There are many misconceptions about mental health. Even though one in every five Americans has a mental health condition, treatment is not readily available. This is primarily because of the social stigma mental health faces. Almost every mental health patient is under the weight of stereotypes. Often, conditions like depression and anxiety get dismissed as mild diseases with pills handed out in a cavalier manner. In contrast, people with illnesses like bipolar, schizophrenia, and paranoia disorder get institutionalized. Instead of addressing the issue, these make people who aren’t well fear social ostracization. So you’ll find patients ignoring their well-being, suppressing an episode, and in extreme cases, turning to self-harm.
As a mental health counselor, your support and wisdom can restructure how society thinks of mental health. You also get the opportunity to work with parents and help them build a life with their condition in the backseat. But a career in mental health doesn’t only have philanthropic benefits. Your choice to pursue mental health counseling will also benefit you in numerous ways. Here’s why you should consider this field.
Build A Promising Career For Yourself
One of the most pivotal reasons anyone would consider a career is because of the job benefits it offers. Becoming a mental health counselor is a robust process you will need to study for a master’s degree to be an asset for your clients. By exploring online degrees in counseling, you will also get to decide what area of mental health counseling you’re comfortable working in, with the benefit of studying at your own pace.
The skills, knowledge, and expertise your degree will give you may make you popular in the mental health counseling sector. In addition, employment of substance abuse, behaviorist disorder, and mental health counseling will grow about 23% in the next decade.
Various Settings To Choose From
The thought of working in the same cubicle of work environment for the next twenty years pushes people to fund alternate careers. No one likes being stuck in the same place indefinitely. However, as a mental health counselor, you will exercise flexibility. A wide range of professional settings will be available for you, such as mental health clinics, schools, or private practices.
This will allow you to work with diverse clients and narrow down where you enjoy practicing the most. Once you find the atmosphere you enjoy working in, it will fill you with positivity and make you better at your job.
Make A Difference
It’s not unusual to want a profession that benefits human lives. The idea of being of use to someone and helping them live a more fulfilling life can fill you with gratitude. When you become a mental health counselor, you are not only impacting one life but many. Your guidance will help a student cope at school and become successful or assist families in building themselves.
The help you provide is precise and tailor-made to your clients. For example, while working with a school student, you may use problem-solving and conflict resolution. This will help them identify their problems, gauge the source and implement a support strategy such as dealing with a bully. On the other hand, when empowering clients to find a better version of themselves, you may use the humanistic theory to use a client’s subjective feelings to treat underlying problems. This goes with the belief that your client craves autonomy and desires to change their life for the better.
Drive A Social Change
As a mental health counselor, you’ll be better positioned to comment on mental health ailments. Therefore, you should run mental health campaigns, blog social posts, and go on media talk shows to normalize terminologies and explain mental health concepts. When you encourage open discussion, you prevent rumors, false narratives, and lies from spreading about common illnesses and their treatment.
You may even hold sessions in colleges and schools to instill a deep comprehension at an early age among students. When your clients see the diligent work in spreading awareness, they will feel less isolated and more inclined to seek your services.
Prevent Your Clients From Self Sabotaging
Mental health is not easy to understand. People living with mental health conditions may also have trouble understanding what they’re going through. This leaves them fragile confused, and they resort to gaslighting themselves while actively refusing treatments, thinking it’s all in their head. It also doesn’t help that the people around them also enable suppressing the issue instead of looking for help.
Your client, such as a mother with postpartum depression, may feel ashamed, guilty, or even upset for not doing what they’re expected to do because of their thoughts. Through your help and therapeutic sessions such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), encourage your clients to embrace their thoughts and understand where they’re coming from instead of letting guilt cloud their vision.
Reduces Substance Abuse
Almost 20 million Americans battle one addiction, while only 10% seek help. Addiction is a public health issue costing the US government billions of dollars to keep at bay. As a counselor, you can play an active role in reducing substance abuse from society, benefiting the healthcare sector. While working on mental health issues, you cannot prescribe medication and stick with holistic treatment.
You will also be pivotal in helping clients identify the source of their addiction. Unlike conventional therapy, your job is to dive into the client’s mind, help them understand their trauma, and establish healthier coping mechanisms. Clients may start using because of poverty, sexual or physical abuse in childhood, or as a form of escapism. When you know the source, you can intervene by ensuring the client goes to rehab and even holding the government responsible for the unchecked distribution of prescription pills.
A mental health counselor is a promising profession since you can build a name for yourself and help others. Social issues like mental health will not go away anytime soon, which means you will still need a growing community. As a mental health counselor, your job allows you to have valuable insight into common and rare conditions and establish proper remedial methods. This includes using counseling theories and your voice to bring about social change. You may even help your clients understand their thoughts to help them get better. So, never undermine your career as a counselor, as you’re no less of a trailblazer for the community.