A youth clasping hands with another indivdual in a gym promoting UCalgary Faculty of Social Work Master of Social Work Clinical Specialization Community Informed Practice

Community-Informed Practice for Health & Well-being

A holistic approach to supporting mental health

Questioning the medicalized, diagnostic approach to mental health?

This Clinical Social Work specialization invites you to take a step back and question the dominant medicalized framework by considering more holistic and community informed approaches to supporting mental health. Coursework emphasizes conceptual and clinical skills to prevent illness and promote health and well-being. 

This specialization focuses on a more holistic approach to mental health. You'll learn theory while developing your skills and better informing your practice working with a variety of groups and communities that could include: Indigenous communities, the settlement sector, the LGBTQ2S+ community, the disability community, those affected by disaster, and more. The courses will also inform social workers involved in community and policy development.

How we can, in some way, disentangle ourselves, or liberate ourselves from fully subscribing to the current, medically dominated view of mental health? it's incumbent upon social workers to critically analyze the way we engage with or challenge the dominant models of practice.

Dr. Richard Enns a researcher and professor with University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work's Edmonton campus

Dr. Rick Enns, PhD

Researcher, Professor and Instructor for Community-Informed Practice

Rick Enns has over 30 years experience in psychiatric settings, here's why he led the creation of this specialization. Find out more

What will I learn? Your Courses

The courses emphasize micro, mezzo and macro-level interventions that are informed by feminist, critical, structural and postcolonial theories.  You'll learn advanced clinical practice skills in a variety of community settings that are defined by geography, membership or experience. Some community settings you'll study could include Indigenous, refugee, LGBTQ2+, disability and racialized communities, as well as post-disaster, and occupational and workplace communities. 


Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives for Community-based Health and Wellness

An examination and critique of current and diagnostically-driven models of practice for health and well-being and consideration of alternative and community-based approaches informed by feminist, critical structural and postcolonial theories, as well transcultural and critical health and psychiatry perspectives.

Community-based Practice Models and Clinical Assessment for Community-based Health and Wellness

An examination of community-based health and wellness approaches including peer-support and recovery approaches, community-development approaches, social determinants of health and well-being, and social policy frameworks.

Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches I

Along with Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches II, this course will focus on requisite understandings and skills for community-based health and wellness in at least two diverse contexts including, but not limited to immigrant and refugee, post-disaster, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, disability, and racialized communities or contexts.

Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches II

Along with Community-based Health and Wellness Approaches I, this course will focus on requisite understandings and skills for community-based health and wellness practice in at least two diverse contexts not covered in SOWK 614 and including but not limited to immigrant and refugee, post-disaster, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, disability, and racialized communities or contexts.