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WS5108 - Mental Health and Social Justice

Credit points: 6
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Arts & Social Sciences

This subject is designed for social work and welfare practitioners who wish to explore further the range of mental health issues which impact not only on specialist mental health agencies, but on a wide range of other areas in generic and specialist practice. The framework of the subject is based on the social construction of mental health in cultural, community and individual contexts, with its derivative social justice and human rights implications. It is assumed that students will have already touched on some aspects of mental health discourse in their undergraduate studies and will bring with them a sound overview of social work theories in which to explore and expand this discourse. Students will be encouraged to integrate their professional and personal experiences into the subject material in the context of a personal philosophy of practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • a comparative understanding of the social construction of mental health in contemporary society and implications of this for social work practice;
  • an awareness of both the knowledge and ontological value bases of the professional disciplines involved in mental health practice to the point where they are comfortable working in multidisciplinary teams and confident in making a specific social work contribution;
  • an awareness of the social justice and human rights principles behind social policy and mental health legislation and practice;
  • be able to incorporate the above into a personal philosophy of practice such that they are confident in working in a variety of agency settings;
  • be ready to explore further the current expanding range of roles for social workers in developing community based mental health services across Australia, particularly in the areas of consumer participation and community education.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments;
  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • The ability to speak and write logically, clearly and creatively;
  • The ability to use a variety of media and methods to retrieve, analyse, evaluate, organise and present information;
  • The ability to learn independently and in a self-directed manner.


Study Period 2, External
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Method of Delivery: CDROM
Assessment: essays (25%); case study (25%); literature review (50%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.