SSW373 - Selected Issues: Mental Health

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:54:47.865
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:54:59.488

Subject Title
Selected Issues: Mental Health

Subject Description
Mental Health is a significant health and social issue, with profound economic, social, political and personal consequences.  This course will provide a framework for understanding the fundamental concepts in mental health and mental illness.  We will examine a number of key domains in the mental health field, including: underlying theories of stigma, terminology and the range of diagnosis, pharmacology, intervention, policy, and the consumer/survivor movement.  We will examine treatment issues in working with a number of diverse populations.  Students will gain an overview of the scope of the mental health field and its relevance to social service work and child and youth care.

Credit Status
One credit in the Social Service Worker Diploma program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

• Differentiate between mental health and mental illness;
• Define key concepts in the mental health field;
• Identify key mental health statistics in Canada;
• Identify available mental health services in Ontario;
• Examine the seven most prevalent mental health diagnoses;
• Identify treatment modalities for mental illness;
• Analyze the stigma associated with mental health in Canada; and
• Recognize the principles for good mental health and self-awareness.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

All module 3 subjects

This subject will provide students with the basic knowledge to critically analyze factors contributing to issues of mental health; understand fundamental concepts, terminology and the range of diagnosis; understand the impact of stigma that hinders seeking help and/or access to services; learn about harm reduction strategies; and identify the existing service delivery, their gaps and overlaps for the purpose of referral. This subject  will also identify the strengths and resiliencies in coping and responding to mental health issues.

Topic Outline

  1. Definition of Mental Health and Mental Illness
  2. Mental Health in Canada: The Impact and Stigma
  3. Terminology and Range of Diagnosis
  4. Mental Health Issues with Adults
  5. Mental Health Issues with Children
  6. Personality Disorders
  7. Eating Disorders
  8. Problematic Substance Abuse
  9. Treatment Modalities
  10. Aboriginal Mental Health Health and Well Being
  11. Mental Health and Self Awareness

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, group discussion and exercises, experiential exercises, role-plays, readings, films/videos, guest lecture.

Prescribed Texts
Mental Health Social Work Practice in Canada: 2nd Edition 2014
By Cheryl Regehr, Graham D. Glancy, Oxford University Press, ISBN#9780199001194

1.  Selected Articles throughout the semester
2.  Online Text:     

Reference Material
A Writer's Resource, 3rd edition
by Maimon, Peritz, Rubens, McGraw Hill, ISBN#9780070685840

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Mental Health Agency Assignment 25%
Case Study 35%
Final Exam 40%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble