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When one thinks of a medical professional, it’s easy to picture doctors and nurses helping patients with physical injuries. From broken arms and bumps to the head to more long-term illnesses, many people go to hospital when they are injured or sick.

However, it is just not physical ailments or disease which sees people requiring treatment as mental health issues are also supported in hospital. There are now thousands of different roles in place to help people struggling with illnesses of the mind. From anxiety and depression to bipolar and eating disorders, people all over the world receive help for a range of different issues.

If you are keen to help and support people when it comes to mental health, there are a number of careers to explore and learn more about which will be covered in this article.

drama-therapistPsychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners are trained to provide a wide range of advanced mental health services to patients who may be struggling with issues of the mind.

Nurses in this role are qualified to diagnose mental health problems like depression and can also prescribe treatment. They have the experience and knowhow to tend to different mental health issues in people.

You can expand your skills as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner by attending a PMHNP program. By taking such an opportunity, you can enjoy greater flexibility in the role while providing aid to those who need it.


The role of a psychotherapist is to treat people by using talking therapy. They will discuss any emotional problems or mental issues a person may be facing. This can be with individuals, couples, families or even in wider groups who may share the same issue.

Some psychotherapies can help identify psychological causes for certain conditions and also help people to deal with issues and function while attempting to address their emotional well-being.

Psychotherapists are required to earn an advanced degree to qualify. This often involves a master’s program related to psychology, with doctorates taking between two to five years to complete.

Clinical Psychologist

This role would also see you assess, diagnose and treat individuals with mental health problems. Clinical Psychologists can help patients who have chronic conditions and those who may have short-term mental health issues.

Psychologists are able to assess and aid people by studying cognitive, emotional and social processes by observing and recording how individuals behave, feel and how they relate to the environments they find themselves in.

To work in this role you will need a license to operate after earning a doctorate degree. In some instances, a master’s degree in psychology would be sufficient for certain roles.

Clinical Social Worker

Social Workers often work closely with families but also support individuals and groups when it comes to managing and treating mental health. They can also focus on the prevention of mental health issues by providing emotional and behavioral support with different techniques.

Licensed Clinical Social Workers must have a master’s degree in social work and are trained to provide therapy and support. This role can be carried out in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices and community mental health facilities.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist

The role of a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist is to help individuals with mental health problems regain independence. This is achieved by helping the patient to develop new skills to manage and deal with their symptoms and feelings.

By aiding the individual, the specialist can help the person return to society safely and will assist when it comes to finding housing, employment and rebuilding or developing relationships.

To work in this role, individuals must earn a master’s degree while a state licensure is required for working in psychiatric rehabilitation.

Summing Up

The roles listed above are examples of the diverse range of jobs within the mental health sector in America. In order to carry out each role, individuals are required to follow specific educational programs and training. The majority of the jobs can only be attained with a master’s degree while a licensure is also key when it comes to practicing professionally.

Many of the roles in the mental health sector can be financially rewarding owing to the importance of the job. However, the real reward is helping people navigate mental health battles and providing treatments to ease symptoms or processes to help manage feelings.

From psychiatric nurses to clinical social workers, each role comes with a high amount of responsibility and such jobs require a high level of competency and commitment, hence the requirement for a degree. If you are looking to start a career in the mental health sector, there are a number of useful starting points to find online.


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