SOWK303-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)

Mental Health

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Mental health is studied within the social work context by examining the conceptual frameworks and legislation that distinguish mental health from mental illness, introducing the major diagnostic classifications. The course considers the context of mental disorders and consequently considers issues around human adaptation, culture and gender, policy and service provision. Students are supported to achieve an understanding of how theory applies to social work practice via on independent learning project, and online class discussions based on case studies and readings. Aotearoa New Zealand as a bicultural and mutlicultural country is woven throughout the course. Implications for working in multi-disciplinary teams, within mental health services or associated services as a social work practitioner are foundational features of this course.

Learning Outcomes

  • To demonstrate an awareness of the origins of mental health practices and key shifts in practices, policy, protocols, and expectations in responding to mental ill health
  • To demonstrate foundational knowledge about major areas of mental disorder, including knowledge of key theories, diagnostic criteria and evidence-based treatments.
  • To show awareness of the reciprocal impacts of these disorders on the individual, family/whānau and communities.
  • To demonstrate foundational awareness of the impacts of inequality, oppression and stigma on developmental issues and mental health and illness.
  • To articulate awareness of indigenous and diverse cultural knowledge and approaches to mental health and illness
  • To articulate the relevance and applicability of mental health knowledge to social work practice in Aotearoa, and the contribution of social workers in this multidisciplinary field.
  • To understand the potential impact of trauma work on the mental health and wellbeing of the worker and an awareness of ways to prevent or manage this.
  • To undertake literature searches and assess the relevance of mental health data, reports, and literature to topics under consideration.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 240 points at 100 and 200 level from the Schedule C and E of the BSW(Hons). Head of Department approval mandatory.


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Letitia Meadows


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Reflections on Professional Conversations 16 Aug 2023 15% Submission 1
Reflections on Professional Conversations 29 Sep 2023 15% Submission 2
Reflective video log 21 Aug 2023 30% Te ao Maori perspectives on mental illness
Narrated PowerPoint 23 Oct 2023 40% Selected mental health issue/concern

Textbooks / Resources

There is no textbook for this course. Readings relevant to the course will be placed on AKO|LEARN

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All SOWK303 Occurrences

  • SOWK303-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)