If you’ve been considering a career in the mental health industry, you might be wondering what it’s like and if you’d be a good fit.
The mental health field is diverse, encompassing professions from less senior positions such as a Community Services Workers to more senior roles such as Psychiatrists.
Depending on your area of interest and how much you’re willing to invest in your education, there’s a rewarding mental health job waiting for you.
So, Where Do You Start?
We asked a mental health professional about their career to find out what it’s like to work in this industry and how they got started.
Psychotherapist and Relationship Counsellor, Dan Auerbach, says it’s important to do your research and to speak to people in different disciplines and settings to find the right path for you.
“Is there are a specific group of people you’d like to work with or a particular approach to counselling you think you’d enjoy?
“Make sure to look at those options before you set out on a long course of study.
“Interview people in the industry about career prospects that you may be interested in in the future and ask them what skills or qualifications they look for in an employee.
“Don’t hesitate to ask them about their day-to-day work.”
What Traits do Mental Health Professionals Need?
The traits you need to work in mental health depends on the area of work you choose, explains Mr Auerbach.
“If you’re a neuropsychologist, you may need good assessment skills and a great grasp of scientific concepts, including data and analysis.
“If you’re a relationship counsellor, you’ll need to enjoy being a party to and managing strong emotion.
“As a psychotherapist, you’re going to want to have a strong and unwavering interest in the human condition. And as a counsellor, you’re going to want to have a strong desire to be with and help people.”
Mental Health Jobs: The Highs and Lows
One of the best aspects of working in mental health is that there is always more to learn, and you get to connect with people in a profound way, says Mr Auerbach.
“Being a witness and companion to people’s deepest experiences is a real privilege.
“It’s always interesting, always challenging and very satisfying when you feel you are making a difference.”
On the flip side, one of the most challenging aspects of is realising that helping people is not a simple equation, according to Mr Auerbach.
“You can make your best efforts, but often it’s a puzzle where you must work to connect with your clients and learn from them about what they need.
“Working with couples is also difficult because there is a lot at stake, and tensions can get very high.
“But the challenge also is what makes it such great work!”
Types of Mental Health Jobs
- Community Services Worker
A Community Services Worker helps individuals, families, groups and communities to promote positive social functioning. This is a diverse field and includes many occupations including youth worker, addition support worker, child protection officer, community development officer, community support worker and more.
A psychologist is a professional trained in the science of how people think, feel and behave. They can work as psychotherapists in a counselling capacity or research or teaching roles.
A Counsellor helps people experiencing emotional difficulties in recognising and working through their issues. A Counsellor incorporates techniques such as talking therapy to assist people in developing strategies to cope better with relationship problems and life challenges.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised in psychiatry and generally treats patients with more serious mental health conditions. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications and perform medical examinations and order tests to treat mental illness.
- Mental Health Nurse
A mental health nurse is responsible for supporting and providing medical care to people with a range of mental health disorders, from anxiety and depression to personality disorders and addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Mental Health Courses
Are you wondering whether you’re a good fit for the many mental health jobs available?
For many careers in this industry, you’ll need to make significant time and financial commitment to study.
You can enrol in short online professional development mental health courses that will help you to decide which mental health jobs are most appealing to you.
Australian Online Courses offer many online mental health courses that will provide a foundation to study further.
Australian Online Courses
If you’re looking for an online training provider that offers quality content, reasonable course fees and superior student support, choose Australian Online Courses for your professional development.
Simply visit us online to discover hundreds of flexible, online, professional development courses covering almost every industry sector. Or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants on 1300 762 221 or via Live Chat.