Working with mental health patients is a career choice that truly helps individuals live a better life. With the rising number of mental health cases in the states, it is crucial that more people get onboard fighting it. Mental illness counts for over eight million deaths each year worldwide, which is a staggering number and one which should be dramatically reduced.
While many career paths allow you to worth with mental health patients, such as psychiatry and counseling, all of them hold similar benefits. Here are the reasons you should consider a career in mental health.
Giving to Your Community
Many communities suffer from a large number of people dealing with mental illness. From those suffering from depression to those struggling with substance abuse, mental health problems are rife throughout the US.
By choosing a career in mental health, you are actively choosing to help lift communities. Mental health contributes to homelessness, isolation, and financial difficulties. By choosing to pursue a human services degree and enter a career in mental health, you won’t just be helping those suffering, but you’ll also be helping those around them.
There are a Variety of Paths to Take
When you study for a human services degree, you open yourself up to a wide range of careers, including helping those with mental illness. Some of these careers are:
• Clinical psychologist
• Social worker
• Care co-ordinator
With such a range, you can find a field that suits your talents, education, and enjoyment, so if you want to only work with children, then you can take that path.
You Will Learn Something New Every Day
While caring for others, you will have interesting conversations every single day with different types of people. This opens you up to life-lessons that most people will never come across. Not only will you learn a lot from your patients, but you will also learn through the research you do. When working in mental health, part of the job is to keep up with the latest psychology findings. This means that your education doesn’t end once you finish your human services degree, and you will be the person in your friend group who always has a new psychology fact to tell!
While not all research will play a role in your work, the ongoing accumulation will make you an expert in mental health.
It is a Respected Career Choice
Some people are money-driven, some are passion-driven, and others are driven by the respect they receive. If you are the latter, then a career in mental health is certainly one that will give you that.
Working in mental health is a career that takes a lot out of you but gives a lot to the community. Due to this, many people view mental health workers as some of the most selfless, important members of society. That is understandable when most people either suffer from a mental illness or know somebody who does.
The Opportunity to Earn
Due to the variety of career choices, certain paths allow you to earn big money. For example, many psychiatrists earn over $200,000 a year! By attaining a human services degree, gaining sufficient experience, and working your way up the ladder, you could end up with six figures, too.
You Will Smile Often
You might believe that working with mental health patients is draining, but the opposite is often true. While they may struggle, some of the funniest and kindest people are those who have mental illnesses. This means you’ll work with people who will tell you interesting stories, make you smile, and make you laugh regularly. While you cannot form friendships with your patients, you will create professional relationships that become dear to you. When you notice that a patient is doing significantly better, you will go home with a huge smile on your face.
The Opportunity to Start Your Own Practice
Working in mental health means you have the opportunity to work for yourself. While many people work for other businesses after attaining their human services degree, some then go on to set up their own practice.
If you are ambitious, then you could set up a psychiatrist practice from your own home. All you would need is an extra room to dedicate toward seeing patients. While this may take some time to work toward, the number of benefits of being your own boss is high.
Mental Health Cases are Rising
Working in mental health means helping a real and current problem that is plaguing the US and the rest of the world. One in five people suffers from mental illness in the states, meaning that a lot of progress is to be made.
While the number of people struggling can seem overwhelming, instead of letting it upset you, you should allow it to motivate you to give your patients the best possible care possible. By learning the skills, you need when attaining your human services degree, you will be able to help patients through their toughest times.
You Will Witness Real Change
There are many careers where the employees don’t see the wider effect of what they are contributing to. With mental health work, however, you will see your contribution every single day. Even on the days where you are struggling, you will see just how much of an impact your work has, which will leave you feeling proud of your working day.
It is a Stable Career
As previously mentioned, mental health rates are, unfortunately, rising. This means that mental health jobs are in high demand, and that is only expected to increase over time.
Many people worry about the influence of technology on the job market, especially with AI taking over some of the more mundane tasks. When it comes to mental health, a human touch will always be necessary, so you won’t need to worry about a robot taking over your career. If your goal a stable career with the potential for high earnings, then studying for a human services degree and working your way up might be the career choice for you.
You Will Take Your Skills Home
Working with mental health patients won’t only make you great at your job – you will be able to take those skills home and use them in your daily life. This means if you or someone you know is dealing with a difficult time, such as depression, you will be better equipped at dealing with it.
You will learn transferable skills from the moment you begin your human services degree right until the moment you retire, so your knowledge of psychology will be broad.
You Can Contribute Your Own Research
Once you are successful in your career, you can contribute your own findings to psychology. This isn’t a necessity, but for those who are really interested in mental health and connections, it can be a great benefit to working in mental health. You’ll have constant access to a variety of patients who could answer your questions and take part in your surveys, meaning you’ll come up with findings much quicker than the average person. Of course, you would need to get permission first.
You Will Feel Pride Every Day
Working in mental health is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers out there and is one that allows the worker to leave work proud of what they have accomplished every day. Every session you host, you make a difference in someone’s life, and that is something that not many people get to experience with their work. While some of the days might be difficult, and at times you feel overwhelmed, the sense of pride that comes from helping those who are vulnerable trumps all that in the end.
There are a Variety of Work Settings
If you choose to work with the mentally ill, there are a variety of work environments for you to choose from. This means if you prefer to work surrounded by others, you can, but if you would rather work from the comfort of your own home, this is also viable.
From schools to mental health clinics, there are plenty of places to choose to work. Not only does this mean choice, but it also means there are more chances of jobs being available near you.
You Will Never Be Bored
Working in mental health is one career that you will never be bored doing. Each day, you’ll see a variety of characters, so not only will you not have time to be bored, but they will be sure to keep you entertained! You won’t be sitting at a desk typing in numbers while watching the clock, but you’ll be helping and talking to patients for the goal of bettering their lives. It’s one of the least boring jobs in the world.
Even your human services degree will be exciting. You’ll be studying varying subjects such as human behavior, sociology, and research methods.
You’ll Learn to Care for Yourself
Working with mentally ill patients isn’t for the faint-hearted; you must be strong, confident, and able to take anything on the chin. This means, over time, you will learn to care for yourself better than you ever could before.
When you have had a rough day, you will know exactly what to do when you get home, whether that’s running a bath, cooking a healthy meal, or going for a run in your local park.
You’ll Find Your Strength
Nobody can tell you that working in mental health is a straight-forward journey. From the time you’re pursuing your human services degree to the moment you’re sitting down with patients - you will be tested. You’ll test your mind, your body, and your strength. While this might sound scary, it will turn you into a stronger person overall. You’ll find that where you had been overwhelmed previously, you can now keep pushing without a second thought.
You Will Become a Better Person
People who work in mental health have to be kind, and if they aren’t, they will either become it or leave the work they’re doing. It’s nearly impossible to help vulnerable people through their struggles if you don’t have at least a drop of empathy.
With the number of patients you will be seeing, you’ll get to learn about all walks of life. You’ll hear stories from the local postman, from a highly successful doctor, and from someone who was homeless for half of their life. After hearing all of this, you will become a much more open-minded and tolerant individual. You will understand better than anyone that everyone is equal and that anyone can fall victim to mental illness.
You Have the Ability to Change One Person’s Life
Many people go to work, complete their tasks, and leave without bettering anyone else’s life. Working in mental health isn’t like that. You have the opportunity to change people’s lives, and even the chance to do that for one single person is enough to feel proud.
Every time you sit a patient down, talk through their struggles and give them advice, you could be saving their life. As a mental health worker, you might not feel like you’re doing much in the grand scheme of things, but you truly are.
As you can see, a career in mental health is one of the most rewarding roles a person can go into. If you are interested in it and want to pursue a related degree such as a human services degree, you should first make sure you have the necessary soft skills. This includes empathy, organization, commitment, and passion.
More and more people require help around the US, so by pursuing a mental health career, you will be contributing to creating a happier, healthier country overall. If you think you have what it takes, you should pursue that human services degree, specializing in the area you want, and gain the experience you need to become an excellent mental health worker.