Obtaining a mental health degree like one in psychology or sociology opens up many career opportunities, and maybe more than you first think. In all mental health jobs, you care for people with mental disorders, emotional illnesses, and problems they are unable to deal with, like substance abuse. While there are many careers within this field, some are not as well-known as others. Here are five mental health careers you may not have considered yet.
Psychiatric nurses have degrees in nursing with a specialization in mental health and physiology. They work in hospitals with patients who are mentally ill, in long term hospitals for the mentally ill, or in a psychiatrist's office, taking care of out-patients. You’ll have many opportunities to use your degree and help others in this position.
Mental Health Residence Manager
A mental health residence manager is someone who takes direct care of those who are unable to live independently because of mental health issues. At times, part of the manager's job is to install independent living skills in the residences of the home. You would provide clinical coordination, manage the residence budget, hire and train employees, and be accountable for the daily operations of the residence. This career allows you to become involved in the day-to-day aspects of teaching someone to deal with their mental illness, which can be very rewarding.
High School Guidance Counselor
A high school guidance counselor works directly with students helping them with day-to-day school issues, career options, and coordinating educational resources for students who have special needs. You will help students with any issues they face, whether they be bullying, drug abuse, relationship issues, or sex and pregnancy.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse counselors directly advise those who have alcohol and drug abuse issues. They work with not only the users of the illicit substances, but also their family members. This job is multi-faceted, as a substance abuse counselor will have to help those who are currently still taking drugs and helping them stop, while also having clients who are in trouble with the law because of their drug use. You will coordinate with doctors, law enforcement, and families while working in a drug rehab or community offices.
With any kind of addiction, intervention is key to helping people realize they have a problem. As an interventionist, you have to have knowledge and skills for how to deal with tough situations and tense circumstances. You will work within intervention services to provide support and information to families who want to get help for a loved one. You might do everything from faith-based interventions to alcohol interventions, depending on your degree.
Marriage and Family Therapist
A marriage and family therapist works directly with clients to help with dysfunctions in their marriage or family. They not only deal with mental illness, but also with tough life issues like the loss of a loved one, or the struggles that come during a divorce. As a marriage and family therapist, you will be dealing with all ages of people, and their family dynamics. It is a great field for those who want to help families thrive.
Being an understanding person who truly cares about helping others is the number one criteria for those who want to work in a mental health capacity. All these jobs and more are just the tipping point of what you can do with your degree.