How can a Mental Health Social Worker Help Me? March 2019

As March is World Social Work Month, I thought it was timely to talk about how Social Workers assist people with mental health problems.   When you realise you are struggling with your mental health and decide to seek out a therapist to assist you with your concerns,  it can be confusing knowing what type of professional  to see.  As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, I thought it would be helpful to outline what someone like me can offer you.  

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) are highly trained and educated mental health professionals, meeting some of the highest standards of professional regulation in Australia.  We are one of the few designated allied health professional groups, including Psychologists and some Occupational Therapists  eligible to provide private mental health services under the Commonwealth Medicare scheme.  

AMHSWs like myself,  work from a biopsychocial, whole of person perspective and our training provdes an appreciation of the impact that social, environmental and cultural factors have on total health and wellbeing.   Social Work is a profession which places at the forefront a commitment to social justice and assisting some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.   Our person in environment approach makes us experts in dealing with complexity.  We work with people of all ages and our holistic approach provides a unique contribution to the mental health field.  We work with individuals, couples, families.and groups. 

If you are a new client coming  to see me I dont ask what is wrong with you, but explore what has happened to you.  This is a very impoprtant distinction from an approach which focuses on diagnosing you with a label and setting about prescribing a treatment model.  My focus will be on your needs, understanding your experiences, discovering what you want from your life now and helping you identify and overcome barriers to this.  Together we will look not only at the changes which may need to occur at the individual level, but also take into consideration the family and social contexts in which you operate.    We would also look at facilitating access to necessary services and resources that impact  positively on your mental health.  Issues such as housing,  financial stress, unemployment and your personal safety may also need to be addressed in addition to any counselling needs you have.

The relationship with your therapist is the most significantt factor in bringing about change in your situation.  You must feel you can trust your therapist and have confidence that they understand you and your individual needs and  that you feel  treated with respect, compassion and empathy.   It is not always easy asking for help from a professional as we often have the mistaken belief that somehow we should be able to solve our own problems, however, more and people are realising that it is very valuable to seek help from an objective, external person who can provide a fresh perspective and support you as you explore options for change.

If you feel ready to seek counselling to improve your mental health and wellbeing,  I would be happy to assist you.  Just give me a call on 0438 855328 or email me at


Source:  AASW Report - Accredited Mental Health Social Workers Qualifications, skills and experience March 2019





© Dawn Vincent