Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Interdisciplinary Approaches to Mental Well-Being

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty for Social Wellbeing

DESCRIPTION The unit will be given mostly through lectures and an observation placement that will bring students into contact with perspectives, practices as well as proponents from the various professional and occupational and disciplines and of other actors and stakeholders in the mental health field. These will include, with different levels of intensity, activists, carers, community action, counselling, medicine, music therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, psychiatry, psychology, users, youth studies; as well as users and carers, administration and management, planning and policymaking, law and human rights, architectural and security aspects, literature and media, politics and activism.

A placement in a mental health intervention or action setting will also offer the engaged observation of practice, without the taking up of active professional roles. Emphasis will be on understanding what is happening and engaging with members of other professions than the student’s, through observation, shadowing, being present in case discussions and intervention, and similar contact. The experience will comprise a number of pre-specified observation and reflection tasks, which may include input into an assignment or presentation.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to give the students a holistic insight into mental health challenges and the way they are understood and tackled by a broad range of disciplines and actors, which the course gives them exposure to. It aims to enable students qualified in the various professions to practice in the mental health field with the respect, appropriateness and effectiveness that is made possible by this insight. Though being an interprofessional experience and through their learning about interprofessionality, it aims to enable them to exercise a high level of interprofessional cooperation. Through conceptual and observational learning, it aims to give them a grasp of the basic methods of activity, both common and particular to specific professions and actors, that will enable them to effectively and sensitively exercise engagement, assessment, intervention, good management, advocacy and support, in ways that are appropriate for their profession, with service users experiencing a wide range of mental health challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Appreciate and use the notion of interdisciplinarity, as a bridging of various knowledge and professional viewpoints in understanding and responding to mental health issues, combating the dangers of restricted theoretical and practical approaches;
- Achieve a cognitive, emotional and practical grasp of the related theoretical, practical and professional disciplines and of their main methods of intervention in generic mental health;
- Achieve a high level of integration in the grasp of viewpoints and approaches associated with different disciplines, while being able to tolerate and responsibly face ambiguities and incoherences that might remain;
- Appreciate and use the holism that can be achieved through interdisciplinary perspectives in the service all-round well-being, particularly of the vulnerable, as top criterion of good practice amid competing views and interests;
- Think and discuss in a way that can progressively promote interdisciplinary dialogue, good practice and continuing service improvement.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Engage and practice with and for persons encountering mental health issues and members of their formal and informal helping networks in an empathic, committed, understanding, competent and effective manner, enriched by interdisciplinary perspectives and good practices;
- Exercise their profession’s activities in ways enlightened by their improved interdisciplinary knowledge, while communicating and cooperating with other professionals and other actors through understanding, supporting, enhancing and complementing their work, referring, informing and dialoguing as appropriate and in a wise, critical, responsible and effective manner;
- Apply the same understanding that widens their professional viewpoint, to exercise good practice, promoting good settings and environments, good management and policy and good relations in society so as to help improve the prevention, cure and recovery, as well as experience of mental health challenges and the promotion of mental health and well-being in individuals and society.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Essential texts

Slade,M. (2009). Personal Recovery and Mental Illness: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (Values-Based Practice). UK: Cambridge University Press.
Falloon, I & Fadden, G. (1993). Integrated Mental Health Care. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Fu Keung Wong, D. (2006). Clinical case management for people with mental illness. New York: Haworth Press.
D'Ardenne,P.(2013). Counselling in Transcultural Settings, Priorities for a Restless World. UK: Library of Congress.
Audrey Leathard, A. (2003). Interprofessional collaboration. Canada/USA: Routeledge.
Perkins, R & Repper, J. (1998). Dilemmas in Community Mental Health Practices. USA: CRC Press.
Barnes, C. & Mercer, G.(2010). Disability. USA: Polity Press.
Canda, E. & Furman, L. (2009). Spiritual diversity in social work practice. New York: Oxford.
Vyt, A. (2009). Exploring quality assurance for interprofessional education in health and social care. USA: Garant Uitgevers NV.

Supplementary texts

Williams, P. Collaboration in Public Policy and Practice. UK: Policy Press.
Quinney, A. (2006). Collaborative social work practice. UK: Learning Matters.
Ovretveit, J. (1993). Coordinating community care. UK: Open University Press.
Bryant, W. (2014). Creek's Occupational Therapy and Mental Health (Occupational Therapy Essentials). UK: Churchill Livingstone.
Summers, N. (2015). Fundamentals of Case management Practice. UK: Library of Congress.
Cohen, C. & and Timimi, S. (2008). Liberatory Psychiatry. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Read, J. (2013). Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Book Series). USA: Routeledge.
Barbara, W. (2016). Music Therapy Handbook. UK: Guilford Press.
Trickey-Rokenbrod, D. (2016). Occupational Therapy in Action: A Library of Case Studies. UK: Lippincoot Williams & Wilkins.
Barker, P. (2006). Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. The craft of caring. USA: Routeledge.
Castonguay, L. (2016). Psychopathology: From Science to Clinical Practice. New York: Guilford Press.
Bodenheimer, D. (2015). Real World Clinical Social Work. USA: New Social Work Press.
Repper, J. & Perkins, R. (2003). Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice. UK: Bailliere Tindall.
Morris, K. (ed) (2008). Social Work and multi-agency working. UK: Policy Press.
Thyer, B. & Woldarski, J. (2007). Social Work in Mental Health, an evidence-based approach. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Bentley, K. (2001). Social Work Practice in Mental Health. USA: Brooks Cole.
Spirituality: the human dimension in care in Baldacchino, D. & Ross, L.: Proceedings, 3rd international student's conference organised by The Nursing and Midwifery Studies. Malta: University of Malta.
Andrews, M. & Boyle, J. (2015). Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care. USA:Lippincott Williams and Wilkins .

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Placement and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 40%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 40%

LECTURER/S Andrew Azzopardi
Paul A. Bartolo
John M. Cachia
David Cassar
Maria Daniela Farrugia
Elena Felice
Paulann Grech
Charles Pace (Co-ord.)
Alexei Sammut
Kristina Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.