Thinking of pursuing a career in the mental health field? Want to know how you can tackle the many options available and find the appropriate career path? In the following article we look into a few tips to help you choose the right mental health career.
Look Into the Available Options
The mental health field is growing rapidly and there are many options to choose from. So when you start your search for the career choice that is best for you, have an open mind. If you choose to go the professional way, then you will need to take the formal education route, which is quite lengthy. And if you go for the non-professional options then you’ll have to go for certificate sessions and short term training programs.
The idea here is to never rule out any option initially. Even if you have never seen yourself as a doctor or a social worker, it’s okay – keep your options open. If you can put in the time and effort, any career option can and will work for you.
Research Career Paths in Medical Mental Health
Before you select a path, read and study about all the options that are out there. Different career paths require different types of commitments. So you will have to be prepared for it and to alter your lifestyle accordingly. If you consider becoming a psychiatrist or a medical doctor, then know that these both require you to go through lengthy education programs along with training.
If you choose to be a physician you can get employed to take care of individuals that are admitted to a hospital by providing them proper, timely mental health care. Or you can get employed by one of the many Youth Rehab Centers like Sober College where you’ll provide medical supervision to young individuals while helping them find the right medication. On the other hand, if you become a psychiatrist, you can work at offering professional treatment to people who are suffering from addictions, mental illnesses, etc. You can also find employment in large psychiatric hospitals or even choose to practice privately.
Consider Counseling and Social Work
If you don’t want to deal with the medical field’s nitty gritty nature, then you can also opt for career options that don’t have to do anything with clinics and hospitals. Right from social workers to addiction counselors – there are professions where you can provided your services to people that have mental health needs. There are two ways to go about this: you either go for a formal degree program or gain experience through volunteering.
Mental health, family counseling and social work may require you to have a license along with “formal education” in some areas. While some of these education programs require you to put in less time than a normal undergraduate degree, others that deal with counseling and social work can be pursued up to a masters or even the doctoral level. As far as gaining experience by volunteering goes, you can volunteer in community health centers and in social work to get an idea about other careers.