Mental Health Literacy and Social Work Education


  • Jennifer Martin RMIT University


Mental health literacy, Social Work mental health education, Youth mental health


The aim of this article is to investigate the relevance of mental health literacy for social work education by presenting the findings of a three-stage study conducted in 2014. In Stage 1, the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) mental health literacy course was mapped against the mental health curricula required for social work degree programs accredited by the professional body, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). During Stage 2, a scoping study was undertaken to ascertain what Mental Health First Aid courses were being taught in social work and human service programs across Australia. Survey responses from bachelor and master’s social work students commenting on the newness and relevance of the YMHFA course content are presented in Stage 3. The results of this study suggest that coursework in mental health literacy is of benefit to social work students and that the YMHFA course meets a considerable amount of the AASW required content. It is concluded that studies in mental health literacy provide social work students with a strong basic foundation in mental health knowledge, values and skills.

Author Biography

Jennifer Martin, RMIT University

School of Global Urban and Social Studies RMIT University, Melbourne


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