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Do you have any advice for someone entering the mental health industry as an undergraduate?

Hello there. I am looking to enter into the mental health field and was looking for any advice or shared experiences you might have. I am currently trying to receive my A.A. and then transfer to my desired university for Psychology. #mental-health #mental-health-counseling


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David’s Answer

I would recommend using your time working on a degree in psychology to learn as much as possible about the many different ways people work in mental health. It can be done with only a B.A. but the more rewarding jobs and for more choices in settings, a Master's degree is best. There are several "disciplines" at the Master's level, including clinical social work, all kinds of opportunities to do counseling, etc. Some jobs require state licensing and many do not. Whatever college you're at or will be next, I'm sure the guidance and counseling office, library, or career advisement services would like to help you learn more. That's what they are there for. Heading for a degree in psychology to begin with is a safe bet, because from there you can go in many different directions into career in mental health.

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Laura R’s Answer

It depends upon what you want to do as a mental health professional. You can be a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker both require a masters degree. A LCSW is far more marketable than an LPC or a psychologist. A psychologist is a doctoral level degree. If mental health is your interest, there are various roles you can play. Do you want to work with children, teens, or adults? Do you see yourself working in a clinical setting, Community Mental Health, or Hospital setting? Do you want to be a frontline provider, individual or group Counselor, Program Manager, Administrator or Director. Do you want to work in direct patient care or management? Do you want to implement policies or develop policies? Would you like to work in research, as an educator on the collegiate level teaching others about Behavioral Health? These are things you have to consider. The more courses you take the more you will understand the vast career options available to choose.

Laura R recommends the following next steps:

A Bachelor’s Degree is the 1st step.
A Masters’s Degree is next.
You will need to study and pass a standardized state test to obtain a license to practice in a given state.
You will need to take a required amount of continuing education courses each year in order to renew the license.

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Trisha’s Answer

You have to keep an open mind. When I had the opportunity to learn about mental health it was something I did not expect but it was worth learning. You also get to learn to be more sensitive of others and their feelings.

Thank you for your reply. Keeping an open mind requires a lot of practice but it is an incredibly useful skill. Briana M.

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Ayotunde’s Answer

Hello.

The field of mental health is quite broad and you can choose any of the different mental health careers (Clinical or Counseling Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Social Worker, Psychiatric Registered Nurse, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Counselor, etc) depending on your area of interest, which will become clearer and more convincing to you as you learn more about mental health.

All the best.

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Mark’s Answer

I guess you just have to be authentic with your answers to the interview questions.

Thank you for your reply, Mark. Authenticity is a huge factor in being a trustworthy Psychologist. Briana M.

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