SWSP5617 Family-centred Practice: Mental Health

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
This unit examines conceptual models and interventions for professional practice with families who are living with or experiencing mental health problems associated with a member of the family. It has a particular focus on the evidence—what families tell us about the sort of ways of engaging and working that are most likely to be helpful. It examines the impact of trans-generational family cultures and family systems on professional practice. Both theoretical analysis and skills development in direct work with people with mental illness and their families/carers are included. The unit places our understanding of the needs of families within the history of care reviews, needs and evidence of policy failures and successes to date and it highlights the real and emerging tension between profession driven and consumer and carer driven approaches to care and recovery. Participants are invited to engage in dialogue about the challenges and opportunities that are provided by the intersection of what may be two paradigms of service.
Students are able to (1) display understanding of the unique skills and knowledge that families bring as experts about their own needs and about the general needs of families for recognition and inclusion; (2) display increased understanding of the experience of families when they seek help; (3) display increased knowledge of conceptual models that inform family sensitive practice; (4) display theoretical and clinical knowledge required for understanding and engaging clients and their families/carer with a diagnosed mental illness; (5) display an advanced understanding of the theories, modalities and frameworks that are an essential part of understanding the complexities of family relationships; and (6) display increased understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander mental health issues.
Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mark Sachmann
Contact hours
30 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.