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What is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?


Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are registered providers with Medicare Australia. They have been assessed on behalf of the Commonwealth Government by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) as having specialist mental health expertise.


An Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) is eligible to provide services through the Commonwealth-funded Better Access to Mental Health Care and Chronic Diseases Management (Enhanced Primary Care) programs. Social workers are also providers in the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program. Accredited Mental Health Social Workers have a breadth of experience in assessing and treating people who have mental health disorders, for example people with:


  • Depression and other mood disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Psychosis

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Relationship problems

  • Life crises

  • Adjustment issues

  • Trauma

  • Family conflicts


Accredited Mental Health Social Workers help individuals to resolve their presenting psychological problems, the associated social and other environmental problems, and improve their quality of life. This may involve family as well as individual counselling, and group therapy. Social workers recognise the broader implications of an individual having a mental illness and the impact on friends, family, work and education.”

Like other allied health professionals, such as psychologists, Accredited Mental Health Social Workers use a range of interventions in helping people with mental health disorders, including the following focused psychological strategies:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

  • Behavioural interventions

  • Cognitive interventions

  • Relaxation strategies

  • Skills training

  • Problem solving

  • Social skills

  • Stress management

  • Parenting skills

  • Interpersonal therapy

  • Psycho-education (including Motivational Interviewing)

  • Narrative therapy

  • Anger management



If you think that you would like to study Social Work you may contact the AASW to learn more about your options. 

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