Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLPRAC 754 - Infant, Child and Adolescent Primary Mental Health

15 Points 

Semester 2 


Provides an overview of the recognition and primary care management of mental health in the under-eighteen age group. A clinically focused course for primary care practitioners. The content covers attachment, early intervention, development, risk assessment, resilience and families. Topics include depression, anxiety disorders, substance use, eating disorders, first episode psychosis, pain, somatic presentations, disruptive behaviour disorders and common behavioural problems.

Programme and course advice

This course will suit those working clinically in general practice or other primary care fields. Students will need an enrolment concession rather than self-enrolment.

POPLPRAC 702 is the sister adult-focussed course which should be taken alongside POPLPRAC 754. 

Content outline

Attachment, risk and resilience, working with whanau, assessment of 1-12 year olds, anxiety and depression in children, pervasive developmental disorders, disruptive behaviour disorders, managing high risk in primary care, parenting issues, Youth health development, anxiety and depression in adolescents, substance misuse, first episode psychosis, eating disorders.

Goals of the course

To provide primary health care practitioners with up to date knowledge and effective practical skills and attitudes, that will enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes within primary care for their patients’ mental health.

To train primary health care practitioners in order to promote effective co-operation between primary care and secondary mental health services.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students will be able to:

• Demonstrate knowledge of social / emotional development of infants, children and adolescents within Aoteoroa New Zealand

• Assess and identify indicators of mental health problems in infants and children in primary care

• Assess and identify indicators of mental health problems in adolescents in primary care

• Demonstrate knowledge of current best practice and treatment options of common mental health problems for infants, children and adolescents who present with a mental health problem in primary care

• Identify primary mental health resources in your own community for the 1-18year old age group and demonstrate awareness of referral to secondary services and how to access them in your community to assist the 0-18 age group including when to access secondary services

• Reflect on and evaluate how you support patients / clients in using available resources in primary care

Learning and teaching

This course is taught in 2 x two-day block teaching sessions at Tāmaki Campus. The teaching approach will reflect the view that students respond best to a mixture of teaching styles. Part of the learning will be case-based and the practical skills will be learned in an experiential way. Participants will be encouraged to develop the skills of self-directed learning throughout the course.

Campus teaching dates

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus. Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.

Learning resources

References will be indicated in the course workbook.


100% Coursework:

  • Assignment 1 30%. 3 short answer vignettes to assess recognition and management of common conditions in the 0-12 year age group
  • Assignment 2 30%. Case study. Essay on identifying and attending to mental health needs of young people with mental health difficulties.
  • Assignment 3 30%. 3 short answer vignettes to assess recognition and management of common conditions in the 12-18 year age group.
  • Assessment 4 10%. Contribution to online discussions.

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator