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AMHSWs are experts in complexity, new report published today says

Published: 21 March 2019

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) provide a vital service to those experiencing mental health disorders according to its new report Accredited Mental Health Social Workers: Qualifications, Skills and Experience.

AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This report will be an important resource in the Association’s advocacy for greater recognition of AMHSWs under Medicare, other programs, and private health funds.

“In documenting the breadth of skills and experience, high standard of qualification of AMHSWs, this report demonstrates that AMHSWs are truly experts in complexity.”

AMHSWs are one of the few designated allied health professional groups eligible to provide private mental health services to people with diagnosable mental health conditions or people ‘at risk’ of developing mental health conditions under the Commonwealth Medicare initiative.

There are currently more than 2,200 AMHSWs working across major cities, regional, rural and remote regions. As a group of providers, AMHSWs are the second largest after the combined group of Clinical Psychologists and Registered Psychologists.

This report provides an overview of the skills, knowledge and services provided by AMHSWs, and is based on extensive analysis of AASW data, including 2013 and 2018 member surveys. According to the report:

  • More than 40 per cent of AMHSWs provide services in rural and remote areas
  • More than 60 per cent of AMHSWs have postgraduate qualifications
  • More than 75 per cent of AMHSWs have over 10 years’ practice experience
  • AMHSWs use a wide range of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive behavioural therapy, strengths-based approach and mindfulness
  • People can access the service of AMHSWs through several programs including Medicare, NDIS, DVA and some private health funds.

To further illustrate the contribution of AMHSWs, illustrative case studies are included throughout.

The AASW is responsible for the accreditation of AMHSWs and is committed to maintaining the high standard of practice of the profession in this sector.

Read the complete report.

Access the infographic that summarises the report.

Christine Craik is available for interview.

An interview with an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker is also available.

Media contact
Angela Yin
Communications Lead
P 03 9320 1005 M 0413 532 954

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers