Mental Health Issues: Symptom Recognition, Intervention and Referral

1.5 Training Contact Hours

Do you know how to “talk down” a resident who is becoming increasingly aggressive towards other residents in the building? Would you know what to ask if one of your residents told you that she was going to kill herself? If Mrs. Smith, on the second floor, told you that Hitler was talking to her from her television set, would you call the cable company for her?

Service Coordinators are likely to encounter residents they serve who display symptoms of, or who are being treated for, a wide range of behavioral and mental health issues. This module will emphasize strategies designed for recognizing symptoms, intervening in crises, and making appropriate referrals for treatment.


Patrice Rancour, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Welcome to the wonderful world of mental health! I am Patrice Rancour, a mental health clinical nurse specialist. I received both my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Nursing at Ohio State University and I have enjoyed practicing as a clinician, educator, and consultant for well over forty years. That alone qualifies me to author this module, don’t you think?!

I have always been interested in how our mental health interacts with our physical health. My interests in mind-body healing have led me to explore complementary and integrative therapies that can be used with people who experience mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical signs and symptoms of stress. I hope you will find the mental health concepts and strategies in this module useful enough to be able to apply them in your own setting as early as tomorrow!


  1. Identify the most common forms of mental health illness that older adults experience, the health providers who treat them, and the most common forms of treatment.
  2. List symptoms of depression as well as questions to ask if a depressed resident indicates suicidal intention.
  3. Recognize symptoms of a manic episode as well as strategies designed to set limits for manic behavior.
  4. Describe different kinds of psychotic experiences and identify tactics designed to help the individual remain reality-based.
  5. Summarize symptoms of anxiety and how to identify symptoms in at least two anxiety disorders.
  6. Differentiate between interventions used to de-escalate verbal aggression and physical aggression.
  7. Identify symptoms of paranoia and list strategies designed to help the paranoid person feel more secure.
  8. Describe examples of manipulative behavior as well as tactics designed to set limits with people who manipulate.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Post Test (which requires a score of 100%) and then the Module Evaluation, followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.