Applying quality of life in mental health social work practice


  • Kathy Martindale A Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland, School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work.
  • Ross Phillips Director of Inclusion Solutions, based in Auckland.



health social work, mental health social work, mental health, social work practice, quality of life indicators, subjective wellbeing,


The use of Quality of Life (QOL) indicators has become increasingly common in health and social services. This article proposes a framework to strengthen mental health social work practice by outlining subjective wellbeing, a component of the QOL construct. Following a discussion on the current policy influences on mental health service provision in Aotearoa New Zealand the QOL construct is outlined. The application of a QOL framework to mental health social work practice draws parallels between QOL principles and the current mental health philosophies of recovery, social inclusion and community care. The authors maintain that a focus on applying QOL in mental health social work will see its contribution to the mental health sector enhanced and its role and function more clearly described.


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How to Cite

Martindale, K., & Phillips, R. (2009). Applying quality of life in mental health social work practice. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(4), 55–63.