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QC42: An Introduction to the use of sensory approaches in mental health care

Event Details
Date: ongoing
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 2


Organiser: Queensland Centre for Mental Health Learning

Event date has passed

Every person is unique in terms of their sensory needs and sensory preferences. Many people with mental health problems experience difficulties in being able to utilise healthy sensory strategies when in distress, as they are unaware of their sensory needs or stress responses. Over time, people with poor understanding of the impact of sensory preferences may experience poor outcomes as they may have learned to utilise unhealthy responses (such as the use of drugs or alcohol), or behaved in a certain way (such as becoming agitated and aggressive, or avoiding particular situations). In addition, as a result of safety and treatment concerns in acute inpatient environments, people may not have regular access to the means or strategies of preferred sensory resources.

This two-hour introductory course to sensory approaches, is consumer focused and uses recovery based strategies that are empowering for both consumers and staff. Within this approach, consumers learn about their own needs and preferences, and learn strategies for dealing with perceivably difficult and stressful situations. At the end of this course staff will be more aware of how to assist consumers to work towards optimum levels of functioning through the consumer learning how to calm and alert themselves through the use of sensory based approaches.

Learning objectives

The key learning objectives for this course are to:

  1. Develop an awareness of sensory approaches as a framework for working with people with mental illness
  2. Understand why sensory approaches are important in mental health practice
  3. Identify behaviours, or clues, that may indicate a person is experiencing difficulties with sensory processes
  4. Know when to refer a consumer to an experienced sensory approach clinician
  5. Develop an awareness of sensory strategies that may be used to support someone whose sensory processing difficulties are impacting their life
  6. Develop awareness of how sensory approaches can support a consumer in their recovery.

Method of delivery

Online available 24 hours a day every day





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