Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Social Work
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Rosemary Sheehan


This unit introduces postgraduate students to the epistemologies of practice in mental health and a critical analysis of contemporary mental health issues. It provides advanced knowledge about the context and consequences of mental illness for individuals, families and the broader community. Social Work interfaces with a range of clients and practice contexts, in community and mental health, in disability, child protection, drug and alcohol and criminal justice systems. The unit provides an ecological approach to understanding and intervention in the mental health field.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Give students a good understanding of mental health practice and policy frameworks in Australia;
  2. Identify competencies for practice in mental health including legal and statutory responsibilities;
  3. Examine the factors that influence client mental health needs and the service system constructed to met these;
  4. Understand the nature of mental illness and the roles are contributions made by the professional groups who work in mental health;
  5. Evaluate research and service programmes in mental health;
  6. Give students confidence to critically analyse contemporary mental health issues.


Literature review (35%)
Major assignment (65%)

Workload requirements

Students in OCDL mode have the unit presented as a unit book which contains weekly seminar readings and exercises and may include an online teaching component. This unit runs for 12 weeks. Students are expected to undertake twelve hours per week study in addition to completing weekly unit tasks set readings.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: