The more we open up about mental health, the clearer it is that a lot of people struggle with it. It’s perhaps not that odd as our society is increasingly drawn towards technology and away from tradition, human interaction, and the sense of a tight-knit family that many crave. Working in the mental health field, however, is not for everyone.
If you’re considering a career in mental health, it’s a good idea to understand what it takes and how it’s going to affect you as a health professional. Here is a handful of signs to help you on your way to understanding if your personality is a good fit.
#1 You’re emotionally strong
The most common thing that mental health professionals hear when talking to others that would like to join them in the field is that they enjoy working with people. Sure, most of us do like to interact with others – but working as a mental health professional is an entirely different story.
You’ll hear so much, depending on where you’re working, and the emotional baggage of others can weigh quite heavily after a while. You need to be more than the kind of good listener you think you are for your friends; the people coming to you with their problems are looking for constructive advice and a strategy for overcoming their problems.
A quiet comment about how difficult the situation might be for them is simply not sufficient.
#2 You love to see others empowered
On the other side, you’ll also be able to take part in their journey toward a stronger and happier self – and that can be incredibly fulfilling. To notice that your help is appreciated and even making a difference in someone’s life is enough to outweigh the emotional baggage for many, and it keeps them going throughout their career.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a masters in clinical psychology to work with mental health as many offer online masters in mental health counseling these days. You’ll be a counsellor, in other words, and won’t have to work with those who have are clinically depressed, for example.
If you’d like to work with improving others’ mental health but without having to take on the heaviest work, this option is definitely for you.
#3 You’re not afraid of administrative work
Those who get into the mental health field because they love to work with people might be disappointed by the amount of paperwork you’ll need to do. It’s like this in most health professions, though, and everything is happening digitally these days, in any way.
Sessions will need to go into a journal, however, and you’ll have to be able to keep track of what’s going on with continuous paperwork.
It’s something you’ll learn by heart when you’re taking the course or your degree, though, so don’t worry – you get used to it.
This is a contributed post.