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University of Toronto

The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness

University of Toronto via Coursera


Learn how social factors promote mental health, influence the onset and course of mental illness, and affect how mental illnesses are diagnosed and treated.

This course explores how our understanding of mental health and illness has been influenced by social attitudes and social developments in North America and around the world. The course begins by situating our contemporary mental health practices in historical context, then looks at different aspects of mental health, mental illness and mental health services and their connections to what’s going on in our social environment.


  • Welcome and A Brief History of Madness
    • We begin with a quick orientation to the course and continue with our first lecture topic: A brief history of madness.
  • What is mental health and what causes mental illness?
  • The social context of diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses
  • Culture, mental health and mental illness
  • Families, caregiving and mental illness
  • society, communities and mental health

Taught by

Charmaine Williams


2.7 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 503 ratings

Start your review of The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness

  • Kevin Kingma

    Kevin Kingma completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This course is a sociologist's view of mental illness and health care from past to present time, but mostly focused on the instructor's Canadian experience. There are some interesting insights from this perspective, however, the course needs work t…
  • كل واحد حر في اختيار اة من يريد الحفظ في أنتم يوم من الايام يكون في أنتم يوم من الايام يكون في أنتم يوم من الايام
  • Profile image for Liz Vladimir
    Liz Vladimir

    Liz Vladimir completed this course.

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