Published: 8 February 2022
Access to mental health is a hot topic for journalists, as it should be. We write to journalists who have covered the topic about access to mental health services, which have not mentioned the services that are provided by social workers. These are our key points:
- Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are the second-largest provider of mental health services under Medicare, after clinical and registered psychologists, numbering close to 3000
- Pay parity with psychologists would improve access to mental health services for the public and better enable Accredited Mental Health Social Workers to make their services available to address mental health concerns
- Social workers can provide mental health support via telehealth, which is all too important for regional and rural communities and those requiring support through COVID.
- GPs can provide a mental health plan to see an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. A social worker takes a human-in-environment approach to mental health and uses evidence-based interventions to address mental health, such as CBT, strengths-based therapy, mindfulness, among others.
- Our website has a Find a Social Worker portal, where the community can find a social worker in their area, including in regional areas.
For members, please be in touch with us if you see any media coverage on mental health access that you would like us to follow up.
For journalists, please contact us for comment if you would like to cover mental health access. Awareness about all the available supports and the different types of professionals that can provide them would be a welcome addition to the public discussion. It would empower the community to decide which professional and what kinds of interventions would best suit them. For some people, where their mental health issues stem from barriers such as social disadvantage, inequality, and isolation, a social worker may be the best option.