Testimonial for Mental Health First Response Course provided by IntelliLearn to students in the

Bachelor of Nursing program, University of Tasmania

In 2021, IntelliLearn was approached by the School of Nursing, University of Tasmania to develop and deliver a Mental Health awareness and first response short course.

It was intended that this course would be delivered to all students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing before their first clinical placement and thereafter as a mandatory annual compliance requirement.

In partnership with Utas mental health academics, IntelliLearn designed and built a blended short-course of four parts – three on-line modules and a fourth capstone unit designed to be delivered face-to-face. They have been successfully delivering this at the University of Tasmania since 2022.

The program raises students’ knowledge to recognise, and skills to respond to mental health and substance use distress. This is pitched within the health care context for practitioners, and emphasises the initial steps that can be supportive at such times. It also includes and details the need for self-care.

The students entering a Bachelor of Nursing program come with varying backgrounds. It is our observation that by undertaking this course, students have opportunities to:

  1. Attain a preparatory level of information about mental health distress to equip them to study the Bachelor on Nursing units in mental health. This recognises that the cohort includes those with little knowledge of mental health or knowledge informed by different cultural understanding.
  1. Equip themselves with a range of first responses relevant to their initial clinical placement where they may observe unrecorded mental health distress.
  1. Develop self-care skills to support their own mental well-being and that of their fellow students and family.

The adoption of Mental Health First Response course has enhanced the BN students’ well-being and ability to engage in learning about mental health in the Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Tasmania.


Dr Denise McGarry (she/her)
Unit Coordinator, NUR137 Mental Health 1
Unit Coordinator CNA547 Contexts of Addiction
Unit Coordinator CNA548: Assessment & Management of Addictive Disorders
School of Nursing
College of Health and Medicine
University of Tasmania