Four fantastic career paths if you want to help people with their mental health

Looking for a rewarding career change? Discover four fantastic career paths if you want to help people with their mental health.

The conversation around mental health has grown and evolved a lot in recent years, and as a society, we’re in a much better place in terms of speaking openly about our struggles and taking steps to get help.

In turn, this means more people are looking for ways to do their part to help those struggling with mental health issues, and there are all sorts of careers that make this possible. Here are just a few examples, and an exploration of what each role involves.


1) Mental health nurse

As a mental health nurse, you’ll be responsible for providing support and care to people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives due to various psychological issues. Working with individuals from all walks of life can help them cope with depression, anxiety, trauma, or other debilitating conditions, and ultimately improve the quality of their lives.

You’ll need to possess strong communication skills, as well as empathy, and patience when dealing with complex cases. Professional qualifications, such as an undergraduate degree in nursing or psychology, may also be required depending on where you’re working.

Additionally, some states require nurses in this field to complete mental health nurse practitioner programs before they can practice professionally. So with the right training and qualifications, you can make a lasting difference in people’s lives, while also feeling like you’ve accomplished something meaningful with your career.

2) Psychologist

A psychologist takes the reins by identifying issues related to behavior, thought processes, emotions, and relationships amongst individuals or even groups of people.

It takes many years of training (and often additional qualifications) before one can become a practicing psychologist, but the rewards are worth it. No two cases are ever the same, so each day brings something different.

You’ll also need strong interpersonal skills, as well as effective problem-solving strategies when dealing with complex matters. Plus depending on where you work, and your specializations within psychology, there may be opportunities for research-focused roles too.

3) Social worker

If you’re looking for a career path that enables you to make a positive impact on the community and earn a good living, then becoming a social worker may be a perfect choice.

Social workers are responsible for helping individuals and families cope with various psychological issues, while also providing support in difficult life situations, such as poverty or unemployment.

You need empathy when working with clients, and most states require at least a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) before you can begin down this career path. Additionally, some positions might require higher levels of education, such as master’s or doctoral degrees, depending on the role being filled.

4) Crisis intervention specialist

As the name suggests, crisis intervention specialists step in to manage people or groups in the midst of difficult situations, such as natural disasters or traumatic events that cause PTSD.

Having the ability to stay calm under pressure is essential, as the intensity and ubiquity of psychological trauma in these scenarios can be intense. Advanced qualifications, and prior experience in other mental health fields, are typically a requirement of working in this field, so you can perhaps see it as something to consider building towards in the future, rather than jumping right into it as your first altruistic job.

Research what your new career involves

Before jumping into any career, you need to research what it involves and what boxes you’ll have to tick to thrive in the available roles. For mental health-related jobs, as with other aspects of healthcare, this can mean training for months or years to get where you want to be. But when the journey is this long, reaching the destination is all the sweeter.