SIM Scenario Exchange

Mental Health Group Therapy: Mental Status Assessment and Therapeutic Communication

Contributed on July 4, 2022, last updated July 21, 2022.



Paula Mastrilli, George Brown College

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This simulation will provide an inpatient mental health experience allowing the learner to orient themselves to the client’s charts and observe a facilitated inpatient mental health group that focuses the clients on goal setting. The simulation presents opportunities to discover information that will support client assessment and prepare for the group experience. Observation of the group will allow the simulation participant to assess the mental health status of the clients participating in the group. The student will shadow the facilitator of the group and be able to determine client presentations and assess potential therapeutic communication responses.

Learning Objectives:

Identify important and relevant client information in preparation and participation for group therapy.

Differentiate priority findings to understand a variety of mental health presentations.

Perform an individual Mental Status Assessment (MSA) during group, and identify key patient elements of clients, appearance, behaviours and cognition/thought processes

Formulate therapeutic responses to client communications during group therapy based on MSA

Simulation Modality:

Virtual gaming simulation / virtual patient


This simulation’s scenario and script were formally peer-reviewed by two external institutions, then the final simulation was pilot tested by several students on a student testing committee then as part of the Virtu-WIL Student Program’s rollout.


102e, Affinity Learning


Mastrilli P. Mental Health Group Therapy: Mental Status Assessment and Therapeutic Communication. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2022. Available from

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Target Learners






Undergraduate / post-secondary

Fields / Disciplines:

Mental health

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