What Does It Take To Become A Licensed Mental Health Professional?


Are you someone who struggles with mental health and/or would love to help others with mental health issues? If so, this is the blog for you! This guide to what it takes to be a mental health professional will help you learn everything you’ll need for a position in the mental health field. Whether you are struggling or feel like you would love a position helping others, you’ll need to know certain things and all it takes to get to a position in general. 

Why Mental Health Help Is So Important 

You Could Be Saving Someone’s Life 

Although it’s a hard process for someone who’s struggling to get up and get help for mental health issues, as a mental health professional, it’s important to know that helping them could potentially save them. The conversations and help that they get from professionals are an important part of their healing process. Without this kind of help, it can be extremely difficult to learn how to heal yourself and figure out ways to keep bad thoughts away. 

However, since they’ve already done something difficult by asking for help, you, as the professional, need to make sure their asking is worth the struggle. You need to know how to help them cope, which means lots of practice and schooling. But once all of this is done, the successes are extremely rewarding! 

Two people holding hands 
As a professional, you may be the happy point in a patient’s life. You may be the light at the end of the tunnel for them and the way they can feel better. Although this sounds like a big task to handle, you need to make sure this career path is for you before you go on to get a job in the field. This blog will help teach you all the things you’ll need for a position in the mental health professional field. 

What It Takes To Be A Professional

Education and Learning Are Key 

The first step in becoming a professional in the field is to get your bachelor’s degree. You’d want to get one in a subject like sociology or psychology so that you know the general foundation in these subjects for your future job working with others. Taking courses in those types of subjects will allow students to see the kinds of subjects they may be working with in the future, like people from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. Some other things you’ll need before becoming a professional in the field include: 

  • See if you like the job tasks. Although you may think that you want to work with people and help them, you’ll want to assess your strengths and commitment to the work before you start doing it for a living. It’s very different to say you like working with people, which can relate to many types of different jobs, then it is to say you enjoy helping people find happiness, which solely relates to this job description perfectly. If, after all that assessing of the job, you end up really wanting to do it and work with others, some next steps can include finding an internship or starting a role working with mental health help. This will help you gain experience in the work you want to do later in life and can even help you find a future job! 
  • Get a Master’s degree. Most mental health professionals need a Master’s degree in order to become licensed in their job. Since the job can be very demanding and you need as much experience and expertise as you can get, a Master’s degree is usually needed. For the job, professionals need to know the ways the mind works and how it can affect certain aspects of health, and with a Master’s degree, they can do just that. 
  • Work with clients. The best way that anyone can get better at what they do is by practicing on actual clients. When they can work with others before starting an actual job, students will be able to gain great experience and expertise in the field they want to work in. They’ll also be able to learn from others during this experience and can gain great knowledge for their studies. 
  • Ph.D. or doctoral work. For most programs, someone who wants to go into the mental health field will need a Ph.D. in the area they want to work in. This is because that level of education will give someone the expertise they’ll need to work with those struggling with mental health. 

Although there may be other things that a mental health professional will need in order to get a career in their field of choice, the ones listed are some of the most important aspects of learning and the expertise that they’ll need. Even though there are many years of schooling to do in order to become a professional, in the end, it’s all worth the learning. You’ll be able to help others with any issues they may be having and can even give them the life-changing support they need so deeply! 

A picture of someone typing 
When you decide to go through with the education and schooling, you’ll need to become a mental health expert and professional. When you do this, you’ll be able to work with others and help them achieve happiness. You’ll also need to work with people from all different backgrounds and of all different ages. But you’ll need to make sure this is the job you’re looking for and will be passionate about. 

By reading this blog, you should know everything you need in order to be a mental health practitioner. Be sure to follow these steps and always be passionate about your job while working with others! Also, remember that it does take a lot of time and practice, so be patient!

For questions on this blog, click here.

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