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1h 25m

Mental State Assessment

The Mental State Assessment (MSA) provides a structured way for health professionals to identify if a person’s mental state is deteriorating. This Course focuses on the main parts of this assessment, the manner in which it can take place, and what can be done with the assessment findings.

12 Sep 2017

Learning Outcomes


Describe the key components of a Mental State Assessment and how they fit with physical assessment skills


Identify the terminology used in a Mental State Assessment


Identify what risks are likely being identified, and what to do if these risks increase


Explain the role of the Consult Liaison Psychiatry service and other mental health resources in facilitating assessment of the person with a suspected mental health disorder



Very relevant and important tools for all -- 22 Jun 2018
This was a good education session. I t gave useful and relevant information and helped me develop some skills that I need to conduct a comprehensive MSA. It also helped me get past the basic information-gathering and directed me to several resources to assist me obtain the best outcome for my patient. -- 14 Jun 2018
Very engaging and skilled in this area of health. -- 05 Jun 2018
This educator is fabulous as always; material is informative & easy to follow; she is well spoken & very knowledgeable. A great asset to the mental health nursing workforce! -- 31 May 2018
Well explained -- 27 May 2018
Very vital information -- 26 May 2018
The topic had lots of good strategies and helpful hints that l will use at my work -- 25 May 2018
Really helpful at filling in my knowledge gaps and has empowered me. -- 25 May 2018
Dynamic course content.Wonderful Lecturer.Thank you. -- 22 May 2018
I really enjoyed this topic. Well presented and easily understood. -- 22 May 2018
Very good. -- 21 May 2018
An engaging and useful tool. -- 20 May 2018
The educator was very engaging . -- 18 May 2018
very useful. thank you. -- 18 May 2018
The educator was knowledgeable and engaging. I would recommend this education to other health professionals. -- 14 May 2018
I found Karen's VLA to be concise, well rounded, helpful, reinforcing and this has helped me to feel more confident that I'm on the right track in my management of mental health issues at work. -- 10 May 2018
Very useful -- 09 May 2018
Essential and informative session -- 06 May 2018
excellent VLA -- 02 May 2018
very good course. -- 02 May 2018
good knowledge -- 25 Apr 2018
Good education for forensic nurses. -- 14 Apr 2018
Good resource -- 12 Apr 2018
Very engaging, lots of useful information expectial how to conduct a conversation that is non threatening and getting the information you need at the same time. -- 09 Apr 2018
great -- 08 Apr 2018
This was an excellent presentation; easy to follow and learn. -- 01 Apr 2018
excellent presentation -- 31 Mar 2018
Very educative. -- 06 Mar 2018
Very comprehensive and practical. -- 01 Mar 2018
Very important to identify the stage of mentally ill patient and how to get help -- 19 Feb 2018
I was most impressed by the presentation and content, as well as the use of evidenced based approaches to mental health assessment and those of risk -- 15 Feb 2018
Excellent session - easy to understand and give more clarity around a mental state exam. Reduces staff anxiety around openly discussing a client's feelings, behavior and overall mental health as part of holistic health care. -- 11 Feb 2018
Great Educational resource. -- 09 Feb 2018
I found this lecture very helpful and highly recommend it. -- 08 Feb 2018
This educator was very clear and structured providing very practical examples of how to apply the knowledge she was teaching -- 05 Feb 2018
The information was informative and helpful. -- 05 Feb 2018
Excellent VLA. Would recommend for any nurses. -- 03 Feb 2018
This VLA is a valuable stepping off point for those nurses who have had no formal education and , thus are not credentialled. These very basic skills will enhance practice and ensure more meaningful conversations and processing of information. -- 03 Feb 2018
All general nurses would benefit from this. -- 03 Feb 2018
informative -- 02 Feb 2018
go way to be reacquainted with my skill -- 01 Feb 2018
In depth information but really good for nurses. I highly recommended others to review this material. -- 01 Feb 2018
The educators was very thorough in her discussions of the topic. I covered all the relevant aspects of MSA. -- 01 Feb 2018
Excellent presentation I learnt a lot -- 31 Jan 2018
very interesting and full of practical information. -- 20 Jan 2018
I found this resource made the subject easy to understand and to put into practice. -- 26 Nov 2017

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • Principles of the Mental State Assessment
  • Conducting the Mental State Assessment conversation
  • Risk assessment

Target audience

All health professionals working in a range of healthcare settings, but especially those working in mental health, primary practice, community health, or critical care.


Further develop skills in assessing a person’s mental state, regardless of where the person is cared for in the healthcare setting.


One in five people experience symptoms of a mental health disorder at some point in their life, so it is not uncommon for healthcare professionals to care for people experiencing mental health disorders who may also require treatment for a physical illness within a general hospital or community health setting. Healthcare professionals working in these settings therefore need to be able to undertake a basic Mental State Assessment in order to identify any risks to a person's safety (e.g. deteriorating mental state) and/or posing risks to the safety of others. The Mental State Assessment can be used to determine if immediate action is required or if assistance from a qualified mental health clinician will be necessary during, or following treatment for physical illness.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.