April is 21 years of age and recently graduated from university with an undergraduate degree.She is currently working in retail in Adelaide and has plans to return to University to do post-graduate studies.April’s mother is Indigenous and a health profess

Assignment 1 – Case Study (2,250 words)

Key Aspects

  • Firstly, you need to choose one of the three case studies from those provided in this guide
  • Minimum of 10-12 academic sources; the course text book must be one of these sources
  • Work to draw on recovery-oriented approach (ROA) principles to mental health social work assessment taught throughout this course
  • Assignment to be set out using the five key headings set out below in bold print
  • Dot points or any other indented or numbered work is not to be used in this assignment; need to use normal sentence and paragraph structures in your writing


1. Recovery-Oriented Approach (ROA) (250 words)

Outline your understanding of the core principles of a ROA to assessment in mental health social work.

2. Planning Considerations (250 words)

  • Succinctly discuss some of the key planning factors you would need to consider before commencing work with your chosen client; drawing on information taught throughout this course and from your own academic research work in this area (e.g. the importance of mindful case note reading skills, of the politics of the referral, of good self-reflective practices and so forth).
  • Prioritize all of the problems/concerns outlined in your chosen case study notes.Please see the‘Prioritizing Guidelines’ document on the course website for this section
    • clearly linkyour chosen priority areas in with 3-4 relevant life domains – as discussed in the course text book
    • give clear reasons for these prioritizing decisions; based on your academic research
  • Within this discussion outline a succinct tentative Intervention Plan for working with your client

3. Prioritizing Problems using Key Life Domains

Tentative Intervention Plan(1000 words min)


This 3rd section is a key part of this assignment, and needs to include a broad range of academic research work in regards to the prioritized concerns you have identified from your client’s cs notes; e.g. best practice approaches when working with young people, when working with people presenting with complex abusive backgrounds and/or homelessness, with a first experience of panic attacks, into the significant impact of stigma and discrimination, and so forth.

4. Social Work Theories/Models of Practice (500words)

  • Succinctly outline key features of two social work theories/models of practice that could guide your approach to assessment and working with your chosen client and their families. e.g. Feminist theory, Crisis Intervention, Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, Anti-Oppressive Practice, and Trauma Informed practices.
  • Outline the reasons these theories/practice models could be helpful
  • Give examples of how they could be applied in practice to aspects from your chosen cs scenario

5. Ethical and Legal Implications (250 words)

Briefly discuss key ethical and legal factors that would need to be taken into account, and why?

  • Remember to link these discussions with specific aspects of your chosen case study scenario.
  • Succinctly outline the main features and 2-3 different treatment options
  • Discuss some of the key social consequences that social workers/human service workers need to be mindful of when working with clients presenting with this MH concern
  • Please remember to respectfully include the names of the individual[s] you are discussing

Final Note:

You are not being asked, nor are you qualified to make a detailed psychiatric/medical diagnosis, as such.Nonetheless, you do need to comment tentatively on any MH condition(s) your chosen client may be experiencing, based on your academic research work of key information outlined in the client’s cs notes.A sound understanding of some of the well-known indicators of a range of Mental Health disorders is a necessary aspect of good MH SW assessment practices.

Case study 1 – April aged 21 years

April is 21 years of age and recently graduated from university with an undergraduate degree.She is currently working in retail in Adelaide and has plans to return to University to do post-graduate studies.April’s mother is Indigenous and a health professional.Her father is of Anglo-Saxon ancestry and is a tradesman.She also has an older brother.April grew up in the country.She was shy in her childhood; however, she reports that her home life was ‘happy’ most of the time.However, April also says that she was bullied by other pupils about being of mixed race, and always believed that she was ‘unattractive’ and ‘fat’.April was always very close to her family during her primary schooling. She was particularly close to her mother.When at high school, April never invited friends over to her house because she was embarrassed by her mixed racial heritage.Academically, April outshone other students at high school and was elected as a student representative.Despite this, April remembers this period as being the happiest time of her life.

As she started to receive attention from boys, she described feeling extreme anxiety about how to handle their sexual advances.April tells you that one of the first times she went out with a boy, he pressured her into sex.She does not want to talk about this and says, “What happened in the past stays in the past.”During most of high school, April dated Graham.He was her first serious boyfriend.The relationship, as described by April, “was a loving one and the sex was good.”Graham and April broke up at the end of high school however because she was moving to the city for university.April moved to Adelaide and lived in a share house in the inner suburbs.April has now been dating Josh for nearly six months, but she does not feel very committed to this relationship.April states that Josh usually seems to make an effort towards supporting her, but that he often ends up putting her down, particularly about her weight.

April has been a member of a drama group for some time, but more recently she is not enjoying herself.April does not like her job; however, she is not motivated to look for other work.She describes feeling “on the edge” when she is getting ready for work or for her drama group and is starting to use all sorts of excuses to avoid going to either of them. She feels anxious when social functions are sprung on her without notice.April regularly sleeps in until the early afternoon on days she is not working.She has also lost a lot of weight.April’s friends are starting to worry about her and have noticed her weight loss.At first they complimented her on it, but now they tell her it has gone too far. April does not agree.April has also recently lost all interest in cleaning her apartment and is paying less attention to her personal appearance.She is now avoiding seeing Josh, her parents and her brother.She has also lost interest in pursuing further education.

One of April’s friends has encouraged her to seek support from a social worker at the local community health centre

Case Study 2 – Jennifer aged in her late 50s

Jennifer is in her late 50s.She is the fifth child in a family of six.Her father was a labourer and her mother was not in the paid work force.She missed a lot of school because her mother was not well – she now believes her mother struggled with poor mental health and alludes to ongoing domestic violence from her father.Jennifer was an extremely shy child and rarely had friends over to play with.She said she was not particularly close to any of her siblings, saying that they saw her as ‘weak’ and ‘unstable’ like her mother.Jennifer was also often singled out for physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father, who called her ‘stupid’ and ‘away with the fairies’. During this time she often blamed her mother for not protecting her and for not making the home a happier one.

Jennifer says that because she felt so unloved in her family, she married young, yearning for this love.She wanted to escape her family and fill the void she experienced in her own childhood. She had three children soon after.Again, Jennifer thought that she could make the loving family she missed out on.Her husband George was about 20 years her senior.He had very strong expectations about marriage and gender divisions within their relationship.He did not want Jennifer to work outside the family home but to tend to household chores, to cook and look after him and their three children.He was the decision-maker and Jennifer had to do as she was told.Although Jennifer was originally looking for love, care and support, her husband was cold, controlling and emotionally and physically abusive.Over time, Jennifer progressively became very anxious, distressed and eventually had a nervous breakdown.

During this time Jennifer often forgot to pick up the older children from school.She also started to leave her younger children at home and go wandering during the day.When Jennifer went wandering, she would also sometimes become a bit disoriented and forget how to get home.On one occasion the police picked up Jennifer in her disoriented state and took her to Glenside Hospital.At first she was detained for several days under the Mental Health Act, which was then extended a number of times. During this period in Jennifer’s life she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on anti-psychotic drugs.Eventually, she was released and allowed to return home.However, upon returning home Jennifer’s husband kicked her out with nowhere to go.This is when Jennifer started living on the streets.

As a homeless person for many years, Jennifer was in and out of homeless shelters continuously.But, more often than not, she roughed it out-doors on the streets.She had a few more involuntary admissions to Glenside under the Mental Health Act over these years but otherwise was able to survive on her own living on the streets. Since living on and off the streets for so long Jennifer unfortunately lost touch with her children, now all adults.She does not know if they are now married or if they have any children of their own. Jennifer has also not kept in contact with any members of her Family of Origin.She doesn’t even know if her parents are still alive, whether any of her siblings have families of their own or where they are living now.

Jennifer has been referred by a women’s centre to a supported community housing program.

The vision is to offer Jennifer a unit of her own and to implement continual supervision and support.

Case Study 3 – Henry aged 19 years

Henry is nineteen years old and living with his parents and a younger sister, Caitlin, who is sixteen years old.Henry’s father is a tradesman and his mother is a teacher.He was studying an Engineering degree but has very recently dropped out of his studies.He had until recently also been working in a part-time job at the local supermarket.

Henry has stated that he is currently having problems with his concentration which is part of the reason why he has dropped out of his studies.He also came to dread going to university because he started having what he believes were panic attacks in lectures and tutorials.Some days, he had to leave class suddenly, as he felt so embarrassed and ashamed about these panic attacks, fearful that other students might have noticed.Now he feels he cannot go to university at all and has recently dropped most of his studies.He was still going to work at the supermarket up until a fortnight ago and had been socialising with some of the other young people who also work there, saying he generally feels more comfortable with them than with the students at university.

Not a lot is known about Henry’s home life; although he has mentioned to some of his close friends that his parents’ relationship is very conflicted, with lots of fights and verbal abuse occurring over many years in their relationship.He has at times tried to intervene, but his parents then turn their anger on to him.He has also told his best friend that it is his Dad who wanted him to do engineering, not him.He felt pressured to achieve high marks in this course and earn a high income.He says that his sister seems less pressured by their parents than him, perhaps because she is the younger one.Henry says he wants to get away from home, but the recent panic attacks terrify him and he does not earn enough money to pay rent or support himself.A couple of weeks ago, Henry had another panic attack at the supermarket where he works.His supervisor noticed something was wrong and took him aside.Henry broke down and explained his difficulties to the supervisor who then rang his parents.Since then, Henry has not been able to return to work and is not seeing his friends from the supermarket either.He feels very frightened and confused about what to do.

You are a mental health worker and Henry has his first appointment with you

He has been referred to you by his GP.

Henry’s father will be bringing Henry to the appointment

and has said that he will wait in the waiting area while Henry sees you.

Assignment 2 – Reflective Learning Journal (2,250 words)

In order to complete this assignment you need to attend all of the workshops; be actively involved in the large and small group discussions; as well as keeping up-to-date with the weekly readings and other online material.

Key Aspects

  • There are four sections; each with a number of individual questions in each section
    • all questions in each section to be answered in full
  • Minimum of 10-12 academic sources in total for all four sections of this journal
    • One end ‘References’ list only needed of academic sources for all four sections
  • Assignment to be set out using the four key headings outlined below; ok to use sub-headings for each separate question also if you want to
  • Normal 3rd person academic language to be used in Sections 1, 3 and 4
  • 1st person language for your own personal reflections in Section 2
  • Dot points or any other indented or numberedwork is not to be used in this assignment


1.Models of mental health(750 words)

(a)Outline the key features of the medical model of mental illness also highlighting its main strengths and weaknesses.

(b) Outline the key features of a bio-psycho-social model approach; again, also highlighting its main strengths and weaknesses.

(c) Choose one mental health problem (e.g. anxiety, depression, schizophrenia).

2. Lived experiences of mental health problems (400 words)

Identify and discuss’ three different key points that stood out for you in listening to either of the guest speakers and/or to individuals speaking in the SANE films in the course e-reader

  • listed under the title of ‘Streamed Video File’in the e-reader
  • Give clear reasons why these three different points stood out for you and how you could take each of these three points into account when working as a human service worker in the field of mental health.

3. Practice skills in engagement and assessment (400 words)

  • Discuss key engagement practice skills when working with clients in the area of MH Social Work.
  • Discuss your understanding of effective and respectful assessment practices in MH Social Work.

4. Working with diverse population groups

Choose a specific population group (e.g. young people, rural populations, older people).

(a) Succinctly outline the main mental health problems facing your chosen population group; drawing on relevant academic research work (150 words)

(b) Discuss a population approach to mental health targeting this group. (550 words)

This discussion to include attention to the three different PA intervention levels; namely:-

  • primary level interventions – including health promotion & prevention strategies
  • secondary level interventions – including early detection and early intervention strategies
  • tertiary level interventions – to do with more direct and acute care client practices/rehabilitation

Briefly outline your understanding of these three PA intervention levels; give some specific examples of how they could be applied to the mental health problems facing your chosen population group.