Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Social Work and Mental Health Practice has been developed to comply with the Australian Association of Social Workers Mental Health Competencies (2014) and the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (2013). The Australian Association of Social Workers Mental Health Competencies (2014) and National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (2013) documents provides the broad framework for this series of lecture/seminars. The purpose of social work practice in mental health is to assist to restore individual, family, and community well-being, and to promote principles of social justice. Social works clinical practice occurs at the interface between the individual and the environment; social work activity begins with the individual, and extends to the contexts of family, social networks, community, and the broader society.

This unit will examine the two important aspects governing clinical practice in a mental health context. This will include theoretical modalities (knowledge, models of understanding), and clinical intervention strategies (techniques, therapeutic modalities). All the theoretical models examined, where possible, will be evidenced based practice models (EBPs).

The philosophical framework governing this unit from the mental health perspective is the biopsychosocial model, which consciously attempts to incorporate all of the significant dimensions in human existence in order to optimally conceptualise our understanding of the human condition in general and mental health issues specifically.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) analyse the contemporary theoretical foundations of mental health practice; (2) examine the application of the biopsychosocial model of mental illness; (3) explain the role of social work in mental health service delivery; (4) describe the different positions in relation to the conceptualisation and treatment of mental health issues; (5) examine trauma, loss and grief and its impact on mental health outcomes.; and (6) explain the concept of social and emotional well-being perspective.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentation and (2) test. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Tobias Penno
Unit rules
SWSP5630: Social Work Methods 1: Introduction to Psychosocial Theory SWSP5301 Foundations of Social Work Thinking and Identity SWSP5306 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Practices for Social Work SWSP5631 Introduction to Social Work Methods 2: Theory for Practice - Working with People SWSP5633 Research Methods 3: Evidence Based Practice-Counselling SWSP5309 Field Education 1: First Placement
Contact hours
3 hours per week x 12 weeks
  • 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.