An Overview Of Mental Health Professional Roles That You Can Do

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Mental Health Professional Roles

Do you want to help those struggling with mental health issues? To do so, you don’t always need to be a doctor. You can become a mental health counselor, a clinical psychologist, or a psychotherapist. Each role is necessary for mental health treatment, allowing you to help those who need it most.

Types of mental health professionals you can be:

  • Mental Health Counselor: As a mental health counselor, you can counsel families, couples, or individuals and work towards promoting their emotional health. You can help them cope with problems like stress, addiction, parenting, divorce, and aging. You will be certified and trained to treat behavioral issues and can find work in family services, care centers, outpatient clinics, and local governments.
  • Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: As a mental health nurse, you will have advanced training to offer a wide range of services to patients in diverse settings. You can diagnose and conduct therapy for patients with substance abuse disorders, brain disorders, or psychiatric problems.
  • Clinical Psychologist: As a clinical psychologist, you will be certified in psychological assessment and psychotherapy. It helps you understand, prevent, and relieve patients suffering from emotional distress and promote mental health. You will be a licensed professional and can focus on researching the assessment and treatment of mental issues.
  • Psychiatric Social Worker: As a psychiatric social worker, you must oversee the welfare of patients with mental health problems. You must provide services to people having severe needs, educate their families about the condition, and perform psychotherapy. You must work with psychiatrists and nurse practitioners if employed at a hospital. You can work at residential care facilities and government agencies with proper certification.
  • Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a registered doctor trained extensively in treating different mental health disorders. You will evaluate and treat patients suffering from psychotic disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, schizophrenia, etc. You will perform physical exams and interpret lab tests and brain image scans. A psychiatrist is the only mental health professional licensed to prescribe medicines for treatment.
  • Psychologist: You need a background in psychology that makes you an expert on human behavior. As a psychologist, you will use scientific methods to change the patient’s perceptions, actions, and emotions. Psychologists are qualified to deal with parenting issues, relationship troubles, lifestyle changes, challenges during adolescence, and chronic illnesses.
  • Counselor: As a counselor, you have the training to listen to people with mental health issues and analyze their problems to find solutions. You can deal with diverse problems like those undertaken by psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. You can refer the patient to a more qualified expert if the underlying conditions are severe and need specialized treatment.

The covid pandemic triggered a spike in mental health problems as an increasing number of people are experiencing elevated stress levels, depression, anxiety, and myriad health issues. The time is right to opt for a career in mental health to make a difference in the lives of thousands.