SWH 311 Mental Health and Social Work 2019

SWH 311 Mental Health and Social Work 2019

Assignment Two


This final assessment is a critical evidence-informed essay of 2,000 words (plus or minus 10 per cent). The word count excludes references.

National practice standards for the mental health workforce


Carefully read the relevant quote then critically analyse and discuss. Additional prompts for each question have been provided. Please write in third person and not first person as this is not a reflective piece. You are required to write a critical academic essay. QUT CiteWrite has some good resources on essay writing and critical analysis.

You are to critically examine and discuss the issues that arise from the quote. You do not need to source the quote or repeat the quote; just think critically and deeply about the issues that emerge from this quote. The quote is there to prompt your written response that forms an evidence-informed critical essay. You need to use quality, contemporary academic references and relevant grey literature, using the APA7 referencing conventions, as per QUT CiteWrite. In-text referencing is very important. Avoid soft sources such as fact sheets or websites. Students need to be aware of the QUT policy in regard to academic honesty (plagiarism). Please only use the APA7 referencing conventions.

This assignment must be written in Times Roman 12 font, use 1.5 spacing and please leave a standard margin. A coversheet should be used, including identification of the number of words (excluding references). You should also insert the marking criteria in landscape format. If you do not know how to do this, please contact the IT through HiQ for advice.

Your essay must be submitted in word format, not a PDF. Please make sure that you put your name and student number on a cover page AND in the header or footer of the actual document you lodge via Blackboard.

Topic Three:     Human Rights and Mental Illness

In Australia, the most authoritative legal document in relation to the rights of people with disability, including people living with mental illness, is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). This Convention re-affirms that all people with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights, and fundamental freedoms. In 2013, the UN Rapporteur on Torture, suggested involuntary treatment and detention, in the context of the UNCRPD, could be conceptualised as torture and was inhumane; calling on a ban of all forced mental health treatment.   

National practice standards for the mental health workforce

Critically discuss this statement with regards to the voluntary and involuntary treatment of people living with mental illness; and their human rights. Consider community understanding and responses to the human rights of people living with mental illness in Australia. Examine with a critical lens what may facilitate or create barriers to the human rights of people living with mental illness? Critically discuss your views with consideration to roles of social workers, and with specific reference to the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Practice Standards for Mental Health Social Workers (2014), the AASW Code of Ethics (2010), and relevant contemporary literature.


United Nations (2007), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html

United Nations (2013),  Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, UN: Geneva. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A.HRC.22.53_English.pdf

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Practice Standards for Mental Health Social Workers (2014),

the AASW Code of Ethics (2010),

  • Accredited mental health social work in Australia : a reality check in Australian Social Work
  • Maylea, C. (2017). A rejection of involuntary treatment in mental health social work. Ethics and Social Welfare, 11 (4), 336-52.Meehan, T. & Steadman, T.  (2012). Trends in the use of Emergency Examination Orders in Queensland since the implementation of the Mental Health Intervention Project., Australasian Psychiatry 20 (4) pp.287 – 290. 

– Bland R., Renouf N, and Tullgren A. (2015). Chapter 3: Concepts and Issues in Mental Health, pp. 43-76, IN Social Work Practice in Mental Health. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. NB 2009 first edition is OK.