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Cover image for: Mental State Assessment
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The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 25m of CPD
Total Rating(s)210
First Published
Updated18 January 2019
Expires 12 September 2020
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

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.

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
Target Audience

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.


Portrait of Karen-Ann Clarke
Karen-Ann Clarke

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

CPD1h 25m of CPD
Total Rating(s)210
First Published
Updated18 January 2019
Expires 12 September 2020
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Mental Health
Clinical Assessment
Learning Tools
Content Integrity

Learner Reviews

210 Total Rating(s)
Portrait of Elizabeth  Makgeta
Elizabeth Makgeta
19 Jan 2020


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Mandy Ashton
15 Jan 2020

Very useful for nurses in various settings. We all see patients at some stage that area effected my mental health problems

Portrait of Patumarin Ennis
Patumarin Ennis
13 Jan 2020

Great topic. Great educator makes the topic easy to understand.

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Donna Lee Apelu
28 Dec 2019

Thought provoking presentation. Clear and practical advice.

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Michael Wright
18 Dec 2019

Great informative resources, well presented and should be mandatory training for all clinicians completeing Mental State Examinations.

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Kellie Kellie
30 Nov 2019

I enjoyed this resource, however, I think they could have showed examples of some of the common behaviours people experience. I liked the tests in-between each segment.

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Anthony Simpson
29 Nov 2019

A well presented and informative course

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Alan Gardiner
24 Nov 2019

I found this course helpful in reinforcing and adding to my knowledge of Mental State examinations

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Karen Anne Hollings
21 Nov 2019

This course was very informative and provided both relevant and appropriate knowledge. The lecturer was engaging and well spoken, and the material was easy to follow.

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Melissa Power
16 Nov 2019

Great VLA, engaging presenter, good information. However, I needed to keep pausing the vla, as there was a lot of information that I needed more time to write to facilitate my retention of this