What’s the Industry Like?
Mental health professionals play a very important role in our community. Offering support, care, advice and someone to depend on for those that need it most, these services are a crucial part of many Australian lives.
With a very wide variety of roles in specialised areas such as drug and alcohol, rehabilitation and welfare support, there’s always going to be a need for these important careers to help improve well-being and help people live the lives they’ve always wanted to. Careers are needed in plenty of support and community services areas, such as public health, social work, youth work, counselling, community services and rehabilitation.
Careers in Mental Health
The mental health services industry is very wide, with a huge variety of career paths that you could pursue after undertaking a course in mental health. Some of the careers in the sector include:
- Welfare Support Worker
- Community Rehabilitation Coordinator
- Public Health Assistant
- Mental Health Nurse
- Social Worker
- Youth Worker
- Family Support Officer
- Disabilities Services Officer
- Health and Welfare Professional
- Mental Health Counsellor
In areas such as social work, the industry is experiencing very strong future growth. New jobs created could result in as many as 50,000 new job opportunities in the next five years in this area of mental health services alone. This is also a trend seen in other career paths, such as welfare support workers and personal care and youth work.
If you want to work in this area, mental health training and the qualifications you’ll need will vary. For a social worker, for instance, a Bachelor degree in a health-related area is common, whereas welfare and community service workers typically have a Diploma or at least three years of experience in the area. It’s an easy area to upskill in and provides many opportunities to change careers or tailor your job to an area that aligns better with your interests.
Similar to qualifications, the salary levels vary considerably. A social worker, who usually needs more education and experience, can earn an average of $61,000 per year, whereas a mental health counsellor can earn around $58,000 and a youth worker $54,600.
Most in this industry are female, with the average age around 40 years old. It also has a slightly lower full-time share than other industries, with most employed in mental health services only working 35 hour weeks on average.
Mental Health Courses
Mental health courses are crucial to ensure you know everything you need to make a difference to someone else’s life. Whether you’re looking to focus on mental health and first aid or a drug and alcohol course; there’s a huge range of in-class and online options to suit your study needs.
A Certificate course is a great start to the industry, preparing you for the roles, tasks and responsibilities you’ll be undertaking when you start your mental health career. If you’re looking to change careers or haven’t had any prior training or experience in this area, this is the course for you.
A Certificate IV in Mental Health, for instance, is the perfect way to fast track your career and get you started in as little as a year. Fully available online, this cert iv mental health can help shape you into a professional, providing you with the knowledge in diagnosing conditions, communicating effectively, offering advice and supporting the recovery process. It also offers a very important aspect of mental health services and counselling, of effective suicide and self-harm intervention. Mental health first aid and youth mental health are typically a big focus on these areas and can make the world of difference.
A Diploma is a grade higher than a certificate, offering a more comprehensive overview of the industry and its practices. A Diploma in Mental Health can take around 18 months to complete but can lead to more specialised roles in rehabilitation, drug and alcohol counselling as well as welfare and social work. If you’re looking to study mental health with the intention of opening a wider array of career opportunities, a Diploma is a great way to do so.
Roles and Responsibilities of Mental Health Professionals
Some of the roles that mental health professionals, such as mental health nurses provide include:
- Provide emotional, financial and social support
- Evaluate and assess patient’s health
- Provide manageable and achievable advice
- Coordinate and implement treatment strategies
- Working with diverse people
- Consult with other health professionals
- Recognise and respond to crisis situations
If you’re ready for a career that’s as rewarding as it is in demand, the mental health services industry needs you. Browse mental health courses online or in class to find one that suits you!