In recent years, we, as a society, have made major breakthroughs in our regard, attitude and understanding toward mental health. As our understanding has increased, we have begun to see the sheer complexity of mental health. This has meant mental health jobs have also changed and developed over time. In this article, we will have a look at a few of the different roles within mental health and how they coincide with one another.
Often overlooked, but vital to any mental health team are mental health nurses. They will often have the most interaction with patients, and are key for any mental health team to have a level of trust and understanding with patients. To become a mental health nurse, you must have already completed your nursing degree, during your degree there would have usually been modules and courses catered specifically toward mental health nursing, and of course, further training is given once leaving university.
A psychiatrist is often seen as being at the top of the mental health team. They are the only healthcare professional within mental health that has the authority to prescribe medication to patients. A psychiatrist is a doctor who has decided to specialise in mental health. This occurs after the completion of their medical degree and a decision has to be made about which area of medicine they wish to specialise in. Psychiatrists rely heavily on a mental health team, as they often have very little time with each patient individually, as they are often responsible for a large quantity of patients. Therefore, other members of the team must know what type of treatment is needed for a patient, and suggest this to the psychiatrist, who as aforementioned, has the authority to prescribe said medication.
Counselling can take many forms, inside and outside the hospital. Places such as schools, prisons, workplaces etc. might have their own counsellor, or counselling team. The level of expertise and specialization will vary, depending on what the environment they are working within. Counsellors play a key role both within the mental health team and also outside of it. As counsellors and other members of psychological help can help with patients who have had physical health problems, that in turn, can cause mental health trauma. For example, it is as equally important for an amputee to come to terms with the loss of a limb mentally, as it is physically, if the treatment is to be considered a success.
There are of course many more roles within mental health. However, I hope this shows a few of those roles, and it begins to show the reliance these roles have on one another to bring about the most successful form of treatment.