As we progress as a society, we are becoming more open to discussing and getting treatment for mental health problems. In the past, it was taboo to consult a mental health professional and seek treatment for your mental and emotional well-being. It is sad that mental health problems are very common nowadays, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that nearly one in five Americans has some mental health condition.
But nowadays, people prioritize their mental health just as their physical health. This means more people than ever demand a mental health professional. If you want to improve people’s lives and help them overcome their mental health issues, you can become a mental health expert.
Degrees to Help Contribute to Mental Health
There are tons of degrees you can opt for to contribute to the mental health field. Here are four of them.
1. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is the highest title in mental health nursing careers. In our nation’s healthcare system, there exists a gap among mental health professionals between advanced nurses and doctors on the one hand and psychiatrists and psychologists on the other hand. And psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners can fill this gap.
PMHNPs are advanced practice nurses who can prescribe treatment and medications for people suffering from mental health conditions. They can provide emergency care and also diagnose and treat patients independently.
You can become one by getting an MSN degree with a specialization as a PMHNP. Many reputable institutions even offer PMHNP online degree programs for you to enrol in. To serve as PMHNP, you will also need proper licensure.
The average median salary for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners is $131,500 annually. PMHNPs usually work in psychiatric mental health facilities, seeing 13 patients daily on average. If you find the nursing field interesting and want to contribute to the mental health field, this degree is the perfect choice for you.
2. Mental Health Social Worker
If you are interested in social work, have more of a philanthropic approach, and also want to work in the mental health field, you can become a social worker. A mental health social worker works with individuals or groups who face discrimination at society’s hands and suffer from mental health problems.
Mental health social workers can diagnose mental illnesses and provide expert services to those needing them. Mental health social workers help their patients cope with stress and other mental health issues by performing psychotherapy. They also work in inpatient mental health facilities, looking after patients and devising discharge plans.
Mental health social workers also follow up with their clients, assess their situation, and track their progress to ensure that they lead improved life. To become a mental health social worker, you need to attain a master’s degree in social work and also complete the required clinical hours. You will also need a license to start your practice.
If you are interested in getting a psychology degree, you must know there are different options you can choose from. The most in-demand career and also the highest paying in the field of psychology is becoming a psychiatrist.
Becoming a psychiatrist is a long but fulfilling and rewarding process. As psychiatrists are like any other medical professional say, doctors need to have a doctorate to practice as a psychiatrist. First, you must acquire a bachelor’s degree in psychology or any other pre-medical field, and then you must attend medical school. After that, you must complete a four-year residency.
As a psychiatrist, you treat people with mental health complications and positively change their lives. To carry such a big responsibility, you need such lengthy training.
As a psychiatrist, you can work in outpatient care centres, physician’s offices, psychiatric hospitals, etc., or start a private practice. Working in an outpatient care centre will earn around $269,234 annually.
Psychiatrists save people’s lives by bringing them out of misery, impacting an individual’s life but indirectly helping every person related to their client.
4. Occupational Therapist
It is common for people to suffer from illnesses or injuries in their lives that change them forever. People who suffer from chronic illnesses like mental health concerns like stress or depression or who have incurred an injury find it very difficult to return to their normal lives.
They feel like an outcast and have difficulty adjusting to their daily lives. This is where the role of the occupational therapist comes in. Occupational therapists help improve society as they help people overcome their life’s hurdles and insecurities to help them stand back on their feet.
You can work in hospitals, schools, doctor’s surgeries, or with private employers as an occupational therapist. You improve their mental well-being by making others able to get back to their work, school, or even their hobbies.
As an occupational therapist, you will mostly work with people suffering from depression, anxiety, or stress which keeps them from returning to their normal routine and work life. You not only help people recover but also help others in developing everyday living skills. The term occupational might lead some to believe that an OT only helps get people back to their workplace; this is not true, as OTs work in all settings.
If you want to help people by working in the mental health field, then this article is for you. In today’s day and age, a lot of importance is being given to mental health, and people are now aware of the benefits of taking care of it. Of course, to improve one’s mental health, there needs to be an expert medical professional. By serving as a mental health professional, you change people’s lives and leave a positive mark on the world.