Worker, by Sheila Sorentino: Elsevier Canada (latest edition)

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

In-Class Assignment 10%
Care Plan 15%
Mid Term 25%
Group Work 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

A minimum “C” (60%) grade is required for one credit towards the Personal Support Worker Program.

Approved by: Lisa Somers