Becoming a mental health counselor can be one of your most fulfilling career paths. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a mental health counselor impacts people significantly.
Being a counselor offers you the chance to help people instead of just sitting behind a computer all day. You can provide people with stability, encouragement, and hope when needed. It’s a gratifying and fulfilling job that can be enjoyable as well.
What do mental health counselors do?
Mental health counselors typically help people cope with mental health issues. These professionals may use various methods and approaches to achieve their goals.
They will generally work with an individual or family to reach the proper resolution for that person. They might also provide education on mental health issues and offer resources for those who need support.
When it comes to counseling, there are many different types of therapists, and it’s crucial to find an approach that works best for the individual to ensure the best progress. While some people choose traditional therapy sessions, others rely on online counseling or phone support from trained professionals through chat or video conferencing.
If you want to become a counselor, American International College offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which prepares students to become mental health counselors. This online course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the theories, principles, and skills needed to help meet the increasing demand for mental healthcare. American International College also provides field placement services to help you locate a practicum site close to your residence.
Factors that have led to increasing demand for mental health counselors
Below are some of the factors that have led to the increasing demand for mental health counselors:
Increase in anxiety disorders and depression
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in patients reporting issues with anxiety and depression. The prolonged isolation experienced by many due to lockdowns led to the development or worsening of mental health issues.
Many psychologists have reported that they can no longer accept new patients. Nearly half of the psychologists surveyed also reported an increase in healthcare workers seeking counseling. Increased stress, fear of infection, financial worries, and the death of a loved one have all been cited as reasons for the increasing rates of mental illness.
Availability of mental health counselors
As the demand for mental and behavioral health professionals has risen, professionals in the field increasingly find little room to accept new patients. Many people who have sought services from a counselor at some point in their lives may not have been able to get that help due to a lack of availability.
Mental health care providers nationwide are now seeing increased demand due to this change. The number of people seeking mental health services has continued to grow due to high-stress levels and financial difficulties, among other issues.
Additional professionals will be needed to address the needs of the growing number of people seeking assistance. The increased demand for mental health professionals is also attributed to an aging population and an increased awareness about mental illness.
A growing focus on preventative care
The need for mental health counseling has intensified due to a growing focus on preventive care and the fact that more people are now willing to admit that they need help.
There are many reasons behind this increase, but two main trends that have contributed are the focus on preventive care, such as physical and mental check-ups, and more individuals coming out about their illnesses or disorders.
Those who suffer from depression have been cited as being particularly at risk due to suicidal thoughts.
Rising demand for mental health services
Society should do its best to combat mental illness to help individuals, families, and communities to feel safe and healthy. Lack of access to mental health care is increasingly becoming an issue as the number of people seeking care has also risen.
Increased demand for outpatient providers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and general practitioners, has led to care being provided more often through telehealth and online services.
Lack of insurance coverage for mental health services
The insurance industry is in the business of helping people lead healthier lives, but they sometimes need to take into account the complexities of treatment.
This change could be seen as a detriment to people with depression because insurance companies offer limited coverage for those with less severe mental conditions.
However, those with severe issues may face fewer issues as insurance is more likely to cover the necessary services, improving patient outcomes.
Since social media became a part of our lives, the demand for mental health counselors has also increased. Social media is no longer just a tool for connecting with friends.
It’s now also projected to impact our mental health negatively and could lead to increased dependence on mental health professionals. As a result, we are seeing more people than ever seeking treatment for their depression or anxiety to combat these feelings inflicted by the digital world.
Many people spend multiple hours daily on social media sites, so it’s not hard to see why the numbers have risen as dramatically.
Many factors have led to increased demand for mental health counselors. The list includes but is not limited to new and inventive ways of therapy, such as exposure therapy, novel treatments, and promising research into suicide prevention.
As a result of these many factors and more, mental health counselors are an in-demand occupation with a promising future. More mental health counselors are required to meet this rising demand and to ensure that those in need have access to the help they require.