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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Community mental health support workers

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.

Finding a CSW

You need to be 18 or over to get a CSW. If your GP believes you'll benefit from having one, they'll refer you to the service. They'll 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:

Qualifications and training

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

Personal information

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're being referred.

Your GP or case manager will include relevant information about you with the referral. They'll 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'll do this at their weekly community support services access pathway meeting. This will make sure you're 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 South Canterbury 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.

What CSWs do

A CSW can help you:

They'll work with you to:

Community support organisations

For a list of community support organisations in South Canterbury, see Community mental health and addiction support options.

Written by Comcare Trust, and Planning and Funding, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed December 2020.

See also:

Privacy and your health information

Your health rights

Page reference: 399497

Review key: HIHMI-138165