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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Community support workers for mental health

Community support workers (CSW) help keep people with mental illness well and in their own homes.

CSWs can support you in your home or in the community.

How do I get a CSW?

You need to be 18 or over to get a CSW. If your GP believes you will benefit from having one, they will refer you to the service. They will also make sure you meet the criteria to get a CSW.

If you have a Specialist Mental Health Service case manager, they can also refer you to the service if they think it is appropriate.

Organisations that provide CSWs are:

What qualifications do they have?

A mental health CSW has a national certificate in mental health addiction and support. Some also have diplomas.

What personal information about me is shared?

Whenever a health professional needs to arrange for you to see another health professional, they complete a referral. A referral introduces you to the other person and explains why you are being referred.

Your GP or case manager will include relevant information about you with the referral. They will fax or email the referral, or send it electronically to the CSW service coordinator.

A small group of representatives of the organisations that provide community support services will view your referral. They will do this at their weekly community support services access pathway meeting. This will make sure you are seen by the community services that can best help your recovery.

Only member organisations can go to these meetings. These organisation make sure their staff meet the requirements of the Privacy Act and the Health Information Privacy Code.

The West Coast DHB is responsible for making sure your information is only shared to benefit your health and wellbeing.

If you don't want your information to be shared in this way, you can choose a provider from the list above. You must also tell your GP or case manager who referred you to the service.

How can a CSW help me?

A CSW can help you:

They will work with you to:

Information provided by the Canterbury DHB. Adapted by the West Coast DHB. Page created August 2016.

See also:

Privacy and your health information

Your health rights

Page reference: 339493

Review key: HIHMI-138165