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Curriculum guide – Mental health and distress

Good mental health has been defined as ‘a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’ (WHO (2010)1). Social work aims to promote ‘social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance wellbeing’ ( This guide is intended for social work educators tasked with delivering teaching on mental health, for those teaching other areas to think how issues of mental health and distress intersect, and for course directors.