SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Improve or restore mental health of individuals or groups through psychosocial techniques 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252157  Improve or restore mental health of individuals or groups through psychosocial techniques 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Preventive Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  24 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This qualification will enable the learner to function as a clinically focused, service orientated, independent registered professional nurse, who is able to render comprehensive care across all spheres of health, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework. The qualifying learner will apply evidence-based research to enhance nursing practice.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge and skills required to use psycho-social intervention techniques to improve and restore mental health in institutional and community settings.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Establish and maintain a one-to-one relationship to facilitate psycho-social therapeutic interventions.
  • Conduct a interview with a patient with mental illness.
  • Provide counselling to people with specific needs.
  • Conduct group work for patients with mental illness and significant others.
  • Manage psychiatric emergencies. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Classification of mental illness.
  • Management of individuals with acute and/or chronic psychiatric illnesses.
  • Personality theories.
  • Life skills and coping mechanisms.
  • The functioning of the multi-disciplinary team. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • Learners function within the scope of practice of a professional nurse as formulated by the SANC. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Establish and maintain a one-to-one relationship to facilitate psycho-social therapeutic interventions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The environment created is appropriate to the cultural status, characteristics and needs of the patient. The person is engaged in the one-to-one relationship according to her/his cultural status, protocols, and characteristics and needs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Own role, and any legal responsibilities, are clarified before the one-to-one relationship commences, in accordance with institutional procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The one-to-one relationship, and protocols are established in respectful ways and sustained in accordance with best practice and established procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Rapport established facilitates the implementation of appropriate psycho-social interventions. Interventions are designed to involve patients in the process of recovery and management of their illness. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Closure expectations and processes are negotiated and agreed with the patient. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The effectiveness of the one to one relationship is evaluated against set criteria. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Conduct a interview with a patient with mental illness. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The interview is conducted in a manner that is supportive of the patient's emotional needs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Interpersonal and communication skills are used to enhance the supportive environment. Poor interpersonal skills on the part of the client are managed successfully through responses to verbal and non-verbal communications so that the interview remains supportive. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Skills include:
  • Use of voice tone, pitch, volume, and speed; use of silence; active listening; clarifying, describing, encouraging, following, listening, paraphrasing, and summarising; reflection of feelings and content; respect, acceptance, and tolerance; body language.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Functional assessments conducted establish the degree of independence and coping ability, in accordance with established procedures and protocols. Tests provide the basis for informed decision-making on improvements to functional status in their environment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Coping ability includes:
  • Personal, social life; relationships; ability to cope with stressful situations; ability to work; accommodation and living arrangements.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Counselling interventions assist the patient to identify her/his concerns, issues, or needs related to her/his illness and or presented symptoms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The counselling intervention assists the person to identify achievable goals with respect to the illness and management of the illness, symptoms and/or treatment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Relevant criteria include:
  • Goals consistent with the person's concerns, issues, or needs related to the effects of abuse, neglect, or violence; goals are consistent with the person's coping abilities, knowledge, resources, skills, and values; goals are measurable.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Psycho-education provides relevant information about the illness and its management. Information provided is accurate and appropriate to the language and conceptual level of the patient. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Provide counselling to people with specific needs. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Needs include:
  • Victims of abuse, violence, rape, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Counselling assists the person to identify and select achievable options consistent with their purpose/s and with their coping abilities, knowledge, resources, skills, and values. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Assistance includes:
  • Co-creating and exploring alternatives; challenging; coaching; confrontation; exploring past and current behaviours, patterns, and beliefs; feedback; focussing; counselling plan; making connections; providing information; referral to other professionals; reframing.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Counselling is provided in ways that encourage the self determination of the person and discourages dependency on the nurse or service provider. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Counselling provided, and strategies implemented, are appropriate to the psychodynamics of the patient's specific experience. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Counselling and interventions assist the person to identify progress in achieving their goals. Counselling assists the person to reflect on her/his progress and consider future options. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Resources are mobilized as required to meet specific needs. Where the intervention is beyond the scope of competence of the nurse, the patient is referred promptly to appropriate health professionals. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Interventions in the event of crisis are appropriate in terms of the principles of crisis intervention and the severity of the particular crisis. Interventions are directed towards restoring psychological equilibrium in accordance with established procedures and accepted best practice. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles include:
  • Nature of the crisis; psychological effects on individuals; different types; phases in the development of a crisis; assessment of a crisis-severity; coping mechanisms/support in managing a crisis; problem-solving skills.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Trauma counselling employs a variety of trauma debriefing strategies correctly and at appropriate stages, in accordance with legal requirements, and established procedures and protocols. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Conduct group work for patients with mental illness and significant others. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Group work is conducted in psychiatric, mental health care institutions and/or community settings. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Group selection and preparation is consistent with the accepted theoretical basis for the different types of groups, and promotes maximimum participation to the benefit of those involved. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Groups includes:
  • Supportive; education and training; managing extreme emotions; expressive groups dealing with feelings; problem solving.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Group facilitation employs a variety of appropriate approaches and strategies relevant to the needs of the specific group. Actions and interventions reflect a mastery of group dynamics and processes. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Group processes include:
  • Purpose; goal setting; planning; implementing; evaluation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Support groups are monitored and mentored on a continual basis, in accordance with best practice guidelines, to ensure a consistency of focus and effectiveness. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Community interventions are an appropriate response to identified needs. Planned sessions are consistent with the goals set and agreed for a particular group. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Reflections on group processes identify strengths and weaknesses in process and approach. Recommended improvements are appropriate in terms of the review, and consistent with generally accepted theories and best practice in group dynamics. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Manage psychiatric emergencies. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Initial assessment establishes the type of emergency and the appropriate emergency intervention, in terms of established procedures and protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Management of relapses is prompt and appropriate to the particular patient and circumstances. Interactions with the patient establish the cause of the relapse, where possible, to assist in future management of the illness. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Cause includes:
  • Medication not taken; ineffective treatment regimes.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Management of illnesses in the event of accentuated symptoms or acute illness are appropriate to the extreme nature of presented symptoms and disruption to patient and caregivers. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Disruptions includes:
  • Aggression, violence.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Assessment of the severity of the emergency, including suicidal tendencies and risk of suicide, follows established procedures and is accurate in terms of available data. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Assessment includes:
  • Mental status examination; suicide scales; facility procedures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Interventions with patients and/or members of the family and significant others are supportive and appropriate to the degree of distress and/or danger. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Interventions include:
  • Sedation; placement in facilities for safety; managing safe environment; managed seclusion.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Referrals beyond own scope of competence are prompt, follow correct procedures, and are made to appropriate health professionals. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The rights of patients with mental illnesses are protected at all times, and all actions and interventions are consistent with the provisions of the Mental Health Act. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Accreditation Options:
  • Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.

    Moderation Option:
  • The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard:
  • Principles of psychotherapeutic relationships.
  • Principles of clinical and psychosocial management of a client with mental health problems.
  • Knowledge of care, support and rehabilitation of individual patients and groups of patients with abnormal thought processes, behaviour or psycho-social problems.
  • Knowledge of care and support of patients with specific needs, such as abuse, rape, HIV and AIDS and substance abuse. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note: Nursing care to patients with mental illness implies problem-solving and effective decision making. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note: Health care provision is team based. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note: Implementing long term mental health care requires effective organisation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: Central to monitoring and evaluation components long term. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note: Core competence in counselling, goal setting and review. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note: Used in assessment and monitoring long term. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Note: Body as a system; part of the broader health care system. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:

    Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.