Social Work Practice: Mental Health

Subject SCWK90038 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations: For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours (4 x 6 hour seminars)
Total Time Commitment:

96 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s courses. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry st
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on social work practice in the mental health field. Topics covered include the nature of mental illness and how consumers, their relatives and friends experience it, and contemporary approaches to treatment and recovery, including trauma-informed practice. Also, examined are the national and state policy context, how services are organised and the particular contributions of social work practitioners within the different settings that they operate. A particular focus will be on Victoria's area-based mental health services as well as the psychiatric disabiltiy rehabilitation and support services (PDRSS) sector. Mental health services at different life stages will be examined.

The elective will utilise guest speakers to provide practitioner and consumers perspectives, and may include visits to a mental health service.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social work role in the mental health field in Australia
  • Be able to critically review social, cultural, organisational and ethical contexts of mental health practice
  • Demonstrate a beginning knowledge of key social work skills for mental health practice
  1. Class presentation (10%) mid semester
  2. 500 written summary of presentation (15%) mid semester
  3. Written essay - 3500 words (75%) due end of semester
Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • critically analyse texts and practices;
  • understand recent developments in social work contexts of practice;
  • link theory to practice;
  • competently communicate in ways relevant to both academic and practice contexts;
  • undertake independent research.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Advanced Social Work
Master of Social Work
Master of Social Work (250)

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