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Seven steps you need to take to build a career in mental health

A career in mental health can be rewarding for those who are compassionate and what to make a difference in the lives of other people. However, the journey to becoming a mental health professional is both challenging and exciting. Here are seven steps that will guide to attaining a career in mental health.

Get a bachelor’s degree

Earn a bachelor’s degree in mental health. The course duration is usually 4 years during which you will learn the basics of psychology, the human mind and its development, behaviour and social work among many other subjects.


Get a master’s degree

Once you have successfully completed the course you can go in for a master’s degree which will help you specialize in a particular stream of mental health. This is when you can decide if you want to be a clinical psychologist, councillor, child psychiatrist, marriage councillor and a professional in any other streams in the similar area of study.


Get trained and do an internship

After you have completed a master’s degree you will have to get trained in the subject you have specialized in. Find a licensed mental health practitioner and do an internship under his/her guidance. This is also a good opportunity to learn on the job.


Get a license to practice

You’re almost there now! All you need to get is a practicing license from an accredited mental health institution or a renowned mental health university. This step varies from country to country, in India you will have to obtain a license from ‘National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences’ (NIMHANS).


Get certifications

To advance your career in the field of mental health you need to be constantly taking up courses and examinations to stay up to date with the latest advancements in the field of mental health.


Get a P.hd

A doctoral level is the highest you can advance your career to. A P.hd in the field of mental health will not only earn you a renowned reputation but also put you in charge if you choose to work at a mental health institution or treatment facility.


Set up your own practice

Once you have obtained your license, certifications and a P.hd (optional) you are qualified to set up your own practice and treat clients (patients). You can also take in interns, P.hd aspirants and apprentices who wish to further their careers in your field of expertise.

Further reading

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5 things our body tells us about mental health

5 things your dreams tell you about your mental health

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