SOWK611-20S2 (D) Semester Two 2020 (Distance)

Human Behaviour and 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


This course builds on students’ foundation knowledge of human behaviour and social work theory and methods. Mental health is studied by examining notions of mental health and mental illness, and then introducing the major classifications. The topic is explored within the context of a developmental ecological, evolutionary and Maori perspectives. Teaching methods include reflective/reflexive group process and an independent learning project.

Learning Objectives:
• To promote an integrated understanding of persons/whānau/groups within biological, psychological, social and cultural contexts.
• To develop an advanced understanding of child and whānau/family development in relation to the social environment, with particular emphasis on developmental and external crises and their resolution.
• To develop knowledge of mental health conceptualisations including APA classifications and Māori mental health perspectives.
• To promote awareness of the reciprocal impacts of these disorders on the individual, family and society.
• To promote an advanced awareness of the impacts of inequality, oppression and stigma on developmental issues and mental health and illness.
• To facilitate development of knowledge about local mental health practices, protocols, and expectations.
• To facilitate understanding of the potential impact of work in this area on the mental and physical wellbeing of the worker, and an awareness of ways to prevent or manage this.
• To develop skills to undertake literature searches, and assess the relevance of literature to topics under consideration.
• Promote capacity for critical analysis of mental health data, reports and literature and to relate these to practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course students should be able to:
  • Articulate knowledge about human development across a range of socio-cultural contexts
  • Consider the relevance of theories of trauma to particular human situations
  • Understand the concept of reflexivity (or critical reflection) in relation to theory and practice
  • Undertake literature searches, and assess the relevance of literature to topics under
  • Engage in discussions and debates wherein they convey a beginning capacity to hypothesise
           or develop theoretical questions from data and literature
  • Demonstrate knowledge of bi-cultural approaches to mental health
  • Articulate knowledge about major areas of mental disorder, including knowledge of
           diagnostic criteria and evidence based treatments
  • Demonstrate advanced awareness of the impacts of inequality, oppression and stigma on
           developmental issues and mental health and illness.
    • 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.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.


Contact Person

Gretchen Perry


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Online Posts 30%
Topic and Outline 03 Aug 2020 15%
Literature Review and References 07 Sep 2020 20%
Intervention Plan 05 Oct 2020 35%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $942.00

* 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 SOWK611 Occurrences

  • SOWK611-20S2 (D) Semester Two 2020 (Distance)