Shared Care - Working Together for a Healthier Australia
Health Professional


Click on to a profession in one of the segments in the schematic below to see the services which may be provided by the selected health care professional to assist patients undergoing stroke recovery.

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Mental Health Social Workers

What does a Mental Health Social Worker do?

Mental health social workers work with individuals with mental disorders to resolve associated psychosocial problems and with families in which mental health problems exist in connection with social problems, such as family distress, unemployment, disability, poverty and trauma.  They work with issues such as depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, suicidal thoughts, relationship problems, adjustment issues, trauma and family conflicts.


Mental health social workers provide a range of evidence-based interventions, which focus on achieving solutions, including:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Relation strategies
  • Skills training
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Family therapy
  • Narrative therapy

Mental health social workers interventions include:

  • Detailed psychosocial assessment identifying the connections between mental health problems and complex social contexts
  • Assessment of the mental illness and its impact on the life of individuals and their families
  • Working with individuals, families, groups and communities to find solutions to mental health problems
  • Working cooperatively as part of multidisciplinary teams
  • Working within the guidelines of a professional code of ethics, practice standards and legal framework for practice

Medicare Eligibility

To be eligible to provide services under the Medicare chronic disease management items, a mental health social worker must be a ‘member’ of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and be accredited by AASW as meeting the standards for mental health set out in AASW’s ‘Practice Standards for Mental Health Social Workers' (2008).


Accredited mental health social workers complete a four-year Bachelors Degree, or a qualifying Masters Degree, and require a minimum of two years supervised social work practice in a mental health or related field.



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