SWSP5634 Social Work and Mental Health Practice

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines the two important aspects governing clinical practice in a mental health context. This includes theoretical modalities (knowledge, modules of understanding) and clinical intervention strategies (techniques, therapeutic modalities). The philosophical framework governing the unit from the mental health perspective is the biopsychosocial model, which consciously attempts to incorporate all of the significant dimensions in human existence to optimally conceptualise our understanding of the human condition in general and mental health issues specifically. Two important aspects governing clinical practice in a mental health context are examined. This includes theoretical modalities (knowledge, models of understanding) and clinical intervention strategies (techniques, therapeutic modalities).
Students are able to (1) identify the conceptual basis and practical clinical application of the biopsychosocial model of mental illness; (2) become familiar with the psychiatric classification process and some of the core diagnostic categories used in psychiatry; (3) identify and articulate the different philosophical positions in relation to the conceptualisation and treatment of mental health issues, e.g. recovery and the orthodox medical model; (4) identify which Acts are relevant to the practice of mental health in Western Australia; (5) articulate some of the contemporary tensions in the delivery of mental health services; (6) compare and contrast the biopsychosocial treatment options for mental illness; and (7) articulate the impact of mental health and drugs on culturally diverse peoples.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group presentation and (2) test. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mark Sachmann
Contact hours
3 hours per week
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.