Mental Health and Wellbeing: Impact & Coping Case Study Essay Question and Guide

 Significant life events shape our mental and physical health, demanding a comprehensive analysis for effective coping and resilience.

MOD009203 Report Question

Mental health and wellbeing report Guide.

Case study

Mark divorced 5 years ago and has an acrimonious relationship with his ex-wife and teenage children who are 13, 17, and 19 years of age. Mark recently re- married and his new wife is expecting a baby due in five months' time. Unknown to his family and acquaintances, Mark was told a month ago that he was going to be made redundant from his job as an accountant. Mark often meets a group of friends where they routinely drink at the local pub – in addition Mark has begun drinking alone at home in recent months.

In a report format, answer the following questions:


  1. Identify two determinants of mental health and discuss how they could have an impact on mental health. (20 marks)
  1. Identify two significant life events Mark is experiencing and using an appropriate theory analyse how these events could have an influence on Mark’s physical and mental health and others in his social For example, his current wife and children. (40 marks)
  1. Identify two coping mechanism strategies that could be used to support Mark and analyse how they can help to build his resilience and help him to understand and cope with his (30 marks)

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  1. Identify and discuss factors which can influence an individual’s mental health (LO1)
  1. Analyse how significant life events may impact on individuals and their social (LO2) networks.
  2. Analyse the ways in which resilience is developed and how it links to coping mechanisms which may be exhibited by an individual/groups. (LO3)

Student Essay Writing Guide for Mental Health and Wellbeing Case Study

Understanding the Case Study: Begin by thoroughly reading the case study of Mark. Understand the complexities of his situation, including his divorce, familial relationships, impending redundancy, and changes in his drinking habits. Consider these factors as potential determinants of Mark's mental health.

Answering the Essay Questions:

  1. Determinants of Mental Health:

    • Research and identify two key determinants of mental health that are relevant to Mark's scenario. These could be social, economic, psychological, or environmental factors.
    • Discuss the impact of these determinants on mental health, drawing on theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence. Utilize resources like 'Social Determinants of Mental Health' by Crompton and Shim to support your analysis.
  2. Significant Life Events:

    • Identify two major life events Mark is undergoing. Apply a psychological theory, such as stress and coping theory, to analyse their potential impact on both his physical and mental health, as well as the ripple effect on his family.
    • Look for literature that specifically addresses the influence of significant life events on wellbeing, such as 'Health Psychology: a biopsychosocial approach' by Anisman, to provide a deep dive into how these events can affect an individual.
  3. Coping Mechanisms and Resilience:

    • Suggest two coping strategies that could support Mark. These may include behavioural, cognitive, or social approaches to managing stress.
    • Analyse how these strategies can contribute to building resilience, referencing material such as 'Mental Health Resilience and the Recession in Bradford' for insights into resilience in the face of life challenges.
    • Discuss how understanding and applying these strategies can help Mark cope with his current situation.

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Structuring Your Essay:

  • Introduction (Approximately 300 words): Introduce Mark's case, the importance of addressing mental health, and outline the structure of your essay.

  • Body (Approximately 1400 words):

    • Break down each section by addressing the determinants, significant life events, and coping mechanisms in separate subsections.
    • Use evidence-based arguments, incorporating studies and literature to substantiate your points.
  • Conclusion (Approximately 300 words):

    • Summarize the key findings from your essay.
    • Conclude with a reflective statement on the importance of holistic care that integrates both physical and mental health needs in nursing practice.

Research and Referencing:

  • Conduct thorough research using the indicative reading list and other scholarly sources.
  • Ensure all arguments are backed by recent and credible academic sources.
  • Cite your sources using the appropriate referencing style as specified by your institution.

Editing and Reviewing:

  • After completing your draft, review it for coherence, flow, and adherence to the word count.
  • Check for grammatical accuracy and ensure that all sources are correctly cited.
  • Consider submitting a draft for feedback if your institution offers this option.

By following this guide, you can develop a nuanced essay that not only addresses the case study questions but also demonstrates a deep understanding of the interplay between various determinants of mental health and their impact on an individual's life.

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Anisman, H. (2021) Health Psychology: a biopsychosocial approach, 2nd Edition.-, London, Sage Publications.

Crompton, Micheal T, and Shim, Ruth (2014) Social Determinants of Mental Health, 1st Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, USA

McDowal, Ian (2023), Understanding Health Determinants: Explanatory theories for social epidemiology, 1st Edition, Springer Cham

Ogden, Jane (2023), Health Psychology, 7th Edition, Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Thompson, Neil (2019), Mental health and well-being: Alternatives to the medical model, 1st Edition, New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Other academic sources

Cohen, Sheldon, Murphey, Michael, and Prather, Aric (2019) Ten Surprising facts about stressful life events and disease risk, Annual Review of Psychology, 70: 577-

  1. Available from: Ten Surprising Facts About Stressful Life Events and Disease Risk | Annual Review of Psychology ( [Accessed 22/8/2023]

Gianfranco Giuntoli et al. (2011) Mental Health Resilience and the recession in Bradford, London, Joseph Rountree Foundation

MgGregor, Brian and Holden, Kisha (2014) ‘Unemployment, underemployment and job security’ , Crompton,Michael and Shim, Ruth (eds) in The Social Determinants of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Publishing pp 99-119.

World Health Organisation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. (2014), Social Determinants of Mental Health, Geneva World Health Organisation.

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