Power and Ethics in Mental Health Social Work Practice

Power and Ethics in Mental Health Social Work Practice

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Power and Ethics in Mental Health Social Work Practice - 2 x 2-hour

About this event

This is a free event is for Social Workers only who work in the PUBLIC clinical mental health workforce in Victoria, (staff employed at Area Mental Health Services, Forensicare or mental health staff from RCH). Please note, if you do register for an event and it is not clear you are part of the intended audience, your registration will be confirmed two weeks prior to the event start date, or earlier.

This is a 2 x 2-hour training. Participants are required to register and attend both sessions. Please ensure you register only if you are able to attend both sessions.

Join Simon Katterl and Natasha Swingler to deeply explore concepts of power and powerlessness as it relates to ethical and effective mental health social work practice. These sessions are designed to allow participants to identify and deeply reflect on their own power and privilege within the mental health system and consider ways in which human rights frameworks can and should be applied to practice. More specifically, these sessions have been designed to assist participants not only develop a greater understanding of power and human rights in practice but also take away tangible approaches to work with and redress power imbalances in order to support more fair and humane mental health services in Victoria.

The session will leave participants with:

• An understanding on power as it relates to mental health

• An understanding of why and how consumers might enter into the mental health system without power

• The capacity to identify their own power and privilege, including as it relates to the mental health system and consumers

• Specific strategies that they can use to identify, work with and redress power

Delivery Mode – 2 x 2-hour sessions


Simon Katterl is a consumer workforce member who has worked in community development, advocacy, regulation, and law reform. Simon’s work is grounded in his lived experience of mental health issues, as well as his studies in law, politics, psychology and regulation. Simon has worked at several legal, consumer and human rights agencies as well as the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. Simon’s research has focused on human rights breaches, consumer workforce rights, and regulatory oversight processes.

Natasha (Tash) Swingler (She/Her) is an emerging consumer/survivor leader with experience in governance, law, consumer participation and advocacy. She is passionate about reforming the human rights breaches of the mental health system, and working alongside her clinical colleagues to ensure better outcomes for all consumers, survivors and ex-patients. She is currently the Lived Experience Lead at the Royal Children’s Hospital