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.
- Principles of the Mental State Assessment
- Conducting the Mental State Assessment conversation
- Risk assessment fundamentals
Undertaking a basic Mental State Assessment is essential to identify any risks to a person's safety, including a 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.
Education is, therefore, essential in ensuring all health professionals are confident in their knowledge of and approach towards conducting a mental state assessment if health outcomes are to be enhanced.
The purpose of this Course is to build your confidence of how to conduct a mental state assessment.
- 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
This Course is relevant to all registered nurses and other health professionals working in a range of healthcare settings, but especially those working in mental health or who care for people with a mental health condition.
No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experience of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental healthcare. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space. See Educator Profile