Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Open University

Making sense of mental health problems

The Open University via OpenLearn


Over the past century there has been a radical shift in responses to people who experience mental health problems. In this free course, Making sense of mental health problems, you will learn about how key perspectives in the field have made sense of mental health problems. By directly relating key perspectives to a case study, you will reflect on how the medical perspective, psychological perspective and social need perspective come to make sense of mental ill-health.


  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Assessing mental health problems
  • 1 Assessing mental health problems
  • 1.1 An assessment of Mandy’s situation
  • 2 Medical perspectives
  • 2 Medical perspectives
  • 2.1 Diagnostic handbooks
  • 2.2 Scientific advances in understanding mental health problems
  • 2.3 A psychiatrist’s perspective
  • 3 Psychological perspectives
  • 3 Psychological perspectives
  • 3.1 Psychological formulation
  • 3.2 A psychologist’s perspective
  • 4 Social need perspectives
  • 4 Social need perspectives
  • 4.1 A social worker’s perspective
  • 5 Diagnosis and its alternatives
  • 5 Diagnosis and its alternatives
  • 5.1 Alternative approaches
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgements


4.5 rating at OpenLearn based on 38 ratings

Start your review of Making sense of mental health problems

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.