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Career Advice

Key Mental Health Fields Worth Getting Into

These days, the healthcare industry continues to boom as populations grow, and people get busier and more stressed and unhealthy. Indeed, when you check out the rankings put together by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, the list tends to be filled with a variety of jobs in the healthcare sector. If you’re looking to join or re-enter the workforce soon, or are searching for a career change option, it’s worth putting healthcare at the top of your list.

In particular, if you’re qualified or interested in mental health and related fields, this is an area that’s really soaring and not set to slow down any time soon. There are many different job types within this field that have been steadily growing, and which will continue to be of need in the future. Read on for some of these key health careers you might like to consider.

Social Work

For example, many people in the US consider enrolling in accredited online MSW degree programs so they can get into jobs such as child protection, gerontological aid, child and family social work, clinical practice, through to school social work. With a rapidly growing evidence of people of all ages needing mental-health care, plus an ageing population, all of these areas have excellent career prospects.

Lots of students choose to study social work because it’s a topic where they can try different specialties over the years, and keep learning and growing. It also provides choice when it comes to work practices, in that there are roles within private organizations, non-profit services, and governments. As well, for many, the appeal is that they get to connect with, and assist, members of their community. Social workers have the opportunity to see, directly, the difference they can help make to people’s lives.


Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Another growing field is industrial-organizational psychology. This is perfect for people who are interested in working with businesses and various types of large organizations. Psychologists in the area assist government departments, companies and other groups to boost their effectiveness, and to improve the level of job satisfaction members have.

Also known as occupational psychologists, these specialists work on things such as the screening of workers (e.g. police or security officers, and government agents); creating more thorough and effective policies; and the evaluation of management theories and business models. They also tend to work one-on-one with workers to look for ways to improve productivity.


If you’ve always been fascinated by the brain and how it works (or doesn’t function in some cases), consider going into the field of neuropsychology. People in this area focus on how the brain operates, in people of all ages. In particular, neuropsychologists assess people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and help them to recover. They also regularly work with people with other sorts of neurological illnesses, like metabolic disorders, strokes, tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Neuropsychologists work in a lot of “acute” settings, like neuroscience clinics which are focused on the effects of neurological trauma and diseases, and on neurosurgery and subsequent brain function. Workers in the field may also work in rehabilitation centers or research centers, or be used as expert witnesses in court cases.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is another growing, and popular, area of mental-health work. Forensic psychologists have been portrayed in quite a few television shows and movies now, because they must understand the functioning of justice systems. They tend to work in a variety of legal contexts. They help in criminal, civil and family legal cases, as well as assisting litigants, victims, perpetrators, community organizations and government personnel.

Forensic psychologists evaluate mental-health programs; conduct assessments and diagnose people; evaluate if people charged with crimes are fit to stand trial or not; conduct other types of forensic interviews; collect and report on psychologically-based evidence; and perform psychological interventions. These types of psychologists also often get into research-based lines of work.

People who become forensic psychologists are employed in private practices, child protection units, police departments, and rehabilitation facilities. Federal governments, in particular, have a high demand for these specialists. They work in courts and tribunals; prisons and adult and youth-based community corrections facilities; child protection units; policy departments; in alcohol and drug units; and for mental health and family services.



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