Rewarding business ideas for developing a career in mental health

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Following centuries of stigma, the importance of mental wellness is finally matching that of physical healthcare.

Conditions such as depression have become common topics in the media, particularly in the last few years as celebrities and experts warned against the pressures of social media. The bouts of isolation connected with the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the issue, with the British Medical Association declaring a UK mental health crisis at the end of 2022.

This media attention has led to acknowledgement of the realities of mental health problems from the government and medical sector, and a recognition that these need to be approached differently to physical ailments when it comes to providing treatment.

If you are motivated to be involved in this rapidly changing industry, consider these rewarding business ideas for developing a career in mental health.

Become a counsellor

Counselling is a broad term, but essentially it is the practice of having impartial conversation with patients about their life experiences with a view to overcoming emotional obstacles and trauma. Training can take three to five years depending on whether you are getting a degree or diploma, and there are many opportunities to specialise both during and after your education.

Psychotherapy is a similar field, but this is a more academically focused course that tends to be concerned with long-term or particularly complex mental health issues. You will need a post-graduate qualification and several years of training to become certified.

If you do decide to go down the avenue of becoming a counsellor, make sure to do what you can to stand out in this competitive industry. Those planning to set up as an independent practice should clearly display their qualifications and use word of mouth to advertise in the local area. Overheads of a private practice may include renting premises, suitable counsellors insurance policies and wages for secretarial staff.

Offer specialised therapy

Those who prefer a more physical approach to treatment may prefer to get involved in more specialized forms of therapy. People with artistic talent, be it dance, drawing, music, or drama, can put these skills to good use in their mental health career by leading group therapy sessions.

Occupational therapy is another avenue that works in the same vein, actively helping people to adapt to and improve their ability to deal with everyday tasks. You will find yourself helping people with a range of learning disabilities to be as independent as possible in their work and general life.

Provide hands-on care

If therapy does not appeal to you, there are plenty of other ways to provide hands-on care for those with mental health issues.

One path that can be rewarding and emotionally challenging is social work. This can bring you into contact with adults and children suffering from a variety of mental difficulties and trauma.

You could also find fulfilment working as a nurse in a care home or hospice to help geriatric or terminally ill patients and their loved ones navigate the end of their life. If you do not have the qualifications for nursing, there are also opportunities to volunteer at these institutions where you can still provide much support and joy.

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