Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2011 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Melissa Petrakis and Associate Professor Rosemary Sheehan


This unit provides an ecological approach to the understanding of contemporary health and mental health concerns that impact on the individuals and families who come to the attention of social work. The subject incorporates weekly direct practice skills seminars to develop key skills for effective social work practice in the health and mental health fields. Social Work interfaces with a range of clients and practice contexts in community health and mental health, in disability, in drug and alcohol settings, in rural and regional settings.


At successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify appropriate competencies for the practice domains that intersect with mental health, including legal and statutory responsibilities;
  2. demonstrate key communication and assessment skills necessary for effective practice with a range of clients in diverse health settings;
  3. reflect critically on their practice- specifically the integration of theory and practice in challenging client situations;
  4. describe specific health problems, recognise the social and psychological components, causes and consequences of ill-health, and have a critical awareness of the socio-economic dimension of health problems;
  5. demonstrate knowledge of the practice and policy frameworks that animate health and mental health and consumer services in Australia;
  6. articulate the factors that influence health and mental health needs of clients and propose distinct and distinctive responses to these;
  7. assess the nature of health and mental health issues and the contributions made by the wide range of professional groups who work with individuals experiencing mental illness;
  8. identify key issues and demonstrate skills in working effectively with clients in health and mental health settings;
  9. structure and present a report on a substantive health issue.


Literature review (2,000 words) (30%)
Briefing Note (2,000 words) (30%)
Essay (4,000 words) (40%)
Skills assessment exercise (1,000 words) (undertaken during skills workshops)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Melissa Petrakis

Contact hours

The unit runs for 8 weeks. Students are expected to undertake 312 hours per semester study. Students are expected to use their study time to attend on-campus lectures and workshops, undertake the weekly unit tasks as set out in the Unit Outline and in the off-campus Unit Guide.