Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Social Work
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Rosemary Sheehan


This unit will introduce students to an understanding of leading sustainable and healthy change in Australia as a requirement for social work practice, with particular emphasis on mental health. Because of the significant social impacts of mental health on health living, this unit provides a social work perspective on the link between people, communities and the policy environment.

This unit examines these perspectives and the potential social work response. It draws on frameworks for practice with a particular emphasis on mental health, and examines policy responses and how these are potentially shaped by key stakeholders and leaders to the exclusion of others. Critical concepts are mental health, social inclusion, resilience and well-being. The unit draws out ways for social workers to become critical change agents.


  1. Articulate a critical understanding of the broader social and policy dimensions of mental health
  2. Identify relevant social work responses to current and emerging social impacts of mental health in the community context
  3. Critically analyse the factors used to construct mental health problems, and the predominating paradigms which influence thinking and understanding of mental health problems.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of social work's role in policies and practices relating to well being and social sustainability
  5. To consider the broader social and policy dimensions of mental health problems; specifically in relation to a broad notion of health.


Group task (1500 words): 30%
Journal critique (1500 words): 30%
At home exam (2000 words):40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hours per week


SWK4420 Individual, Health & Society