Friday, October 25, 2019

The Mental Health Industry – Open Hearted Folks Helping Minds in Need

In recent years, society has been learning that mental health can be just as important as physical health. Oregon has joined in this trend, evidenced by the strong growth in mental health care workers around the state. Hospitals, clinics, and residential facilities employ thousands of trained mental health workers to help people get better. These jobs often pay better than average wages, but they come with larger than average challenges along with the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of people in the community.

Mental health workers address a range of issues. Some are experts in treating depression, while others specialize in drug and alcohol addiction. Therapists might help with cognitive recovery after a stroke or talking through family and marriage issues. Mental health workers can be employed in schools, hospitals, residential facilities, or working out of an office building in private practice.

There is no defined mental health industry. However, mental health professionals are most frequently employed in five industries:
The two best known mental health occupations are psychologists and psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are Medical Doctors with an MD degree (Doctor of Medicine). Psychologists typically need at least a graduate degree and often have a doctoral degree. There are about 300 psychiatrists working in Oregon and a little over 1,000 psychologists.

In addition to psychiatrists and psychologists there are more than 20,000 mental health workers in Oregon. These are counselors, therapists, and social workers. These mental health workers may specialize in medical rehabilitation, child behavior, substance abuse, or some combination of issues.

Some of these occupations, such as rehabilitation counselors and social workers, may require some post high school training without a four year-college degree, while some of these occupations typically require a master’s degree, such as marriage and family therapists.
To learn more about mental health employment in Oregon, read Workforce Analyst Christian Kaylor's full article here.

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