With the advancement of technology and fast-paced lifestyles, people have started to become the victim of various mental health diseases. Recently there has been a significant rise in anxiety and depression because of increased competition in the human race. People have also started to be more vocal and concerned about it compared to recent eras when people would shy about it. So, with the rise of different mental health awareness campaigns and movements, people have also started to opt for therapies and recovery programs. Hence, which demands more mental health professionals and psychotherapists, they have gained much attention over a few decades. As they help individuals face challenges occurring in their everyday life.
So, with the sudden rise in this profession, many students have also started to prioritize this career path as it is as valuable as any health profession in today’s era. However, it’s not easy to become a mental health professional as it does not just require bookish knowledge. It also involves a lot of emotional intelligence and empathy to be able to assess their patients with great understanding better, utmost care, and sensitivity. Being a mental health specialist in the modern world is a field requiring vast experience and knowledge. And to gain the relevant expertise, an individual is required to educate themselves with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. There are a few steps involved in achieving a high rank and complete understanding in the field.
So, to be a competent mental health professional, just a degree or getting a sound knowledge of psychology, therapy, and counseling is not enough. A set of skills like listening, communication, analytical and critical thinking, and excellent people skills is necessary to be a good understanding health counselor. Along with this, emotional intelligence is a topmost priority to able to empathize, be patient, kind, and compassionate with people. For some, these skills might come naturally, but even if the rest lack in them, then, fortunately, these skills can be trained and practiced through various programs within the degree courses and extra training sessions.
A student must graduate with a degree, but with experience, it can boost their career. To gain experience volunteering to different non-profit organizations while proceeding with the degree can be very helpful. Students can volunteer in suicide hotlines, domestic violence shelters, or help children facing psychological horrors in schools. This type of volunteering provides opportunities to listen to domestic abuse stories of all types, and will help them empathize with people who’ve had a tough time in life, thus allowing them to be better prepared for their mental health specialist career down the road.
Why is there a need for mental health specialists in the modern world? According to WHO, 20% of minors all across the globe face mental health disorders, and the number is rapidly increasing. More psychologists are needed to counter this rapid growth in mental illnesses, which increases their importance. The field to practice mental health is not limited; instead, it is a vast range leading from counseling to research-driven psychology. Hence, students of psychology can choose various careers: mental health counselor, addiction counselor, a clinical psychologist, and mental health psychiatrist, etc.
Listed down are a few mental health specialist jobs that can help students select in a better way and add value to their career:
- Psychometrists: administers psychological testing
- Substance abuse counselor: works with clients addicted to illegal drugs
- Psychiatric technicians: responsible for the patient’s overall mental wellness and report the patient’s mental and emotional state to medical staff.
- Human resource manager: responsible for the employees’ behavioral issues in any corporate sector and is also involved in hiring and screening job applicants.
- Marriage and family therapist: deals with issues among families and spouses and focus on the well-being of their relationships.
- Experimental psychologists: studies the complex human brain.
- Forensic psychologists: proves by proper screening and testing whether the criminal is mentally ill or not.
- School counselor: works with troubled kids and their parents to derive good grades.
- Sports psychologists: deal with the mental health and psychological well-being of the athletes.
- Educational psychologists: focuses mainly on gifted children and people with disabilities.
However, every good deed comes with a few challenges. Similarly, being a mental health professional has its rewards along with few drawbacks. And while on the road to become one, it is necessary to consider both the potential benefits and challenges that come with it. Although being able to impact the clients’ lives and being a part of their path to recovery can be rewarding, it can, on the other hand, can also be stressful sometimes. This can lead to emotional fatigue and distress at times. Another downside is that sometimes the counselor has to deal with aggressive clients who require good stress management skills and excellent emotional regulation abilities. It also needs mental health professionals to be both emotionally and physically healthy. However, it is essential to have a good sense of balance not to let your professional emotional struggles cloud over your personal lives.
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