Community Practice: Mental Health

Applied Community Studies
Community Social Service Work
Course Code
CSSW 2363
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course explores the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills required to understand mental illness and promote recovery of individuals in the community who have mental disorders. Students will have opportunities to explore the nature of mental illness through the eyes of individuals who have experienced mental health problems. Students will learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of mental illness. Community resources and an overview of mental health services will be discussed together with an exploration of the role of social service worker in working with persons who have mental disorders.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Values, attitudes and beliefs influence our interactions with people with mental disorders.
  • A basic understanding of current classifications and treatments for mental illness helps to develop values and attitudes that support recovery.
  • Social networks promote wellness and are needed by those whose illness may separate them from others. 
  • Professional development and wellness initiatives strengthen effective worker performance.
  • A basic knowledge of provincial mental health services will facilitate the worker being able to negotiate with and advocate for individuals needing their services.
  • Despite the challenges of living with a mental disorder, people possess inherent capacity and resiliency that can be mobilized for change.  Strength based approaches are essential for supporting this process.
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Group work
  • Guest Speakers
  • Use of multimedia resources
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.  Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Examinations
  • Research papers
  • Participation
  • Attendance

 This is a letter graded course

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas the student will be able to:

  1. Knowledge of Mental Health/Illness
    • demonstrate an understanding of historical and current social attitudes that have led to the stigmatization of people with mental disorders
    • demonstrate awareness of the social determinants of health and the effect that they may have on recovery from mental illness
    • demonstrate an understanding of the types and key characteristics of mental illness
    • demonstrate an understanding of the current DSM diagnostic system and its benefits/limitations   
    • identify the major treatment approaches and techniques for working with people who have mental disorders
    • demonstrate an understanding of the impact of mental illness on individuals, family and society
    • demonstrate understanding of the cultural variables associated with the assessment and treatment of mental disorders
    • demonstrate an awareness of the major challenges for persons with mental disorders (e.g., stigmatization, medication side effects, marginalization, decreased mental capacity)
    • demonstrate awareness of major medications  and their side effects
  2. Knowledge of the Mental Health System
    • demonstrate knowledge the mental health service system and legislation in Canada and B.C., including the roles of related professionals
    • identify  housing options
    • discuss client and family empowerment initiatives
    • demonstrate a basic knowledge of current and future directions in mental health policy
Textbook Materials





No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC SSWK 257 (3) 2012/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.