FAQ’s about our Accredited Mental Health Social Work Service
What is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSW) 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 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. AMHSW’s have a breadth of experience in assessing and treating people who have mental health problems, for example people experiencing:
Depression and other mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Personality disorder
- Suicidal thoughts
- Relationship problems
- Life crises
- Adjustment issues
- Family conflict
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
- Relaxation strategies
- Skills training including problem solving, managing emotions and stress, social skills and parenting skills
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psycho-education (including Motivational Interviewing)
- Narrative therapy
When should I refer to an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?
Patients often approach their GP with concern about negative life circumstances, for example relationship breakdown, life crisis or social isolation. These often point to, or are accompanied by, significant and persistent mental health problems. AMHSW’s understand mental disorders, and have particular training, skill and expertise to assess and offer treatment.
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are also experienced in working collaboratively with other health professionals.
How do I refer?
You have two options to refer a patient to us.
1. Under Medicare’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative, GP’s can formulate a Mental Health Treatment Plan and provide a referral letter to the patient. GP’s are eligible for a rebate fee from Medicare to complete the Mental Health Plan. Please check with Medicare for the billing item number to activate any referral. The patient can then contact us to arrange an appointment.
Your patient will have access to up to 10 sessions of Focused Psychological Services per calendar year. We will bulk bill for one hour outreach appointments provided in Nambucca Heads, Macksville or Bowraville. There will be a small gap fee for appointments longer than one hour or where travel is involved (e.g. Kempsey). Clients can negotiate bulk billing if experiencing financial hardship.
2. A number of Health Professionals are able to refer clients to us under the Healthy Minds program. You can fill out this Referral Form and send it to the Primary Health Network by fax on 1300 853 248 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The PHN will then notify us of your referral and we will contact the client.
Healthy Minds is a free counselling service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns, and who are experiencing financial distress. Eligible people receive 12 counselling sessions, usually 60 mins in duration. We provide services in the Nambucca Valley and Kempsey to the following priority groups:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ATSI).
- People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD).
- Children up to the age of 12. Children should be experiencing, or at risk of developing an emotional or behavioural disorder.
- Homelessness or people at risk of becoming homeless.
What feedback will I receive?
It is a requirement of these programs that a referring GP or mental health professional will be provided with a written report providing information on:
- Assessments carried out
- Treatment provided
- Recommendations for future management
What are our specialty areas?
Lucy Van Sambeek has over a decade of experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, men, children, families and communities . who have been touched by the effects of domestic and family violence, child abuse, deep trans-generational grief and loss, mental health issues, alcohol and drugs, and other traumas.
These are the kinds of issues we can help with:
- Behaviour Problems
- Family and domestic violence
- Grief and Loss
- Inter-generational trauma
- Life Transition and Adjustment Issues
- Managing emotions
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- School Issues
- Self-Esteem and Self-Development
- Shyness & social skills
Our Approach to social work practice incorporates
- Narrative Therapy
- Neurobiological, Trauma-Informed therapy
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Strengths-based practice
- Art Therapy
- Mindfulness & Relaxation
Our Services include
- Outreach to public nature spaces
- Home and school visits
- Group Sessions
- Online consultations
Where do you provide services?
In an outreach capacity in the Nambucca Valley (Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Bowraville) and Kempsey regions.
How can I connect with you in a professional capacity?
We look forward to working with you to provide professional assessment, counselling, and a range of treatment and support
options to your patients. We would love the opportunity to meet with you personally, so please get in touch.