There are Australians suffering from countless mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and many others. Mental health care professionals are needed to advise them, support them through their issues and help them cope. The nature of this work is not easy, but it is truly rewarding.
In Australia, mental health workers typically need to obtain formal education. Some mental healthcare positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some also require postgraduate study. Others require successful completion of mental health courses or a diploma or certificate.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in mental healthcare, consider any of the following 6 options:
Pursuing psychiatry requires an intensive amount of training and dedication. Psychiatrists are formally trained medical doctors who specialise in mental healthcare. Some psychiatrists further specialise in treating geriatric patients, adults, adolescents or children.
There’s also an option to specialise in forensic psychiatry. Forensic psychiatrists diagnose and treat prisoners and criminals who suffer from mental disorders. They may also be responsible for assessing the mental condition of victims of violent crime.
A psychologist is a healthcare professional who is specifically trained to determine whether individuals are suffering from various cognitive, psychological or emotional disorders. When a positive diagnosis of a disorder is made, the psychologist is also able to formulate treatment plans that have the best possible chances for beneficial outcomes.
3. Mental Health Nurse
A mental health nurse is typically a licensed and trained registered nurse who has chosen to specialise in psychiatric care. Mental health nurses must be adept at coordinating with other mental health and medical professionals including GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health counsellors to follow the treatment plan prescribed for each patient in their care.
4. Mental Health Outreach Worker
Mental health outreach workers act as liaisons between patients, their families and other mental health professionals. They provide support and advocacy for the patients they are tasked with helping. They encourage and empower psychiatric patients to make positive choices, become more resilient and resist social isolation. These workers are an essential part of the mental healthcare system.
5. Mental Health Counsellor
A mental health counsellor’s primary role is to empower patients to talk through their concerns in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. The counsellor is best equipped to help patients cope with immediate issues such as grief or stress. The counsellor tends to focus on helping patients work through issues that are more easily resolved than the complex mental disorders psychologists and psychiatrists are tasked with dealing with.
6. Disabilities Services Officer
Disabilities services officers are responsible for providing care and support to disabled persons who reside in government institutions or adult service units. A high level of empathy is required for this job. The disabilities services officer must be able to empower disabled people to engage with others, live with dignity, and enjoy the highest level of personal freedom their situation allows.
These are 6 excellent options for careers in mental healthcare. Each of these jobs would give you the opportunity to become a valued part of the Australian mental healthcare system. These are all roles that would allow you to truly have a positive and meaningful impact on vulnerable people’s lives.