Emerging Minds

A GP framework for child mental health assessment (5-12 years)

About the course

This course is for general practitioners who wish to increase their skills in assessing, managing, and supporting children (5-12 years) with mental health difficulties, and supporting their families.

Throughout this course you will learn how to complete a child mental health assessment and management plan using a specific general practitioner (GP) framework.

The course will develop your:

  • knowledge of common child mental health conditions
  • engagement skills for interacting with a child and their family
  • practical skills for child mental health assessment and management.


Child Mental Health in the Context of General Practice

This module provides you with foundational knowledge about child mental health, within the context of general practice. It will also explore the role of a GP in child mental health assessment.

A Guide for Identifying, Assessing, and Supporting Child Mental Health Difficulties

This module takes you through a step-by-step exploration of the Child Mental Health Consultation Guide. It uses video demonstrations to highlight each phase of the guide, as well as framing the approaches and skills required during the assessment and management of child mental health difficulties.

Practice Skills for Child Mental Health Assessment

This module will explore each phase of the Child Mental Health Consultation Guide in more detail, with an emphasis on the practice skills required to undertake the assessment. It uses video demonstrations of a new fictional child and family to highlight the skills required in each phase of the Guide for the management of child mental health difficulties.

Managing a Child with Mental Health Difficulties

This module will provide you with the opportunity to try out your knowledge of the Child Mental Health Consultation Guide with a new case study. You will consider the skills at each phase and apply your own clinical reasoning to connect, explore, plan, and manage this new case. You will also focus in this module on the key approaches to managing and supporting a child and their family following a child mental health assessment. You will learn about the required Medicare tasks and have an opportunity to complete the relevant documentation as part of this process.

Learning outcomes

As you progress through this course, you will work towards:

  • identifying the key strengths and vulnerabilities which influence child health
  • developing practice skills which support effective engagement, assessment, and management of a child with mental health difficulties
  • identifying and assessing common mental health difficulties in children aged 5-12 years
  • developing a comprehensive management plan related to common child mental health difficulties.

A guide for child mental health assessment

The course will use a child mental health consultation guide to walk you through the key phases and skills required during assessment and management.

The Guide outlines four distinct phases:

  • CONNECT: Listen and prioritise
  • EXPLORE: Assess and formulate
  • PLAN: Plan and manage
  • COLLABORATE: Follow up and review

Recognising context

This course has been specifically designed for GPs. It recognises the realities of general practice, the broad context of doctor-patient relationships, and the array of circumstances that GPs work in.

The course incorporates an understanding of:

  • the important role GPs play in a child mental health assessment
  • the pressures and complexities that GPs face
  • the Australian Medicare Benefits Schedule, with focus on the Better Access Scheme
  • the benefits and challenges of long-term continuity of comprehensive family care.


It is estimated that this course will take you six hours to complete, including reading material and watching videos.

You can undertake the course across multiple sessions at your own pace. The last screen you visit before logging off will be bookmarked and you will have the option of returning to that screen when you next log in.


As you work through the course, it is important to be aware of your own emotional responses. Please follow the self-care tips below and seek help if needed:

  • We do not recommend undertaking the entire course in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you feel that you don’t need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later.
  • Be aware of your emotions as you progress through the course and take action if you are starting to feel stressed or worried about your emotional reaction.
  • Be aware of your emotional responses after you complete the course.

If you find you are struggling please seek help, visit the RACGP ‘Mental health resources for GPs’, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263.


For the purpose of this course, the term ‘parent’ encompasses the biological and adoptive parents of a child, as well as individuals who take up a primary or shared responsibility in raising that child.

Social and emotional wellbeing’ refers to the way a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. It incorporates behavioural and emotional strengths and is a facet of child development1.

In broad terms, social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a holistic concept which results from a network of relationships between individuals, family, kin and Community. It also recognises the importance of connection to Land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect the individual2.

Social and emotional development’ involves the development of skills required to:

  • identify and understand one’s feelings
  • read and understand the emotional states of other people
  • manage strong emotions and express them safely
  • regulate behaviour
  • develop empathy
  • establish and maintain relationships3.

How to update your provider number

To ensure your activity is reported to Medicare, please check that your Medicare Provider Number is up to date in the RACGP database. Find out more here.


RACGP CPD 40 points


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Social and emotional wellbeing: development of a Children’s Headline Indicator. Cat. no. PHE 158. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Commonwealth of Australia. (2017). National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, p.6.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2009). A picture of Australia’s children. Cat. no. PHE 112. Canberra: AIHW.


Ready to start learning?

Register today to access.