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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Community mental health support workers

Ngā kaitautoko hauora hinengaro ā-hapori

Community mental health support workers (CMHSW) help people with experience of mental health issues to live well in the community.

What CMHSWs do

A CMHSW can help you:

They will work with you to:

Finding a CMHSW

If your general practice team believes you will benefit from having a CMHSW, they will refer you to the service. You must also meet the following criteria:

If you have a Specialist Mental Health Services case manager, they can also refer you to the service.

Organisations that provide CMHSWs are:

Qualifications and training

A CMHSW has or is working towards the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing level 4. 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 are being referred.

Your general practice team or case manager includes relevant information about you with the referral. They email the referral or send it electronically to the CMHSW service coordinator.

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

Only member organisations can go to these meetings. These organisations make sure their staff comply with the Privacy Act and the Health Information Privacy Code.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha makes sure your information is only shared to benefit your health and wellbeing.

If you do not want your information to be shared in this way, you can choose a provider from the list above. You must also tell the general practice team or case manager who referred you to the service.

Written by Comcare Trust and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2023.


See also:

Privacy and your health information

Your health rights

Page reference: 285207

Review key: HIHMI-138165