Thinking about Career in Mental Health?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that one in every five adults experience mental illness each year. It is frightening to know how a widespread issue is not getting tackled. If you are looking to change this situation, there are careers available to help your cause.
There are numerous paths you can follow as a mental health professional. With the right professional attitude, you can create a positive impact and yield outcomes, and this is where you begin.
What Do You Need for a Career in Mental Health?
Some vital information you will need to know for your career as a mental health professional. Understanding these concepts will help you decide the most suitable path for you. There are two fundamentals you must master before joining the profession.
Understanding these concepts will help you decide the most suitable path for you. There are two fundamentals you must master before joining the profession.
Have the Necessary Skills
A mental health care professional has the necessary skills to approach patients. Compassion and a non-judgmental attitude make up the core principles. Empathy is the hallmark of quality care.
Understanding allows your patients to feel comfortable around you and involve you in the details of their life situation, which is crucial to helping them. Many cases will be upsetting and may seem morally wrong.
You will need to analyze and assess them logically without judgment. Only through these measures will you be able to provide competent care.
Pursue the Necessary Education
As a mental health care provider, you need a holistic approach to your skills. Many online classes are far more flexible, such as getting an online Masters in Counseling no GRE, which will help you fast track your studies while you work. The knowledge and techniques you pick from your schooling will help you be a better practitioner and help your patients more.
Popular Fields for Mental Health
Acquiring the necessary skills and education unlocks many paths for you. These are the following well-sought after ones:
- Clinical Psychiatrist – As a clinical psychologist, you will be a licensed doctor who will diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders. Your advanced skills will allow you to conduct therapy as well as prescribe medicines. Therefore, before you go down this route, you must earn a medical degree.
- Counselling Psychologist – As a psychologist, you will evaluate the patient’s mental health status and teach remedies to deal with them. Your job will allow you to work in hospitals or with criminals in a professional setting.
You don’t require a medical license to be a practicing psychologist, and you cannot prescribe medicines. Your focus will be talking and teaching techniques to your patients, such as keeping a record of their thoughts.
- Psychiatric Nurse – Your role will be pivotal in caring for patients diagnosed with mental illness. Most of these patients suffer from severe conditions such as schizophrenia and are unable to care for themselves. As a nurse, you will administer behavioural therapy with a licensed psychiatrist.
You may also help families cope with the situation and educate them in caring for their family members. As a psychiatric nurse, you can work in hospitals, have your private practices or work with community centers.
- Counsellor for Substance Abuse – As a counsellor, you will understand how substance abuse can bring disorder into an individual’s life. Fortunately, substance abuse is treatable, and you will be important in providing the necessary treatment.
You will be responsible for devising programs and sessions which will comprehensively address their issues. You will include details of substance abuse on an individual and the community and how the patients can solve it.
As a certified counsellor, you will work in hospitals, community health centers, and even government organizations. The more credentials you earn through education, the more chances of advancing are even more streamlined.
- Marriage and Family Counselor – Interpersonal relationships can get very stressful. As a counselor, you will help restore these dysfunctional and strained relationships. As a counsellor, you may work with an individual or a couple at one time.
Your work structure addresses the root cause of the issue and what roles are needed to facilitate them. For this area of expertise, you need substantial experience. It is best to pursue a master’s degree in psychology with two years of clinical experience.
Shadow senior psychiatrists and seek their mentorship before launching into your practice. Your experience will give you the knowledge to communicate with your patients.
Why Do People Avoid Treatment?
It is a fair question to ponder why people refuse help despite knowing they need it. Unfortunately, social workers have identified numerous reasons why people can’t access mental healthcare. Knowing them may also enable you to work with different NGOs to solve them.
- People can’t afford treatment. Medical bills are expensive, including therapy bills.
- The Increased Social Stigma around Mental Health. A general belief that talking about it would lead to judgment and criticism.
- Lack of Medical Professionals. The field is relatively unpopular compared to other medical professions such as a doctor.
- There Are Racial Barriers Which Makes It Inaccessible. Not all facilities are available in every neighbourhood. Marginalized groups have trouble paying for extensive transport and medical facilities.
People need help in more than one way. You can become an advocate for their rights by talking to NGOs and government agencies to come up with suitable policies.
Mental Health issues have been long neglected. If your interest lies in helping and reshaping lives, this field is for you. Work on your skills, such as developing a good sense of communication and a non-judgmental demeanour. Go to school and create relevant educational and practical experiences before working with patients. There are many fields you can choose from.
As a clinical psychiatrist, counselling psychologist, nurse psychiatrist, substance abuse counselor, and marriage or family counselor. Finally, you can also tackle social issues by talking about them and bringing them to relevant authorities. All of these will culminate in making you a successful mental health practitioner!