SOWK303-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Mental Health

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


An examination of the conceptual framework of mental health, mental ill-health and mental illness, and an introduction to the major classifications of mental illness. An analysis of social work's contribution to the field, and study of tested interventions with patients and support systems in mental health settings. Taught by staff with health expertise and practice experience.

This course is an integral part of social work education and may also be suitable for appropriately academically qualified students with an interest in other human services.  

The focus of the course is on mental health and ill health and the impact of mental disorder on individuals and families.  The course takes account of the social-ecological context of mental disorders and consequently considers issues around culture and gender, policy and service provision. The course is designed to build on student knowledge and prior studies in the area of human development and as such the influence of "normal" developmental processes and external crises will be considered.

Students are supported to achieve an understanding of how theory applies to practice via class discussions of case studies and documentary and fiction film materials. Each year, a number of professional practitioners are invited to deliver seminars in which they talk about their work in the field of mental health.

Learning Outcomes

On the successful completion of the course, the student will have attained the ability to:
1.   Articulate knowledge about major areas of mental disorder, including knowledge of diagnostic criteria and
      evidence based treatments.
2.   Show awareness of the reciprocal impacts of these disorders on the individual, family and
3.   Show awareness of the impact of inequality, oppression and stigma on mental health and
4.   Articulate the relevance and applicability of mental health knowledge to social work practice
      in Aotearoa, and the contribution of social workers in this multidisciplinary field.
5.   Display knowledge about local and culturally appropriate mental health practices, protocols,
      and expectations.
6.   Engage in advanced reflective participatory learning processes, and understand how these
      contribute to the theory practice matrix.
7.   Understanding of the potential impact of trauma work on the mental health of the worker and
      how this may be modulated.
8.   Undertake literature searches, and assess the relevance of literature to topics under
9.   Engage in discussion and debates wherein they convey a growing capacity to hypothesise or
      develop theoretical questions from data and literature, and to relate these to practice.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 240 points at 100 and 200 level from the Schedule C and E of the BSW(Hons). Head of Department approval mandatory.



Timetable Note

*  One two hour lecture per week;  tutorials as required

*  LEARN based resources and activities

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Kate van Heugten


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Essay 14 Aug 2020 40%
Reflexive Learning 1 11 Sep 2020 30%
Reflexive Learning 2 30% 13/10/2020

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Kring, Ann M. et al; Abnormal psychology ; First Australasian edition; John Wiley & Sons Australia, 2018.


The administrator for the Human Services and Social Work Department is Denise Forbes and she can be located in room 310 in the Psychology/Sociology Building.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All SOWK303 Occurrences

  • SOWK303-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020
  • SOWK303-20S2 (D) Semester Two 2020 (Distance)