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the impact of a mental health problem on an individual

To enable you to recognise, and respond appropriately to different mental health problems regardless of your practice setting.


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You will consider the impact of context on your social work practice and on the person with the mental health problem. You will explore the role of psychiatric diagnosis, social understandings of mental health problems, and the influence of values, ideology, religious and spiritual beliefs. In particular, you will be asked to consider how you can forge meaningful partnerships with people with mental health problems and their families and engage with their lived experience.

Background and rationale

Regardless of the setting in which you work after completion of your course, it is inevitable that you will be working with people with mental health issues. As such, it is important to have an understanding of how mental health problems may manifest and how best to respond. Your social work response will have an impact on the people you work with and strongly impact upon your capacity to be an ethical and effective practitioner. The assessment task directly assesses this knowledge.

Assessment Task 3: Individual written case study   1700 words.

This task provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your deepening knowledge of the impact of a mental health problem on an individual and those around him/her; your capacity to make effective use of the relevant literature and your skills in critical reflection. It requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of the key elements of a social work assessment, formulate an intervention plan and articulate principles of ethical practice.  It allows us to evaluate your capacity to engage and intervene ethically with a person experiencing a mental health problem and his/her family.

To prepare for the assessment you are encouraged to:

  • Examine and combine multiple sources of information to create a rich understanding of each of the mental health problems examined;
  • Locate and examine credible descriptions of mental health problems and effective interventions;
  • Read widely to explore the impact of the social work response and context of practice on intervention options and effectiveness for the individual;
  • Locate and examine a job description for the social work position you have selected for the assessment;
  • Source information about the context of your practice e.g. hospital, school and identify the relevant legislation that is likely to impact upon social work practice in that workplace; and
  • Identify legislation relevant to people with mental health problems and pay particular attention to involuntary treatment and guardianship……………..
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