How to Get a Job in Mental Health

How to Get a Job in Mental Health

1.

Search for jobs online and through professional and university organizations. Thanks to the Internet, there are many resources available for those who would like to break into the mental health field. SocialService.com provides job opening information for mental health professionals all across the United States.

MentalHelp.net is another such website. Search specifically by your region, and you can find job opportunities you can directly apply for.

You can also boost your job search by becoming a member of the American Psychological Association--a professional organization for mental health workers.

Finally, if you are an alumnus of a notable medical school or other form of upper educational work related to mental health, consider exploring your campus for a career placement center. Many schools provide placement assistance for recent graduates, as well as internships for both current students and alumni.

2.

Search for jobs in unexpected places. For example, counselors are often needed for immigrants, but not many individuals think to check with the department of immigration or nonprofit immigration services. Other places for these "hidden" jobs include police and fire departments, financial institutions, and physical rehabilitation facilities.

3.

Prepare your resume and have it reviewed by someone working in the mental health field to see how you can improve it. After you have gone over it with a trusted mentor or other professional, save it to your computer and print out several hard copies.

4.

Finally, alert as many people as you can about your desire to work in the mental health field. Everyone from your childhood doctor to your great-aunt may know someone who works in the field and can provide a connection for you. Even cold-calling a local counseling center may lead to an internship or job opening.

Tips and Warnings

  • Network as much as possible through social sites such as LinkedIn.com.
  • Attend mental health benefits and other "open to the public" events to meet people and promote your experience and career goals.
  • Broaden the type of job you're willing to take, as well as your geographical location for a quicker turnaround time.
  • Mental health jobs can be very stressful, and it is essential you are emotionally and psychologically stable before taking on such a strenuous position.
  • The mental health field is very competitive, and it is not unusual in this job market to have to patiently wait for the right opening.
  • The mental health field can be personally rewarding and challenging, as you will be assisting a diverse population of individuals who struggle with a wide array of issues. From dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder to more severe emotional and physiological struggles, there are many job positions for those hoping to work with the mental health community. Through proper education and resume submission, you can find your ideal job, from administrator to psychiatrist.