Department of Sociology

Kurt Cousins, MD

M.D., University of North Carolina

Assistant Professor of Instruction



H S 340 • Valuing Mental Health

29550 • Spring 2020
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM RLP 0.108

Please check back for updates.

H S 340 • Valuing Mental Health

29524 • Spring 2019
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM RLP 0.108

Please check back for updates.

SOC 321K • Valuing Mental Health

45392 • Fall 2017
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM CLA 0.122


Students will learn how to value health in general and mental health specifically. We will compare and contrast notions of health and illness; non-communicable disease and mental illness; and relative valuations in health and mental health. To this end, students will debate mental health policy, design a universal health care basket of benefits, and draft a short legislative-style position paper.

Using plays, poems, songs, videos and short stories, we will explore personal accounts of illness and disability and compare them to societal (and cultural) beliefs about health.  We will then assess the ethical implications and economic ramifications of these beliefs on valuing health (and secondarily on health behaviors, interventions, and policies). Through our work valuing mental health, students will acquire a lasting framework to develop sound, sensitive, and defensible opinions about mental health.

Lectures and reference materials -- readings selected from the medical, epidemiology, and public health literature – provide students with support for their work in this course broadly and our discussion of valuing mental health specifically. Readings and in class video clips, posters, and infographics will be used to stimulate discussion.

Required Texts

Hausman, D. M. (2015). Valuing health: well-being, freedom, and suffering. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Course readings also include plays, poems, short stories, book chapters, and journal articles, available on Canvas. Course videos include plays, skits and films, made available by the Professor.

Grading Policy

Legislative-style position paper (30%),

Debate (25%),

Design of UHC health benefits package (25%),

four quizzes (20%), 


Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086