In this module you will learn what mental health is, how it develops across the lifespan, risk factors for poor mental health, a model for understanding mental health and mental health legislation. The learning outcomes for this module are: one, to gain an understanding of how mental health develops and is understood by professionals. And, two, to understand mental health legislation.


Risk Factors for Mental Health

An important distinction must be made in that the medical model can disempower people and lead to society thinking medication is the only way to treat mental ill health. Alternatively, the psychosocial model takes the blame and responsibility away from the individual – the problem was caused by society and the person themselves has the power to change things, with help and support. With that in mind, have a look at a select list of risk factors for mental health to help you understand where the illness can originate in the sufferer.

The following graphic contains a number of images and corresponding risk factors for mental health. Click the “turn” button at the bottom centre of the image card to reveal the information. Then proceed through the remaining risk factors by selecting the blue arrow at the bottom right of each card:


The following timeline outlines the key lifetime stages of mental health and mental health problem development, going from left to right, click each thumbnail in the gray banner beneath the image to learn important information about each stage of life (dates listed 1940-2020 are hypothetical lifespan stages).


Risk Factors: Intergenerational Psychosocial Model

  • This is not a model of blame
  • Not aiming to blame parents
  • We are aiming to develop an understanding with parents that their own difficulties are understandable within the context of the social and environmental influences of their own childhoods
  • Society is purported to be responsible
  • It is a model of hope: intervention and support at any stage of the cycle can help the current and subsequent generations
  • Whereas the biological model suggests mental illness is hereditary and unavoidable.

The image below contains a circular set of the chronological risk factors according to the Intergenerational Psychosocial Model. Select each of the plus icons (+) to reveal important information pertaining to each risk stage:


Mental Health Legislation

There are four main pieces of legislation in the UK which are related to mental health. The MHA is relevant to individuals who have been diagnosed with a specific mental health condition, usually by a psychiatrist (a medical doctor who specialises in mental health).

Select the arrows to the left of each piece of mental health legislation in the accordion below to reveal and learn about what they are and their importance to the development of mental health policy and practice:


The following section contains a number of questions to provide you with a quick knowledge test to help you retain the information from this module. After answering the question proceed through the remaining questions by selecting the blue arrow at the bottom right of each set of answers:


Upon completion of this module’s material above, select the “mark complete” or “next module” button below to record your progress. This will save your place and your work on the course thus far and will enable you to complete the assessment at the end of the course.