Gain an understanding of how to screen, diagnose, treat and manage common mental health conditions and provide a high-demand service to your patients in primary care with the Professional Certificate of Mental Health.

The online certificate course equips practitioners with the skills to provide evidence-based, patient-centred care to people living with a mental illness, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, anorexia and bulimia, PTSD, domestic abuse, and depression in the elderly. Learn techniques to detect, assess and review patients with mental health issues, enabling you to improve patient outcomes, identify and treat mental health issues and to work collaboratively with other professionals in the field. The course is delivered by GPs with a special interest in mental health and reviewed by mental health professionals.

The HealthCert Core Module and Clinical Enhancement Module in Mental Health are also part of this Professional Certificate, so practitioners completing this Professional Certificate will also meet the requirements for mental health MBS recognition.

This course is the first stage of the three-part Professional Diploma of Mental Health. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Mental Health, Advanced Certificate of Mental Health (coming soon) and Professional Diploma of Mental Health (coming soon).

Professional Certificate of  Mental Health    YOU ARE HERE   Clinical Enhancement Module  of Mental Health Skills  Training: PTSD: Trauma &   Stressor Related Disorders  LEARN MORE   Mental Health Skills Training:  Core Module   LEARN MORE


This Professional Certificate of Mental Health is for medical practitioners who wish to learn how to identify and manage mental health issues in primary care. This qualification is the first stage of the Professional Diploma of Mental Health.

This course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. There are no prerequisites. Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.

Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.

Professionally recognised qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.


  • Detection, assessment & review of mental health issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anorexia and bulimia
  • PTSD: Anxiety, flashbacks & recurrent distress
  • Domestic abuse
  • Depression in the elderly

Course participants will:

  • Have the opportunity to replay video lectures from medical experts.
  • Participate in discussion of patient cases, evaluate and make decisions.
  • Receive access to research/readings in the field.
  • Participate in course webinars prior to the examinations and ask questions.
  • Receive ongoing support post-course through webinars and case review.
  • Receive unlimited and ongoing access to free alumni learning resources, video lectures, and discussion forums, as well as invite-only events and special offers after completion of the course.


Module 1: Detection, assessment and review of mental health issues

This module introduces skills and techniques to detect, assess and review patients with mental health issues including screening under the Mental Health Better Access Initiative. It includes guides and examples of conducting effective mental health interviews and developing General Practice Mental Health Treatment Plans. The first unit provides an overview of Australia’s mental health care system including the epidemiology and aetiology of mental health. The list of mental health illnesses/disorders eligible under the Better Access initiative are outlined. This unit includes strategies to detect and assess mental health illnesses including recognition of physical and differential factors, and management of associated complexities and comorbidities. The process of reassessment and regular review of patients is provided. The second unit introduces shared understanding of mental illness with patients and the development of a mental health care plan (MHTP). Using screening and treatment evaluation tools, this section then describes how to detect early warning signs and relapse prevention. Self-help including when to use pharmacotherapy, evidence based psychological therapies, and optimum patient care through shared care, multidisciplinary communication and teamwork are discussed. The final unit focuses on risk assessment, progress monitoring and coordination of care to patients. Available resources, frameworks, local services and referral pathways to assist patients are listed. Case studies are used throughout the module to reinforce learning.

Module 2: Depression

This module begins with an overview of the current statistics of depression in Australia along with the definition and causes of depression. The risk factors of depression and ‘at risk’ groups include carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugee, adolescents, elderly, perinatal depression and others are discussed in detail. The module then focuses on diagnosing depression through history taking, examination, investigations and using assessment tools such as Mental State Examination to confirm diagnosis. The final section outlines the different types of treatment of depression including lifestyle changes, psychological approaches, medication, other considerations and psychiatric referral. Several case studies conclude this module.

Module 3: Anxiety

This module commences with the definition and epidemiology of anxiety disorders. Considerations for assessment, secondary causes, investigations, diagnosis and treatment using non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to anxiety are discussed. The content then focuses on generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. The DSM-V and ICD-10 diagnostic criteria of these disorders include epidemiology, differential diagnosis, treatment, pharmacotherapy and psychological interventions. Other anxiety disorders are discussed including agoraphobia, specific phobia, separation anxiety, selective mutism, substance/medication induced anxiety, and anxiety disorder due to other medical conditions. Case studies are used throughout the module to reinforce learning.

Module 4: Bipolar disorder

The module commences with the history, epidemiology and aetiology of bipolar disorder. Three main types of this disorder are outlined including further classification and severity of current and recent episodes. Clinical features of symptoms, mania and hypomania, depressive episode, mixed episode, cyclothymic disorders and psychotic symptoms are discussed in detail. The third section focuses on psychiatric history, mental state examination and findings, Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the Bipolar Depression Rating Scale (BDRS). The content includes differential diagnoses and the challenges in diagnosing bipolar disorder in children and adolescents including how to catch a mixed episode. The principles of managing bipolar disorder and the management of hypo/mania, bipolar depression and mixed state are discussed. Course learning is reinforced with case studies. Pharmacotherapy including lithium and valproate dosage, drug interactions, adverse effects and risk are mentioned. The module concludes with information on diet, supplements and bipolar disorder patient support.

Module 5: Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa

This module focusses on eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other specified feeding and eating disorders. The role of the medical practitioner is discussed including advocacy for changing societal norms and healthy lifestyle perspectives and targeting at risk individuals. High risk groups are noted. The module provides screening tools to be used in conjunction with behavioural, psychological and physical signs – a comprehensive list of signs for these categories are listed. Assessment information and guides are provided including when immediate referral is appropriate. Patient engagement may be challenging and the suggested approach by the clinician is included. Treatment goals and guidelines are given including suggested multidisciplinary team involvement, medical practitioner management, pharmacotherapy and eligibility criteria.

Module 6: Trauma and stressor related disorders

The first section of this module outlines the history and origins of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The different DSM-V diagnostic criteria of PTSD are included. Unit two discusses the keys to diagnosis of PTSD and describes treatment options including psychological treatments, medications and lifestyle measures. Self-help and managing other co-morbidities are included. A case study is presented to reinforce learning. The module concludes with discussion of how medicinal cannabis and classical psychedelics have the potential to assist with the treatment of PTSD.

This module is recognised by the GPMHSC as a clinical enhancement module of the modular Mental Health Skills Training.

Module 7: Domestic abuse

This module on domestic abuse reviews the definition and support mechanisms when patients present who are in a domestic abuse relationship. Statistics related to its prevalence and impact both worldwide and in Australia are listed. It discusses the role of general practitioners in responding, supporting and treating women who disclose experiences of domestic violence in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. Signs and symptoms to identify domestic violence including psychological and behavioural symptoms are outlined. Screening information and understanding the reasons why a woman does not find it easy to leave an abusive relationship are included. Techniques to provide a safe environment and how to respond to disclosures including follow up care and responsibilities are addressed.  The module includes advice about the most effective response to patient disclosure both immediately and as part of a long-term plan for follow up, and continuing care, including information about available resources and support services. 

Module 8: Depression in the elderly 

This module begins with an overview of depression and the increasing higher levels of psychological distress for older people. The content includes information on understanding depression, depression categories and how the medical profession defines depression. It then moves to the causes of depression, risk factors for the elderly, and other causal factors including at-risk groups. The effects of depression and how they may be displayed are mentioned, then considers diagnostic information, screening and assessment tools. Assessing suicide risk, differential considerations and investigations are outlined. The GP Mental health Care Plan and treatment approach includes education, lifestyle changes, psychological and medication considerations. The module concludes with two clinical case studies.  




Save up to $300

For doctors in training who are on a pathway to General Practice Registration through a recognised training provider.


Save up to $568

Enrol in two or three courses within the same education pathway to optimise your savings.


Monthly from $395

Enrol in one, two or three courses within a pathway now and pay later in small monthly instalments.

*The individual offers and special rates cannot be used in conjunction with any other specials. 


Meet your instructors

HealthCert has a high-quality team of exceptional specialists and industry professionals to deliver this course. The expert team that has written and presented this evidence-based program on mental health include Australian GPs and family physicians from the USA. Together they have 100 years of experience in the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

Dr Georgina Hayworth

Course Chair

Consultant Child Psychiatrist

Dr Georgina Hayworth has worked extensively as a Consultant Child Psychiatrist, as well as a Senior Emergency Physician and in General Practice, with a special interest in Mental Health. Dr Hayworth has worked in mental health in multiple modalities, from being referral level only as a psychiatrist to being the first contact for people suffering with mental health, both in general practice and in the emergency department. She has worked with every age range, from cradle to grave.

Dr Hayworth has worked internationally, in the United Kingdom and also Australia, with experience in rural and urban areas in both countries, and across all demographics.


Dr Sharon Sykes

MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP

Dr Sharon Sykes works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. Dr Sykes served 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a general practitioner. She has a special interest in medical education and has previously worked as a medical educator for North Coast GP Training.

She holds a MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP.

Christine Ahern

Dr Christine Ahern


Senior lecturer at Sydney University

Dr Christine Ahern has worked as a general practitioner in rural NSW since 1983, often with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her special interests include women’s health and mental health.

Dr Ahern is a senior lecturer at Sydney University and has previously been the Director of Training for North Coast GP Training. In 2011 she was named the General Practice Education and Training Medical Educator of the Year, a prestigious national award. Dr Ahern holds a MBBS and FRACGP.

Joe Kosterich_circle

Dr Joe Kosterich


Lecturer, Curtin Medical School

Dr Joe Kosterich is a general practitioner, speaker, author, media presenter and health industry consultant. He writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications and is a regular on radio and television. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases, is clinical editor of a medical magazine, adjunct professor (teaching) at UWA and a lecturer at Curtin Medical School.

Dr Kosterich has a special interest in medicinal cannabis, men’s health, chronic disease and mental health. He has self-published two books and maintains a website and blog with health information and commentary. Through all this, Dr Kosterich continues to see patients as a GP each week.

Alice Lam

Dr Alice Lam


Dr Alice Lam is a general practitioner passionate about evidence-based medicine and education for medical professionals and their patients. She has over 23 years of medical experience in Australia and overseas. Dr Lam graduated from the University of Manchester, UK and practised both as a locum and partner. Since 2008, she has worked as a GP in Melbourne, Australia. Her other interests include digital health, health writing and education for health professionals and patients.

Anoop Jalota

Dr Anoop Jalota


Dr Anoop Jalota is an experienced GP with international experience. He practises in Wollongong, since moving there from New Zealand, he is currently the Cluster Leader for the Central Illawarra area.


Independent feedback on these course materials has been kindly provided by Psychiatrist Dr John Davies, FRANZCP.


The Professional Certificate of Mental Health is fully delivered online. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office, and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay the video lectures at their convenience.

The webinars offer the opportunity to join and interact with the presenters online in real-time but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within three months of the exam opening date. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, participants can build critical skills and tailor their career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.

There are eight units in a HealthCert Professional Certificate program. The course is delivered over 15 weeks with 12 weeks of teaching followed by three weeks for revision and final examinations. The course includes online presentations from experts in the field followed by patient case discussions and decision-making. There is a final webinar prior to examinations. You will also receive valuable 12 months' web-based support from the speakers and participate in regular online learning sessions with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have as you implement your learning. 

The course includes: 

  • All presentation slides available for download.
  • Access to additional learning resources, reference materials and video lectures.
  • Readings with references to peer-reviewed journal articles to keep up-to-date with developments in the field.


In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes two online examinations.

Online assessment

  • 88 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
    • 11 per module
      Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct?  Yes/No
  • 88 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic
    • 11 per module
      Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do?  Multiple choice images based on patient cases.

The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.

HealthCert recommends completion of the assessment at your convenience within three months of the completion of the course (or enrolling in the online course).


50 Hours CPD logo

This certificate course meets the 50 hours CPD annual requirement.


PCMHE certificate imageUpon successful completion of the exam, course participants will receive a Professional Certificate of Mental Health.

RACGP CPD Points Pending
ACRRM PDP Units Pending


This Professional Certificate:
  • Is reviewed by Griffith University in compliance with RACGP/ACRRM standards.
  • Is accredited by the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC).
  • Provides CPD points from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
  • Provides PDP points from the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
  • Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
  • Is recognised by Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP). The RNZCGP recognises all courses endorsed by the RACGP. Peer review and audit are compulsory.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Dubai. The number of CPD points must be stated on the certificate. Please contact for more information.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in the UK. CPD events overseas, applicable to a doctor’s scope of practice, may be submitted for revalidation. Please confirm with your Responsible Officer.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Canada through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Category 1 points are reported as certified and Category 2 points are reported as non-certified. Please contact for more information.


This online three-part program consists of the Professional Certificate, Advanced Certificate, and Professional Diploma of Mental Health (coming soon).

Postgraduate pathway for Mental Health

Graduates of the HealthCert Professional Diploma of Mental Health (coming soon) qualify for a scholarship into the Masters of Applied Clinical Psychiatry. These are online course from the UK designed for medical practitioners. Please contact our UK partner directly regarding this scholarship: 

Reviewed by
Logo - Reviewed by Griffith__2-1
Accredited by
GPMHSC logo level 2
Accredited by
Accredited by