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How To Select The Right Mental Health Internship Program

May 27, 2021

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How To Select The Right Mental Health Internship Program 

If you’re planning to launch a professional career in the field of mental health, selecting the right mental health internship program requires intense research. Through research, you get information that’ll help you discern which mental health internship program to choose out of the plethora of selections available. 

It’d be best to consider starting the search process ahead of time so that you aren't placed in a tight situation where you may have to make hasty decisions. Here are some of the ways you can select the right mental health internship program to help you set yourself on the right path:

  1. Decide On Geographical Area

Deciding on the geographical area in which you'd like to be deployed for a mental health internship program may depend on different factors. Perhaps you aren't in a position to travel far as you may have children at home that require your constant care and presence. That already means that you have to look close to your home where you can commute daily to meet your responsibilities as a parent.

Another factor that can determine where you do the internship is your finances. Some countries are generally more expensive to live in than others. If you’d like to learn about new cultures and discover new countries, on the other hand, you can apply for internships abroad.

International Medical Aid offers mental health internships which you can choose from depending on your preferences and unique circumstances. Consider taking some time to read through the information provided by them and other reputable institutions that may help you decide which mental health internship is the best fit for your case.

  1. Consider Your Qualifications

As you comb through multiple internship options, you should have your qualifications at the fore as a determining factor. Different internships require varying qualifications and documentation. If you tick off each box on the qualification checklist, you can consider applying, knowing that you stand a chance to be considered a successful candidate. 

Suppose you, however, don't have the qualifications required by the particular entity. In that case, you can proceed with applying to another internship that aligns with your qualifications. Studying further to meet the requirements of the particular internship you strongly desire is also recommended.

  1. Think Of The Skills That You Want To Acquire And Learn 

You may want to explore the different mental health skills you want to learn in the internship you wish to apply for. Perhaps you want to be a wellness coach or a therapist. Both hail from different areas. Before you can make the best possible decision, you have to be fully aware of your interests and the direction you wish to take with the mental health internship. 

  1. Look Into The Internship’s Payment Or Compensation Dynamics

Internship payment dynamics differ from one entity to the next. Some internships provide a salary while others don't. Where there's no compensation, some programs may provide an allowance such as food or accommodation or other benefits that come with the position. Depending on your unique situation, you can decide whether you'd want to go for an unpaid internship or one that provides a salary after having weighed in on the benefits of each opportunity.

You may be in a situation wherein, to survive, you require cash in hand, meaning an unpaid internship won't be best for you. On the flip side, you may get financial support, meaning you can apply for an internship that provides other benefits without worrying about finances. 

Perhaps the internship you’re gunning for offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shadow some of the field’s renowned mental health therapists but doesn't come with pay; you can consider whether it’ll be practical for you to grab the opportunity without earning a salary or not.

  1. Research About Networking Opportunities

With any mental health internship you consider applying to, don’t forget to look into the networking opportunities each one can eventually give you. Having completed the internship, you have to dive into the professional arena, which may be like a walk in the park if you were able to form a wide network during your internship. 

Networking opportunities may be in the form of conference attendance opportunities, shadow work, and meet and greet events with registered mental health practitioners. Such opportunities may help you form professional relationships outside of the internship. This may help you learn about work opportunities, application platforms, references, and application contact once you've completed your internship.

  1. Speak With Other Mental Health Practitioners

You can identify mental health practitioners who have practically walked the internship route. They can point you in certain directions based on their first-hand experiences, caution you on some dynamics you otherwise wouldn't have known about, and provide the support you need to make such a career-defining decision.

Conclusion

Thorough research will be your go-to when selecting the right mental health internship program. You'll have to consider a number of aspects prior to landing on an informed decision that may potentially change your insight and the course of your life. Before diving into an internship commitment, keep in mind the abovementioned insights to help you. Best of luck!

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