Today, the healthcare industry is booming as populations not only grow but also age and as people become more and more overworked, stressed, anxious and generally unhealthy. In fact, as noted by the rankings compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when it comes to the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, healthcare-related jobs abound.
Due to the rise in depression, suicide, stress, anxiety and other factors, one sector worth considering joining is mental health. This field currently provides many great employment opportunities and doesn’t look likely to disappear in the near future. Read on for a selection of the top mental health fields you should look into today.
School Counseling and Psychology
School counselors or psychologists are becoming ever more important as the link between learning and mental health becomes better understood. People working in this field can provide counseling services to help students cope with personal crises, whether school- or home-related. These days, for many valid and understandable reasons, there are more students seeking support than ever.
School psychologists can work with young people who have learning difficulties, special needs and/or behavioral issues. By looking into factors at school or at home which may be negatively affecting a student’s learning, psychologists can help children overcome challenges. These problems may be issues teachers and parents aren’t aware of or concerns that they’re not sure how to address.
Whether you look into studying an online Master’s in School Counseling or decide to complete a degree in Psychology with a specialty in the field, you will no doubt find plenty of work available in the coming years.
Another field of psychology that’s worth considering is neuropsychology. This refers to an area of expertise that studies how the brain operates (or doesn’t function correctly, in some cases), for people of all ages.
Neuropsychologists tend to work with patients who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or who are dealing with neurological illnesses like tumors, strokes, neurodegenerative disease, metabolic disorders and the like. They help patients to recover and learn new ways of living their lives when needed.
If you’re interested in joining this field, you will likely end up working in an “acute” setting. For example, many neuropsychologists work in neuroscience clinics that revolve around studying and developing treatments for the effects of neurological diseases and trauma, on brain functions and on neurosurgeries. These types of psychologists may also work as expert witnesses for court cases or be employed in research or rehabilitation centers.
You might be somewhat familiar with the idea of forensic psychology because this type of job is often portrayed on movies and TV shows. Psychologists of this specialty are found in legal contexts and must understand the functioning of justice systems.
Forensic psychologists assist in family, civil and criminal legal cases and help litigants, perpetrators, victims, government personnel, community organizations and other people and groups. Work is found in private practices, police departments, federal government positions, child protection units, rehabilitation facilities, prisons and other corrections institutions, policy departments, mental health and family services and more.
If you become a forensic psychologist, your work may involve research, conducting assessments, diagnosing people, evaluating the mental states of people charged with crimes, collecting and reporting on evidence, conducting forensic interviews, evaluating mental-health programs and performing psychological interventions.
If you’re interested in businesses — such as how they work and are organized — you might want to look into the field of industrial-organization psychology. People in this area of expertise assist groups, whether in private companies, listed corporations, government departments or other organizations, to improve productivity and effectiveness and to boost job satisfaction. Occupational psychologists, as they’re also known, screen workers, create better HR policies, evaluate business models and management theories and often work one-on-one with employees.
Social workers have the opportunity to make a direct impact on people’s lives. When joining this field, you could end up working in clinical practice, in child protection, in gerontological aid, in family social work and so on. In becoming a social worker, you have the chance to try a wide variety of specialties throughout your career and to work in different types of organizations such as government departments, non-profit services and private ventures.